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7 Fun Facts About the MTV Video Music Awards

August 27, 2015

The VMAs are held tonight, so here are some fun facts.

MTV VMA Trivia

  • Only two musicians have won the award for Video of the Year award more than once: Eminem and Rihanna. The former won in 2000 and 2002 for “The Real Slim Shady” and “Without Me,” and the latter won for “Umbrella” and “We Found Love” in 2007 and 2012.
  • Only one-hit-wonder to win the Video of the Year award: Jamiroquai, for “Virtual Insanity” (1997).
  • Aimee Mann and Michael Penn are the only married couple to both win Best New Artist at the VMAs. Mann won in 1985 with her group ‘Til Tuesday, and Penn won in 1990.
  • There are dozens of categories in that other big music awards show, the Grammys. One of the more obscure ones is for Best Music Video. There is very little overlap with Video of the Year winners. In 30 years, only five videos have won both the Grammy and the VMA: Eminem’s “Without Me,” Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Madonna’s “Ray of Light,” R.EM.’s “Losing My Religion,” and Rihanna’s “We Found Love.”
  • There are 17 current categories at the Video Music Awards, with 29 other retired over the years. Among the more dated of those discontinued awards: Best Artist Website, Best Video Game Soundtrack, and Ringtone of the Year.
  • The award for Quadruple Threat of the Year was given out just once, in 2007, to Justin Timberlake.
  • The VMA equivalent of the “lifetime achievement award” is the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard, named for the pop star who helped elevate early music videos to an art form with clips like “Thriller” and “Beat It.” In 2002, however, Michael Jackson thought he was being given an even greater award: “Artist of the Millennium.” That award doesn’t exist. What happened is that the VMAs coincided with Jackson’s 44th birthday, and he was in attendance. Britney Spears came out on stage with a special trophy, wished Jackson a happy birthday, and casually referred to him as the “artist of the millennium.” Jackson came out and delivered a speech about how honored he was to be named MTV’s “artist of the millennium.” Except that he wasn’t. He was just being wished a happy birthday.
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