MTV VMAs' 15 Best Performances of All Time
By Billboard Staff
To celebrate the annual spectacular, we’ve picked the best performances in VMA history. Pop megastars including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga made a strong showing on the tally – but who had the most showstopping moment of all? Read on to find out and relive all the jaw-dropping, headline-grabbing performances.
1. Michael Jackson Medley (1995)
Michael Jackson proved, yet again, just why he was the King of Pop at the '95 show. Not only did he give MTV viewers a 15-minute medley of many of his biggest hits (including "Beat It," "Billie Jean," "Black or White," "The Way You Make Me Feel" and more); he did it with on-stage costume changes, moonwalking, Slash shredding on guitar, dance-fighting and enough crotch-grabbing for the whole of the '90s. Such was the awesome power of this spectacular MJ performance, which set the standard for today’s Video Vanguard performances.
Madonna's Vogue performance comes in 2nd followed by Bon Jovi 3rd place.
2. Madonna, “Vogue” (1990)
Talk about a cultural mashup: Madonna and her company of dancers, clad in 18th century Marie Antoinette garb, taught the world how to vogue, a performance style popularized in underground gay dance clubs of the '80s. Cue one incredibly animated pants-less dancer, and VMA magic is made.
3. Bon Jovi, “Livin’ On a Prayer”/ “Wanted Dead or Alive” (1989)
In a performance largely credited with inspiring MTV's massively popular "Unplugged" series, Bon Jovi brought its hair pop-metal down to earth for a riveting acoustic jam session. Jon snapped and strummed along with Richie Sambora's double guitar, as the two brought down the house with two of the band's biggest hits, portrayed this time in a more modest light.
To find where the other 12 Performances ranked - Read More at Billboard.com