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MTV VMAs 2017: 16 Most Outrageous Moments Ever From The Video Music Awards

Kanye isn't the only star to make headlines at the VMAs.

25/08/2017 14:38

Since they launched in 1984, the MTV Video Music Awards have been the birthplace of many an iconic celebrity moment.

We've already covered the A-list performances that have gone down in music history, but sometimes the most drama actually happens off stage, whether that’s down to a shocking feud, a hair-raising outfit choice or a bold outburst on stage.

From Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears to Kanye West and the late Michael Jackson, here are just some of the most outrageous, shocking and memorable VMAs moments ever...

  • Nicki Minaj calls out Miley Cyrus (2015)
    Michael Tran via Getty Images
    Weeks before the VMAs, Miley commented that Nicki had been "not very polite" when she suggested that the lack of nominations for her 'Anaconda' was due to her face, commenting: "If you want to make it about race, there’s a way you could do that. But don’t make it just about yourself."

    What Miley probably didn't count on was Nicki calling her out at the ceremony itself, remarking: "Now back to this bitch that had a lot to say to me in the press. Yo Miley, what’s good?"
  • Michael Jackson makes an unfortunate blunder (2002)
    KMazur via Getty Images
    File this under "toe-curlingly awkward".

    The 2002 VMAs were held on the King of Pop's birthday, so producers couldn't let it slip by without bringing MJ out on stage.

    What they hadn't banked on was that when Britney Spears called him the "artist of the millennium", Michael Jackson would mistakenly think he'd been given award with that title, and promptly start making an acceptance speech.
  • America meets a new Brand of controversy (2008)
    Dave Hogan via Getty Images
    Where Russell Brand grows, controversy soon follows, as the US learned when he was picked to front the VMAs in 2008.

    He wound up on the receiving end of death threats when he referred to then-President George W Bush as a "r**arded cowboy fella", as well as jokes about the Jonas Brothers' purity rings.

    MTV obviously wasn't too bothered, though, as he was asked back the following year.
  • Justin Timberlake tries to keep his cool (2003)
    For those that don't know, this gif shows the audience's reaction to Britney Spears and Madonna's infamous 2003 kiss.

    What we can see is 'Queer Eye' star Carson Kressley getting his absolute life, Mary J Blige looking... concerned, we suppose the word is and Justin Timberlake knowing full well the cameras are on him, but giving them absolutely nothing.
  • Rose McGowan turns heads on the red carpet (1998)
    Ron Galella/Brenda Chase/Getty
    It takes a lot to upstage Marilyn Manson, but 'Charmed' star Rose McGowan somehow managed it with this barely-there red carpet appearance.
  • Diana Ross cops a feel (1999)
    Lil Kim gave the VMAs one of its most iconic looks in 1999, when she showed up in a purple one-piece and matching wig, with one of her breasts exposed.

    As she took to the stage to present an award with Diana Ross, the legendary singer couldn't resist getting a bit handsy.
  • Lady Gaga wears... this (2010)
    Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
    When you're talking about iconic VMAs fashion moments, though, you can't possibly not mention her most memorable look ever... the meat dress.

    What's often forgotten is that the infamous garment was actually supposed to be a fashion statement about repealing the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in the US military, which was still in effect at the time.
  • Miley Cyrus brings a new man to the show (2014)
    MTV/MTV1415 via Getty Images
    But Gaga isn't the only star to use the platform of the VMAs to make an important point.

    A year on from her notorious Robin Thicke collaboration, Miley attended the ceremony with Jesse Helt, a former aspiring model who had previously lived on the streets after falling on hard times.

    She was later reported to have sold her Moon-Man statuette, with proceeds going towards combatting homelessness in the LGBT+ community, a cause she has since supported with her Happy Hippie Foundation.
  • Beyoncé announces her pregnancy (2011)
    Anthony Harvey via Getty Images
    The Queen Bey had us all speculating about whether she and Jay-Z were expecting their first child, when she struck this maternal pose on the red carpet.

    Hours later, with Twitter alight with rumours, she confirmed that she was pregnant with a performance of 'Love On Top'.
  • Taylor Swift puts her foot firmly in her mouth (2015)
    Twitter/Taylor Swift
    The '1989' singer had the world at her feet in summer 2015, but her public profile took a nosedive when she misconstrued a tweet from Nicki Minaj as a personal attack, and quickly went on the defence.

    Nicki and Taylor eventually performed together at that year's ceremony, putting their supposed beef behind them.
  • Courtney Love storms Madonna's interview (1995)
    There's a lot Madonna can handle, but dealing with a spontaneous live TV moment isn't usually one of them.

    This infamous interview, which Courtney Love crashes half-way through, makes for excruciating viewing, with no one coming out of it looking particularly good.
  • Britney Spears makes a triumphant return (2008)
    Jeffrey Mayer via Getty Images
    Not all memorable VMAs moments are plagued in awkwardness and feuds, though.

    Britney Spears' 2007 VMAs performance came at the end of a turbulent year for the star, and what was intended to launch her comeback, wound up getting everyone talking for all the wrong reasons.

    Just a year later, and with the world rooting for her, Britney made a return to the ceremony in 2008 looking happy, healthy and even winning her first ever VMAs, including Video Of The Year for 'Piece Of Me'.
  • Kanye West announces plans to run for President (2015)
    Michael Tran via Getty Images
    In lieu of a traditional performance, when Kanye West took home the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 2015, he delivered an 11-minute speech, during which he discussed his music, his ongoing feud with Taylor Swift and drugs.

    The mic drop of the century came at the end of his speech, though, as he told the crowds, including grinning wife Kim Kardashian: "And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for President."
  • Miley Cyrus hints that the show is fixed (2013)
    Twitter/Miley Cyrus
    Despite stealing the whole show with her outrageous performance, Miley expressed her disdain with the VMAs in the middle of the 2013 ceremony, hinting that the show was fixed in favour of One Direction.

    She tweeted that she had left early, adding: "I'm no psychic but congrats [to One Direction]"

    And she wasn't wrong either, with 'Best Song Ever' being named Song Of The Summer, despite having been released less than a month earlier.
  • Kanye West likes you and wants to let you finish. But... (2009)
    Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images
    Yeah, we all know what went down here. But we're still not over it. And we don't think either Taylor or Kanye is either.
  • Lil Mama gets a little too enthusiastic (2009)
    Kevin Mazur via Getty Images
    But what people often forget is that Kanye wasn't the only star who stormed the stage that night.

    During Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' closing performance of 'Empire State Of Mind', rapper Lil Mama surprised both of them by leaping onto the stage and starting to dance.

    She later confessed to feeling a little too "caught up in the moment".
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