Most controversial MTV VMAs moments of all-time

From Miley Cyrus' twerk-fest to Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift and Madonna kissing Britney, we look back at the most memorable moments

When it comes to the MTV Video Music Awards, nobody knows quite what to expect and this year is sure to be no different.

With Jessie J, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande set to open the ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday night, before Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Usher and more take to the stage, anything could happen.

Before we're hit with the next flood of Twitterstorms, it's time to take a look back at some of the most iconic (or just plain infamous) moments in the event's history.

1) Madonna sings ‘Like A Virgin’ in the least virginal way possible

It might seem tame by today’s uninhibited standards, but when Madonna performed in 1984 dressed as a prostitute bride and wearing a flashy buckle reading ‘Boy Toy’ before writhing around the stage, all during “Like A Virgin”, the world was left astounded.

2) Beyoncé announces her pregnancy (2011)

The Queen of Pop dropped a bombshell during her 2011 performance of “Love On Top”. She surprised everyone by tearing open her glitzy jacket to show off a small baby bump. “I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside me,” were her memorable opening words.

3) Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech

In possibly the most awkward VMAs moment ever, Kanye rushed on stage to snatch Taylor’s first MTV gong from her hands and shout about how Beyoncé was the rightful winner. Poor Taylor didn’t know what to say, and everyone felt sorry for her.

Later, Beyoncé tried to make amends for Kanye’s rudeness when she won Best Music Video by inviting Taylor to join her on stage and finish her speech. As if her fans could love her more.

4) Lady Gaga’s outfit of choice is a meat dress

Gaga went to a whole new level in the scandalous outfits department when she arrived at the 2010 awards in this infamous dress made solely of red, raw meat. Cue public outcry, particularly from animal rights group Peta.

Meat chic: Lady Gaga attended MTV's Video Music Awards in the now-notorious 'meat dress'  

5) Madonna kisses Britney and Christina

It began as a tribute to Madonna’s iconic 1984 performance but when Madonna and Britney shared a big sloppy kiss, it morphed into something altogether more ridiculous, and the paparazzi’s dream. Madonna then kissed Christina Aguilera, just to seal the deal.

6) Lady Gaga pretends to hang herself

When Gaga faked her own death, speechless VMA attendees could do nothing but stare open-mouthed. The serial shocker took to the stage in fishnets, white heeled boots and not a lot else besides, before she begun ‘bleeding’ and finally pretended to hang herself.

7) Britney Spears dances with a live snake

Britney’s raunchy rendition of “I’m a Slave 4 U” involved a massive python wrapped around her neck, caged tigers and scantily-clad backing dancers. Animal rights group Peta was furious; viewers mainly enthralled.

8) Nirvana sing ‘Rape Me’ despite it being banned

Kurt Cobain was none too impressed when MTV bosses demanded that his band sing their biggest hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the show. He wanted to play “Rape Me” instead, but compromised on “Lithium”. Only to pick up his guitar and sing the first few lines of “Rape Me” as the big dogs could only look on horrified.

9) Britney Spears’ horrendous “Gimme More” comeback (2007)

If you need a definition of ‘shambolic’, this is it. Britney’s long-awaited comeback in 2007 was met with widespread cringes as she stumbled through a lacklustre, lip-synched performance with a lifeless expression on her face. Not the Britney we know and love.

10) Miley Cyrus’ ‘coming of age’ twerkathon (2013)

The former Disney star sent Twitter into meltdown when she bounded on stage in a nude latex bikini, tongue wagging, to perform “Blurred Lines” with feminists’ worst nightmare: Robin Thicke. The ensuing twerkathon, complete with simulated sex moves, is forever emblazoned in the mind of anyone unfortunate enough to witness it.

Read more: Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj to perform at VMAs
Sam Smith confirmed to give VMA debut
Should someone have stopped Miley's VMA performance?
Arts and Entertainment
Emo rockers Fall Out Boy

music

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment

film

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links