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1989 MTV Video Music Awards


1989 MTV Video Music Awards

1989 MTV Video Music Awards
Date Wednesday, September 6, 1989
Location Universal Amphitheatre
Country USA
Host Arsenio Hall
Official website
Television/Radio coverage
Network MTV
1988 MTV Video Music Awards 1990 >

The 1989 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 6, 1989, honoring the best music videos from April 2, 1988, to June 1, 1989. The show was hosted by Arsenio Hall at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.[1]

This year's show featured the first major restructuring that was done to the Video Music Awards, as four new "genre" categories (Best Heavy Metal Video, Best Rap Video, Best Dance Video, and Best Post-Modern Video) were added alongside the International Viewer's Choice awards. Also, the award for Best Concept Video was retired this year, and the eligibility cutoff date was moved two months down from April to June, making this a 14-month eligibility year.

In terms of the awards themselves, meanwhile, Madonna and Paula Abdul were the night's biggest with four awards each, while rock group Living Colour was the second biggest winner, taking home three moonmen that night. On the other hand, Michael Jackson was the most nominated artist of 1989, receiving nine nominations for two of his videos: six for "Leave Me Alone" and three for "Smooth Criminal." Despite all the nominations, though, Jackson only took home one award for Best Special Effects.

The award for Video of the Year, meanwhile, went to Neil Young's controversial video for "This Note's for You," making this the first time since The Cars' win in 1984 that an act takes home the main award without winning any other one. Unlike The Cars, though, Young's video did not have any other nominations that night except for Viewer's Choice, which until 1994 had exactly the same nominees as Video of the Year. The Viewer's Choice award, however, went to another video that also stirred up controversy: Madonna's "Like a Prayer."

The ceremony is notable for comedian Andrew Dice Clay's stand-up routine that included adult versions of Mother Goose nursery rhymes, leading MTV executives to ban him from ever appearing on the network again.[2]

Def Leppard's performance of "Tear It Down" would be the last live appearance of guitarist Steve Clark before his death on Tuesday January 8, 1991.


Winners are in bold text.

Video of the Year

Neil Young — "This Note's for You"

Best Male Video

Elvis Costello — "Veronica"

Best Female Video

Paula Abdul — "Straight Up"

Best Group Video

Living Colour — "Cult of Personality"

Best New Artist in a Video

Living Colour — "Cult of Personality"

Best Heavy Metal Video

Guns N' Roses — "Sweet Child o' Mine"

Best Rap Video

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince — "Parents Just Don't Understand"

Best Dance Video

Paula Abdul — "Straight Up"

Best Post-Modern Video

R.E.M. — "Orange Crush"

Best Video from a Film

U2 with B. B. King — "When Love Comes to Town" (from Rattle and Hum)

Breakthrough Video

Art of Noise (featuring Tom Jones) — "Kiss"

Best Stage Performance in a Video

Living Colour — "Cult of Personality"

Best Direction in a Video

Madonna — "Express Yourself" (Director: David Fincher)

Best Choreography in a Video

Paula Abdul — "Straight Up" (Choreographer: Paula Abdul)

Best Special Effects in a Video

Michael Jackson — "Leave Me Alone" (Special Effects: Jim Blashfield)

Best Art Direction in a Video

Madonna — "Express Yourself" (Art Directors: Holgar Gross and Vance Lorenzini)

Best Editing in a Video

Paula Abdul — "Straight Up" (Editor: Jim Haygood)

Best Cinematography in a Video

Madonna — "Express Yourself" (Director of Photography: Mark Plummer)

Viewer's Choice

Madonna — "Like a Prayer"

International Viewer's Choice Awards

MTV Europe

Roxette — "The Look" [3]

MTV Internacional

Chayanne — "Este Ritmo Se Baila Así"

MTV Japan

Kome Kome Club — "Kome Kome War"

Video Vanguard Award

George Michael




  1. ^ [1] Past VMAs - 1989. Retrieved October 12, 2007
  2. ^ [2] The 2010 VMA Countdown: Andrew Dice Clay Earns Himself A Lifetime Ban. Retrieved August 6, 2011
  3. ^ "YouTube - komekome『MTV Video Music Awards』". Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
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