MTV's annual Video Music Awards air this Sunday and while a lot of the fun surrounds the crazy fashion and over-the-top musical performances, we're curious to see who wins the biggest award of the night.
This year, the competition is rather fierce. The 2014 nominees for Video of the Year are:
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – "Fancy"
Beyonce ft. JAY Z - "Drunk In Love"
Pharrell Williams - "Happy"
Sia - "Chandelier"
Miley Cyrus - "Wrecking Ball"
Beyonce and Eminem have already picked up wins for this category in the past, but the other competitors have the chance to join them and a list of 30 prior winners, including big names like Madonna, Britney Spears, and Green Day.
What better time than to now to go back at look at all these award-winner music videos? We thought we would even rank them from worst to best! Do you agree with our choices?
Check out our definitive ranking of all 30 MTV VMA Video of the Year Winners right here:
Gallery | MTV VMAs Video of the Year Winners: A Definitive Ranking
- 30. INXS, 'Need You Tonight' (1988)
It's a catchy song, yes, but this broody (kinda boring) video doesn't give us much more than mediocre dancing and bare chests.
- 29. Green Day, 'Boulevard Of Broken Dreams' (2005)
The world is probably divided into two types of people: pre "American Idiot" Green Day fans and post "American Idiot" Green Day fans.
- 28. Britney Spears, 'Piece Of Me' (2008)
The fabulous princess of pop who brought us videos for "Toxic," "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and "Slave 4 U" wins her first Video of the Year for this? It's a good jam and all, but we can't get behind this pity win.
- 27. Neil Young, 'This Note's For You' (1989)
We can't begin to imagine a song and video like this even being considered for the VMAs in the year 2014, even if Iggy Azalea had a rap verse about Snapchat on it.
- 26. Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, Pink, 'Lady Marmalade' (2001)
Female superstars of the early 2000s came together to give us this ubiquitous cover off the "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack. The video is like a fun time capsule dressed up in lipstick and garter belts. In all seriousness though, these ladies can sing.
- 25. Justin Timberlake, 'Mirrors' (2013)
Justin Timberlake brought his sexy (back) when he returned to the music scene in 2013 and the sleepy, albeit pretty, video for his hit "Mirrors" snagged that year's big VMA win. There are mirrors in the video, so points for consistency?
- 24. Katy Perry, 'Firework' (2011)
Katy Perry's lovely anthem for people who feel like plastic bags gave us an uplifting video that also happened to feature fireworks seemingly shooting out from the pop star's breasts.
- 23. Panic! At The Disco, 'I Write Sins Not Tragedies' (2006)
Panic! At the Disco is a super popular band to this day, but this seems like one of the more random artists on this entire countdown. It was a huge hit that year and you probably listened to it on the way to see "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" while checking your MySpace page.
- 22. Rihanna, 'Umbrella' (2007)
And now for the song that propelled Rihanna into superstardom and had us repeating "ella ella" every time we talked about a device used for shielding ourselves from the rain. Oh, you can't get it out of your head now?
- 21. Madonna, 'Ray Of Light' (1998)
Huh? Madonna didn't win a Music Video of the Year VMA until the one for her dizzying, pre-EDM track "Ray of Light"?
- 20. Eminem, 'Without Me' (2002)
Guess who's back? Back again? Eminem was, with more spoofy bits and dress-up shenanigans in 2002's "Without Me" video.
- 19. Aerosmith, 'Cryin' (1994)
World, meet Alicia Silverstone. In one year you'll be quoting her FOREVER.
- 18. Van Halen, 'Right Now' (1992)
Throughout this video, Van Halen continues to remind us what is going on RIGHT NOW. In 1992. For instance, "right now oysters are being robbed of their sole possession" and "right now it's nicer in Cabo." It was like UberFact tweets for the early '90s.
- 17. OutKast, 'Hey Ya!' (2004)
In 2004 your mom was all, "Hey Ya!" and so was your grandpa and probably your BFF too. Everyone loved this song and we guess the video wasn't too shabby.
