1990 MTV Video Music Awards

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1990 MTV Video Music Awards
DateThursday, September 6, 1990
LocationUniversal Amphitheatre, Universal City, California, United States
CountryUnited States
Hosted byArsenio Hall
Most awardsMadonna and Sinéad O'Connor (3 each)
Most nominationsMadonna (9)
Television/radio coverage
Produced byDoug Herzog
Gregory Sills
Directed byBruce Gowers
← 1989 · MTV Video Music Awards · 1991 →

The 1990 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 6, 1990, honoring the best music videos from June 2, 1989, to June 1, 1990. The show was hosted by Arsenio Hall at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

This year saw the elimination of yet another one of the show's original categories, Best Stage Performance in a Video. This would turn out to be the last time an award from 1984 would be permanently eliminated (although Breakthrough Video was eliminated in 2006 and then brought back in 2009).

Janet Jackson was presented the Video Vanguard Award for her contributions and influence within music and popular culture. She also performed a controversial rendition of "Black Cat", considered "her first shocking public statement."[1] For the second year in a row, Madonna was one of the night's biggest winners, taking home three technical awards, while Sinéad O'Connor was the other most rewarded artist of 1990, also winning three Moonmen including Video of the Year. Meanwhile, most other winners that night took home two awards, including Aerosmith, Don Henley, The B-52s, Tears for Fears, and MC Hammer.

Regarding nominations, Madonna also had the distinction of being the most nominated artist of the night, as her video for "Vogue" received nine nominations, making it also the most nominated video of 1990. Closely following in nominations came Aerosmith, whose video for "Janie's Got a Gun" earned eight nominations that night and took home two awards, including Viewer's Choice.


MTV announced in late June that the 1990 Video Music Awards would be held on September 6 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, with Arsenio Hall returning as host.[2] Nominees were announced on July 10.[3] The ceremony marked the first time that MTV self-produced the awards show.[2] The ceremony was preceded by a 90-minute preshow.[4] Hosted by Downtown Julie Brown, Ed Lover, Doctor Dré, Ray Cokes, and Kurt Loder, the broadcast featured red carpet interviews, pre-taped features on the nominees, and interviews with Axl Rose and Jon Bon Jovi excerpted from Famous Last Words with Kurt Loder.


List of musical performances
Artist(s) Song(s) Ref.
Janet Jackson "Black Cat"
Mötley Crüe "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)"
MC Hammer "Let's Get It Started"
"U Can't Touch This"
INXS "Suicide Blonde"
Sinéad O'Connor "Nothing Compares 2 U"
New Edition
(featuring Bell Biv DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant)
"Poison" (Bell Biv DeVoe only)
"Tap Into My Heart" (Bobby Brown only)
"Rub You the Right Way" (Johnny Gill only)
"Sensitivity" (Ralph Tresvant only)
"If It Isn't Love"
"Mr. Telephone Man"
"Can You Stand the Rain"
Faith No More "Epic"
Phil Collins "Sussudio"
2 Live Crew "Banned in the U.S.A."
World Party "Put the Message in the Box"
Aerosmith "Love in an Elevator"
Madonna "Vogue"


Main show[edit]


  • Kurt Loder – introduced the winners of the professional categories

Winners and nominees[edit]

Winners are in bold text.

Video of the Year Best Male Video
Best Female Video Best Group Video
Best New Artist in a Video Best Metal/Hard Rock Video
Best Rap Video Best Dance Video
Best Post-Modern Video Best Video from a Film
Breakthrough Video Best Direction in a Video
Best Choreography in a Video Best Special Effects in a Video
Best Art Direction in a Video Best Editing in a Video
Best Cinematography in a Video Viewer's Choice
International Viewer's Choice: MTV Australia International Viewer's Choice: MTV Brasil
International Viewer's Choice: MTV Europe International Viewer's Choice: MTV Internacional
International Viewer's Choice: MTV Japan
Video Vanguard Award
Janet Jackson

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "7 Immortalized TV Memories of the '90s – Celebs.Answers.com". Answers.com. Archived from the original on 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
  2. ^ a b "Hall tapped". The Pittsburgh Press. June 25, 1990 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Madonna, Aerosmith top nominees for MTV awards". Tulare Advance-Register. Visalia, CA. Associated Press. July 11, 1990 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "TV This Week: Sept. 2-8, 1990". Statesman Journal. September 2, 1990 – via Newspapers.com.