AMP’s Picks: Seven Greatest MTV Video Music Awards Performances

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Lady Gaga 2009 MTV VMA Performance

The countdown is on to this Sunday and the MTV Video Music Awards, being broadcast live from right here in Los Angeles. As you get ready for the event (and as you keep trying to win tickets by listening to Carson Daly each morning!), take a trip back with us and relive some of the show’s top performances!

Here are seven classic clips, in chronological order:

1.) [lastfm]Madonna[/lastfm] – “Like a Virgin” (1984) – Why an MTV awards show? At the first one, the network needed to differentiate itself from all the other awards shows out there. [lastfm]Madonna[/lastfm] in a wedding dress, rolling around on the ground and showing off her garter belt? This isn’t your father’s awards ceremony.

2.) [lastfm]Madonna[/lastfm] – “Vogue” (1990) – It’s hard to understand unless you were there: [lastfm]Madonna[/lastfm] was IT in 1990. It was her world, and her sex-is-power, Marie Antoinette-like performance showed it.

3.) [lastfm]Michael Jackson[/lastfm] – Medley (1995) – A nearly 15-minute medley of hits like “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Billie Jean” and “Scream,” ending with “You Are Not Alone.” A reminder, especially now in retrospect, of the power that the man had.

4.) [lastfm]Puff Daddy[/lastfm], [lastfm]Faith Evans[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Sting[/lastfm] – “I’ll Be Missing You” (1997) – Before the odd couple of [lastfm]Eminem[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Elton John[/lastfm] took the stage at the Grammys, there was [lastfm]Sting[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Puff Daddy[/lastfm], performing this homage to the [lastfm]Notorious B.I.G.[/lastfm] together.

5.) [lastfm]Britney Spears[/lastfm] – “Oops I Did It Again”/”Satisfaction” (2000) – Half performance and half strip tease, Spears started the songs in full pantsuit and top hat and ended in a sparkly, flesh-toned bra and stretch pants. Brit-Brit version 1.0 at the height of her powers.

6.) [lastfm]OK Go[/lastfm] – “Here It Goes Again” (2006) – Not a band known for showy dancing, [lastfm]OK Go[/lastfm] put out one of the best choreographed music videos ever with its treadmill ballet clip for “Here It Goes Again.” And the band was able to recreate it live, which is pretty impressive for four guys who will never be confused with [lastfm]Usher[/lastfm].

7.) [lastfm]Lady Gaga[/lastfm] – “Paparazzi” (2009) In one four-minute performance, Gaga went from rising pop singer to international superstar and artist to be reckoned with. There were many great performances last year, but only one headliner.

You’ve seen the clips, now vote:

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