MTV Video Music Awards: Back to Cali


The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards will be returning to California after a brief stint in Brooklyn for the 2013 event. MTV will host the awards at The Forum, the refurbished indoor arena in Inglewood, a city that is part of the greater Los Angeles area. The awards show has been mainly held in New York City, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. The Forum is widely known for being home to the Lakers for over 30 years. It was acquired by The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) in 2012, the same company that owns the Madison Square Garden. It was then refurbished and reopened for The Eagles History of the Eagles Tour in January of this year. The MTV Video Music Awards will be the first awards show hosted at the venue. The August 24 show has yet to announce its lineup of nominees and presenters.

The Video Music Awards launched with a bang in 1984. Madonna’s Like a Virgin performance started the event, in which she donned a white bustier as she pranced and rolled around the stage. The MTV Video Music Awards was created as an alternative to the Grammys, the same way the MTV Movie Awards was created as an alternative to the Academy Awards. They were created in an era when music videos were “killing the radio stars,” as stated by The Buggles. The 1980s were the era of the hair bands and sexy video queens, as well as pop goddesses like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper.

Then jump to the 1990s when Michael Jackson and his sister Janet Jackson surpassed their music video budgets in order to make quality videos that resembled films. Music videos were of such importance that they started the careers of film directors like Michael Bay and David Fincher. Bay became widely known for directing Meatloaf in his I Would Do Anything for Love music video, and Fincher directed George Michael’s Freedom, which featured supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Linda Evangelista. The 2000s began to see a decline in music video creativity, and MTV began to shift their values from music videos to reality television. During this era, music videos have lost their importance. Few artist and labels see them with the same eye that Bay and Fincher used to create masterpieces.

Artists have shifted the importance of music videos and instead have become more performance driven. The MTV Video Music Awards have been famous for permitting celebrities and performers to push the boundaries in every artistic way. Last year Miley Cyrus took the lead for her controversial performance with Robin Thicke. During their performance Cyrus gyrated against married Thicke while sticking her tongue out and wearing risqué clothing. While music is what the awards are based on, fashion has not been without controversy. With Lil’ Kim leading the pack with the infamous purple suit that left one breast exposed, to Lady Gaga’s raw meat costume. The awards celebrate the most daring of the who-is-who in the music industry while also inviting presenters from film and television. With the controversies stemming from last year’s performances, there is no doubt MTV is preparing for the shock waves this year is to bring.

Opinion by Dony Lugo