- 16. Eminem, 'The Real Slim Shady' (2000)
Eminem made a huge impact on the music video world with his clip for "The Real Slim Shady" -- a pop-culture lampooning classic that crowned hip-hop's reigning class clown. Here he makes fun of of-the-moment topics like Pamela Anderson, Tom Green, Carson Daly, Fred Durst, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera, to name a few.
- 15. TLC, 'Waterfalls' (1996)
TLC's socially conscious mega-hit "Waterfalls" was one of 1996's biggest jams. OMG, they're morphing into water!
- 14. Don Henley, 'The Boys of Summer' (1985)
It could be that pounding drum beat, the moody Old Hollywood styling, or that lonely feel of summer's (and romance's) end, but whatever Don Henley is selling here, we're buying.
- 13. The Cars, 'You Might Think' (1984)
This is a surrealist, graphically-charged roller coaster ride where Ric Ocasek has a series of odd encounters with his model conquest, Susan Gallagher. It was the dawn of computer generated animation and should probably be studied by anthropologists in the future trying to grasp the tone of the 1980s.
- 12. Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris, 'We Found Love' (2012)
Rihanna's beautifully shot video for her dance hit "We Found Love" chronicles two attractive but tortured club kids' tumultuous drug-fueled romance.
- 11. Dire Straits, 'Money for Nothing' (1986)
"I want my MTV..." This song name checks the network all throughout, so it may have had a leg-up on the 1986 competition. It also has some kickass cutting edge graphics...
- 10. Lady Gaga, 'Bad Romance' (2010)
Lady Gaga has had some great videos in her day and while "Bad Romance" features her signature edgy artistry (and lots of latex), there are really fun dance moves too! The drama and emotion she brings in this particular clip is a visual delight without taking it to meat dress-level gimmick proportions.
- 9. R.E.M., 'Losing My Religion' (1991)
We're sure some visual studies or art therapy major somewhere has written a comprehensive analysis of the meaning of this video's art direction choices, but all we know for sure is Michael Stipe's hand dancing is unparalleled here and the whole thing made us cry when we were too young to understand why. Wait -- we still don't really understand. Who cares? Just feel.
- 8. Lauryn Hill, 'Doo-Wop (That Thing)' (1999)
This was the fantastic breakout pop hit from the incredible album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." The video was a decade-crossing block party to remember.
- 7. Beyoncé, 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)' (2009)
Imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. Or at least the top 7 in a list ranking the MTV VMAs Music Video of the Year winners?
- 6. Pearl Jam, 'Jeremy' (1993)
Wake up and smell the freshly brewed Seattle coffee, America. Pacific Northwest alt rockers "Pearl Jam" have arrived and they're singing about some very serious stuff.
- 5. Missy Elliott, 'Work It' (2003)
Ah, Missy Elliott, great auteur of the music video genre. We long for the days when we would wait for her MTV debuts. And this great even features the awesome dancing of little scene-stealer Alyson Stoner.
- 4. Jamiroquai, 'Virtual Insanity' (1997)
Fuzzy top hat aside, it's pretty undeniable -- this video was kinda cool at the time. The funky song about the perils of technology didn't quite stand the test of time, but the video certainly made a memorable mark.
- 3. The Smashing Pumpkins, 'Tonight, Tonight' (1996)
A tribute to Georges Méliès's old-timey silent film "A Trip to the Moon," this stunning video was the perfect accompaniment to one of The Smashing Pumpkins' most moving songs.
- 2. Peter Gabriel, 'Sledgehammer' (1987)
Perhaps one of the most talked-about music videos of all time, Peter Gabriel's groundbreaking stop motion and claymation masterpiece is still a delight to watch even if you're accustomed to the effects in "Avatar" and this is "like, so retro!"
- 1. Sinéad O'Connor, 'Nothing Compares 2U' (1990)
Less is more. Just ask Sinead O'Conner, whose beautiful, bald-ish head and black turtleneck are the focus of pretty much the only frame (there are some random shots of statues and stuff) in this glorious, heartbreaking video. 2014 nominee Miley Cyrus even got inspired by this classic concept for her "Wrecking Ball" video. And then they got in a feud. But whatever. Just watch!