The MTV VMA For Best New Artist Goes To…Who?

July 17, 2014

MTV used the relatively new technology of Snapchat to announce the nominees for this year’s Video Music Awards. It’s good to see MTV embrace the new, especially since the acts it has nominated for Best New Artist at the VMAs frequently don’t have very lengthy careers.

  • MTV VMAThe Eurythmics were a popular and acclaimed band (“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”) in 1984, but they won the Best New Artist award over Madonna. (Other nominees: Cyndi Lauper and Wang Chung.)
  • Norwegian one-hit-wonder a-ha won the prize in 1985, beating out fellow flash-in-the-pans acts such as the Hooters, Simply Red…and some pop singer named Whitney Houston.
  • Guns N’ Roses deservedly won out in 1988, beating the Godfathers, Swing Out Sister, and former New York Dolls singer David Johansen’s lounge singer novelty act “Buster Poindexter.”
  • Remember the hard rock group Living Coulor? They beat Paula Abdul for Best New Artist in 1989.
  • A whopping seven acts were nominated in the category in 1990. The only one who proved to have any staying power was Lenny Kravitz. He lost to Michael Penn (brother of Sean Penn and husband of Aimee Mann), Bell Biv DeVoe, Jane Child, and Alannah Myles.
  • The 1991 nominees were C+C Music Factory, Deee-Lite, Gerardo, Seal, and winner Jesus Jones.
  • In 1998, Australian soap star and one-hit-wonder Natalie Imbruglia (“Torn”) beat one-hit-wonder swing revivalists the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies (“Zoot Suit Riot”), one-hit-wonder British band Chumbawamba (“Tubthumping”), alternative rock two-hit-wonders Fastball (“The Way”), and rapper Ma$e, who shortly thereafter after quit music to become a minister.
  • Then and current stars Christina Aguilera and Pink were both nominated. Both lost to Macy Gray.
  • Rihanna is arguably the biggest pop star of the day. In 2006, she lost the VMA for Best New Artist to a heavy metal band called Avenged Sevenfold.
  • At the 2007 Video Music Awards, rap-rock group Gym Class Heroes beat Carrie Underwood and Amy Winehouse.
  • MTV opened up voting to fans online in 2008. That meant that the heavily organized fanbase of Tokio Hotel, a weird German art rock band beat such stars as Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift.