1993 MTV Video Music Awards

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1993 MTV Video Music Awards
DateThursday, September 2, 1993
LocationUniversal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, California
CountryUnited States
Hosted byChristian Slater
Most awardsPearl Jam (4)
Most nominationsEn Vogue (9)
Television/radio coverage
Produced byDoug Herzog
Judy McGrath
Directed byDavid Grossman
← 1992 · MTV Video Music Awards · 1994 →

The 1993 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 2, 1993, honoring the best music videos from June 16, 1992, to June 15, 1993. The show was hosted by Christian Slater at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. This would be Kurt Cobain's final VMA appearance.

This year marked the introduction of yet another new category with the addition of Best R&B Video ballot. However, this would be the first time that a new award was added to the list of genre categories, a move that was mainly propelled by the success and popularity of MTV Jams.

The night's biggest winner was Pearl Jam, whose video for "Jeremy" earned four awards that night, including Video of the Year. Closely following were En Vogue with three Moonmen and Madonna and Peter Gabriel with two awards apiece. All other winners took one award each.

Meanwhile, in terms of nominations R&B group En Vogue and their video for "Free Your Mind" were the most nominated act and video (respectively) that night, receiving a total of eight nominations. The second most nominated artists of the night were Peter Gabriel, Aerosmith, and R.E.M., who received six nominations each. Gabriel split his six nominations evenly between his videos for "Digging in the Dirt" and "Steam," while all of R.E.M.'s nominations went to their video for "Man on the Moon." Lastly, Aerosmith, the winners of the Viewer's Choice award, received six nominations for their clip "Livin' on the Edge."

The show was also infamous for the on-stage pairing of drag queen RuPaul and comedian and TV legend Milton Berle. It was obvious from the beginning that the pair did not get along, and they traded harsh verbal barbs throughout their time on-stage. They reportedly continued their verbal sparring match backstage, with RuPaul commenting to Berle at one point, "You used to wear dresses, now you wear diapers!" RuPaul even claimed that Berle touched him inappropriately, and the entire event subsequently forced RuPaul to end what was, up until that point, a very prosperous professional relationship with MTV.[1]


MTV announced in late June that the 1993 Video Music Awards would be held on September 2 at the Universal Amphitheatre.[2] MTV cited complaints from members of the music industry concerning staging, traffic problems, and overcrowding during the 1992 ceremony as reasons for not returning to the Pauley Pavilion.[2][3] Nominees were announced at a press conference held on July 21.[4] Christian Slater was announced as host on the same day.[4] Over 25 television programs contributed to the nominations packages, which were inspired by U2's Zoo TV Tour, including Roseanne, Jeopardy!, and Murder, She Wrote.[5] The venue was modified to permit scenery and set changes for performers including doubling the width of the proscenium and replacing the back wall with a video projection screen.[5] Producer Joel Gallen noted that the ceremony would "definitely have more of a sense of humor than past shows."[5] The ceremony broadcast was preceded by the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards Opening Act. Hosted by Kurt Loder and Tabitha Soren with reports from Cindy Crawford, John Norris, and Alison Stewart, the broadcast featured red carpet interviews, pre-taped interviews with Mariah Carey and Soul Asylum, and pre-taped features on a day with Lenny Kravitz and the Video of the Year nominees.


List of musical performances in order of appearance
Artist(s) Song(s) Ref.
Madonna "Bye Bye Baby"
Lenny Kravitz (with John Paul Jones) "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
Sting "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You"
Soul Asylum, Peter Buck and Victoria Williams "Runaway Train"
Aerosmith "Livin' on the Edge"
Naughty By Nature "Hip Hop Hooray"
R.E.M. "Everybody Hurts"
Spin Doctors "Two Princes"
Pearl Jam "Animal"
"Rockin' in the Free World" (with Neil Young)
The Edge "Numb"
Janet Jackson "That's the Way Love Goes"


Winners and nominations[edit]

Nominees were selected by approximately 200 individuals representing record labels, music journalism, music video production, radio, and film studios.[7] Winners in all categories, except for the Viewer's Choice awards, were selected by over 700 members of the music industry.[7]

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 R&B Video Best Rap Video
Best Dance Video Best Alternative 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 Asia
  • Indus Creed – "Pretty Child"
    • Beyond – "The Great Wall"
    • Jerry Huang – "The Love March"
    • Mai – "Sia-Jai-Dai-Yin-Mai"
    • Tang Dynasty – "A Dream Return to Tang Dynasty"
International Viewer's Choice: MTV Brasil International Viewer's Choice: MTV Europe
International Viewer's Choice: MTV Internacional



  1. ^ "RuPaul and Milton Berle dress each other down".
  2. ^ a b "MTV Video Music Awards return to amphitheatre". Montgomery Advertiser. The Hollywood Reporter. July 1, 1993 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Cerone, Daniel (September 2, 1993). "Bash Puts the Rock in Raucous". The Los Angeles Times – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ a b "En Vogue snags 7 MTV nominations". Enterprise-Journal. McComb, Mississippi. Associated Press. July 22, 1993 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ a b c Cerone, Daniel (September 2, 1993). "AWARDS: Show Moves Back to Universal Venue". The Los Angeles Times – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Heather DeLoach Knows She Will Forever Be Known as the "Bee Girl"". Distractify. October 15, 2020. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "En Vogue, R.E.M. top MTV video nominee list". Lincoln Journal Star. July 22, 1993 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ Sandler, Adam (July 22, 1993). "MTV vid awards come into Vogue – Entertainment News, Music News, Media – Variety". Archived from the original on August 11, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2009.

External links[edit]