The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards are just around the corner, and we can't wait! Sure, the VMAs aren't the most prestigious awards in the industry, but they're definitely the most fun. The Grammys give us elegant (or at least elegantish) fashion and recognition of diverse talents, but the VMAs give us Lady Gaga on a date with Kermit.
In honor of the upcoming show, we've collected 10 of the most outrageous moments in VMA history. Come take a walk down memory lane and join us in hoping 2011 will be as ridiculous as years past:
Madonna: Writhing Like a Virgin, 1984
Think about how different the VMAs could have been if Madonna had opened the first-ever show by doing something classy, instead of ripping off a see-through wedding dress and rolling around on the floor while singing "Like a Virgin." Sure, by today's standards Madonna's performance is downright tame, but would we have gotten Lady Gaga's meat dress in 2010 if Madonna hadn't pushed the boundaries in 1984? (OK, it's Lady Gaga, so maybe.)
Krist Novoselic's Smashing Un-Success, 1992
When Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic's amp died during the band's 1992 VMA performance, he decided to perform a "sensational bass toss," instead of just strumming along until the end of the song like a normal person. This plan went terribly wrong when the bass came crashing down on Krist's head in a spectacular example of Epic Fail. If that wasn't embarrassing enough, Kurt Cobain then literally kicked Krist's butt as the bassist wondered off stage in a daze.
Britney Spears's Comeback Bomb, 2007
This isn't outrageous as much as just shockingly sad. After a disastrous year — in 2007, the former pop princess shaved her head, hit a car, and attacked a paparazzi van with an umbrella — Britney's performance of her single "Gimme More" at the 2007 VMAs was supposed to be a comeback. But all her sloppy, dazed dancing did was prove just how far the star had fallen.
Kanye West, Best VMA Moment of All Time? 2009
Taylor Swift won Best Female Video in 2009, but before she could make her speech, Kanye West grabbed the mic and gave this now infamous rant: "Yo Taylor. I’m really happy for you. Imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!” And with that, he completely stole Taylor's moment and spawned one of the best Internet memes of the last few years (though perhaps not of all time, just sayin').
Michael Jackson, Artist of the Millennium, 2002
In 2002, the VMAs happened to fall on Michael Jackson's birthday. Britney Spears was chosen to give the King of Pop an onstage birthday cake. During her introduction of the birthday boy, Brit said she thought of him as the "artist of the millennium," which Michael, clearly very confused, thought meant he had just won Artist of the Millennium, leading to what might be the most awkward acceptance speech in the history of award shows. To be fair, if such an award existed, Michael would be a strong contender, but, well, it doesn't. Oops.
Madonna Macks on Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, 2003
Pop megastars Britney Spears and Cristina Aguilera joined forces with the biggest goddess star of them all, Madonna, for a sensual performance of Madonna's hits "Like a Virgin" and "Hollywood." The sheer amount of sexy star power on stage would have made this a memorable performance no matter what, but when Madonna — dressed as a man — took a break from singing to kiss both Britney and Christina, we all knew the moment would go down in VMA history. It certainly made headlines!
Diana Ross Gets a Handful of Lil' Kim, 1999
In 1999, Lil' Kim came on stage to present the award for Best Hip-Hip Video with one breast entirely exposed, save for a little pastie over the nipple. Hey, it’s Lil' Kim, what do you expect? Well, we can tell you nobody expected R&B legend Diana Ross to jiggle Kim's boob in front of the entire world. It makes Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction seem tame.
Tim Commerford Rages Against the... Scaffolding? 2000
In 2000, Rage Against the Machine bassist (what is it with bassists?) Tim Commerford did what any completely crazy and/or drunk person would do when his band lost Best Rock Video to Limp Bizkit: He crashed their acceptance speech by climbing the on-stage scenery and chilling near the ceiling, staring down at the podium like a wild cat ready to pounce. Fortunately, he was smart enough to ignore that audience's chants of "jump," keeping this incident hilariously outrageous instead of just tragic.
Courtney Love Crashes Madonna's Post-Show Interview, 1995
This didn't actually happen during the show, but if you've seen the video of a totally trashed Courtney Love crashing Madonna's post-VMAs interview with Kurt Loder, you know it deserves a spot on this list. And if you haven't seen the video, you need to drop everything and go watch it, because words cannot capture the surreal beauty of Courtney Love squatting at Madonna's feet, comparing shoes and yelling about PETA.
Fionna Apple Makes a Statement, 1997
Instead of babbling about how blessed she was after winning Best New Artist, Fionna Apple used her speech time for some music industry real talk. "This world is bullsh*t," she explained, adding that the viewing audience "shouldn't model your life about what you think we think is cool... Go with yourself." Wow, right? Whether or not you agree with her message, it's definitely not what the Best New Artist normally says.