2008 MTV Video Music Awards

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2008 MTV Video Music Awards
DateSunday, September 7, 2008
LocationParamount Pictures Studios (Los Angeles, California)
CountryUnited States
Hosted byRussell Brand
Most awardsBritney Spears (3)
Most nominationsThe Pussycat Dolls (6)
Websitehttp://www.mtv.com/ontv/vma/past-vmas/2008/ Edit this on Wikidata
Television/radio coverage
Produced byJesse Ignjatovic
Dave Sirulnick
Directed byJoe DeMaio
← 2007 · MTV Video Music Awards · 2009 →

The 2008 MTV Video Music Awards took place on September 7, 2008, live from Paramount Pictures Studios (which, like MTV, is owned by Viacom), honoring the best music videos from the previous year. Nominations for a majority of the categories were announced on the MTV program FNMTV after being selected through viewer online voting at MTV.com. The remaining, professional categories were chosen by a panel of music industry professionals and announced via press release on August 27.[1] When the nomination process was first announced, it mentioned a previously-unheard professional category named "Best Story;"[2] however, this award did not come to fruition when the list of professional nominees was revealed the following month.

Unlike previous editions of the show, MTV announced the winners to the professional categories three days before the ceremony (September 4) via a press release, rather than on the pre-show or main show.[3] The rest of the winners were announced during the ceremony. Comedian Russell Brand hosted the event.[4]

This year's awards were a huge improvement ratings-wise, seeing a 19% rise on last year with 8.4 million viewers. It was also a 23% advance over the 5.76 million who saw the 2006 ceremony. Although ratings improved, this year's video music awards was hosted at its smallest venue of its 25-year history. Britney Spears became the main winner of the night, walking away with her first three Moonmen: Video of the Year, Best Female Video, and Best Pop Video all for "Piece of Me".

The Pussycat Dolls received the most nominations (6), followed by Chris Brown and Katy Perry (5).


Winners are in bold text.

Video of the Year[edit]

Britney Spears – "Piece of Me"[5]

Best Male Video[edit]

Chris Brown – "With You"

Best Female Video[edit]

Britney Spears – "Piece of Me"

Best New Artist[edit]

Tokio Hotel – "Ready, Set, Go!"

Best Pop Video[edit]

Britney Spears – "Piece of Me"

Best Rock Video[edit]

Linkin Park – "Shadow of the Day"

Best Hip-Hop Video[edit]

Lil Wayne (featuring Static Major) – "Lollipop"

Best Dancing in a Video[edit]

The Pussycat Dolls – "When I Grow Up"

Best Direction[edit]

Erykah Badu – "Honey" (Directors: Erykah Badu and Mr. Roboto)

Best Choreography[edit]

Gnarls Barkley – "Run" (Choreographer: Michael Rooney)

Best Special Effects[edit]

Kanye West (featuring T-Pain) – "Good Life" (Special Effects: SoMe, Jonas & François)

Best Art Direction[edit]

Gnarls Barkley – "Run" (Art Directors: Happy Massee and Kells Jesse)

Best Editing[edit]

Death Cab for Cutie – "I Will Possess Your Heart" (Editors: Aaron Stewart-Ahn and Jeff Buchanan)

Best Cinematography[edit]

The White Stripes – "Conquest" (Director of Photography: Wyatt Troll)

Best UK Video[edit]

The Ting Tings – "Shut Up and Let Me Go" [6]



  • Dance-off: Fanny Pak vs. Kaba Modern (winner, as chosen by the audience via online voting, got $25,000 for charity and the opportunity of presenting the award for Best Dancing in a Video during the main show)[8]

Main stage[edit]

Back lot (off stage)[edit]

DJ AM and Travis Barker performances[edit]

DJ AM and Travis Barker performed small interludes consisting of remixes of past hits throughout the show, as well as teaming up with Katy Perry, The Ting Tings and Lupe Fiasco to perform their own singles and MTV classics from the past 25 years.


DJ AM and Travis Barker also played remixes of the following songs in the lead-up to or return from commercial breaks.



One of host Brand's jokes during the night centered around purity rings, specifically those worn by the Jonas Brothers. Jordin Sparks, who also wears a purity ring, began her introduction of T.I. and Rihanna by saying, "It's not bad to wear a promise ring because not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut." Sparks was criticized for implying that those who do not wear purity rings or do not abstain are promiscuous.[9]

Brand later described the experience, and aftermath, during his 2009 comedy special 'Scandalous - Live At The O2'.


In repeat airings all references to John McCain and George W. Bush were removed from Russell Brand's opening monologue.[citation needed]


Several Promos were made that featured host Russell Brand and MTV regulars Britney Spears, Pete Wentz, and LL Cool J. Britney Spears' promos were given a lot of attention. The promos featured Spears and Brand in a Paramount lot ad-libbing while an elephant was positioned in the background, reference to "the elephant in the room", rumored to be her criticized 2007 VMA performance, which they refrained from discussing in the commercials.[10][11]

There was also a promotion that appeared on Nickelodeon, featuring the cast of iCarly.

During the program, the MTV networks VH1, MTV Hits, and MTV Jams did not air their usual programming at all, instead displaying full-screen cards guiding viewers to watch the ceremony on MTV, with VH1 using a rotating "billboard" of sponsors to promote 'sneak peeks' of the live ceremony which appeared in the top-left corner with false crowd noise in the background. During the VMA commercial breaks, VH1 also carried regular advertising.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Harris, Chris (27 August 2008). "Kanye West, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Katy Perry Videos Pick Up More VMA Nominations". MTV. MTV News. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  2. ^ Anitai, Tamar (18 July 2008). "2008 VMA Nominees -- Vote or Die!". MTV. MTV News. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  3. ^ "Kanye West, Gnarls Barkley, White Stripes Clips Pick Up VMAs In 2008 'Professional Categories'". MTV News. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  4. ^ "VMA 2008 - MTV Video Music Awards - MTV". MTV. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  5. ^ "MTV VMAs find few surprises as Britney steals show". Associated Press. September 8, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2020 – via CTV News.
  6. ^ Channel MTV UK
  7. ^ Channel MTV UK Best Video Award
  8. ^ Chudnofsky, Lisa (2008-09-04). "Kaba Modern and Fanny Pak Prepare For The Fight of Their Lives". MTV News. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  9. ^ News.com Entertainment
  10. ^ "Breaking Celeb News, Entertainment News, and Celebrity Gossip". E! Online. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  11. ^ Hollywood Britney spears with Russell Brand

External links[edit]