Monday, August 25, 2014


Back in 1984, I saw the very first MTV Music Video Award program. Bette Midler and Dan Aykroyd hosted the show at Radio City Music Hall during the height of popularity for videos. The irreverent show was notable for the first major live appearance of rising star, Madonna who premiered her latest single, "Like A Virgin" in a shocking performance (certainly at that time) that ended with her writhing on stage in a wedding dress. The evening was capped with The Cars taking home the first Video of The Year Award for the innovative clip of "You Might Think".

I've watched all of the following presentations and this marks the thirtieth year. The MTV award show has always been a hit or miss affair with at least some sort of controversial event occurring during the telecast. While music videos are barely even played on MTV now, the awards are still quite popular although it's much harder to cover the show's only purpose which is for performers to showcase their new songs and presenters to plug upcoming projects.

Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj kicked off the show with each performing a selection from their forthcoming albums before coming together to do "Bang Bang", the uninspired hit they all appear on. With the exception of Sam Smith delivering a moving rendition of "Stay With Me", all of other musicians were lackluster or unmemorable which included Iggy Azalea, Maroon 5, Usher and new pop princess, Taylor Swift.

After being completely dismayed by the generic girl-group, Fifth Harmony beating out the amazing Sam Smith for the Artist To Watch Award and Miley Cyrus sending some apparent former homeless youth up to accept her award for Video of The Year with a speech that seemed to mock the situation, I was ready to turn off this nonsense. However, it was Queen Bee that saved the show from being a complete disaster at the very end. Accepting the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award, Beyoncé put all the other performers to shame as she easily displayed why she deserved this honor. The dazzling vocalist went on to deliver a thrilling set as she performed a medley of all of the songs from her recent million-selling, self-titled album. With their baby, Blue Ivy in his arms, Jay Z presented his overwhelmed wife with the award which also served to show the world that they are a solid and united family. Time will reveal how accurate this may actually be but it was still quite a touching and moving moment. If you missed it, take a look:

Let's flashback to Madonna's virgin appearance on the award show thirty years ago:

Finally, here is the 1984 MTV Video of the Year:


During a loving musical tribute while receiving this year's lifetime achievement award from BET, we were reminded of what an amazing ...