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Katy Perry said it best when she compared Kanye West's 2009 antics to stepping on a kitten. To recap: West famously ran up on stage, snatched the microphone from a shocked Taylor Swift, who'd just beat out Beyoncé for best female video, and took over the speech. "I'm really happy for you, I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time," he declared as the speechless audience looked on.
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It was good while it lasted! Fans went wild when the original members of Van Halen walked the VMA stage to present an award in 1996, appearing together for the first time in more than 11 years. Unfortunately, the reunion was short-lived: the group nearly came to blows (over a hip-replacement joke, no less) backstage, ending the reunion before the night was over.
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Miley Cyrus shocked viewers by stripping down to a nude bikini top and briefs and grinding, twerking and thrusting on fellow (married) performer Robin Thicke at the 2013 show in one of the raciest performances in MTV history. "Madonna's done it. Britney's done it. Every VMA performance ... that's what you're looking for; you're wanting to make history," the starlet said afterward. Uh, mission accomplished?
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In a moment that was just so uncomfortable, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and his new bride, Lisa Marie Presley (only child of rock 'n' roll king Elvis Presley) attempted to prove to the entire world how "real" their marriage was by making out on stage (which always works) at the 1994 awards show. "Just think, nobody thought this would last," Jackson said before initiating the most awkward kiss ever. Not surprisingly, two years later the couple called it quits.
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Was it something we said? Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher went on one of his bad-boy tirades during a performance at the 1996 show by swearing, wandering the stage and making lewd gestures during his brother Noel's guitar solo. He finished the song by tossing a beer on the stage and storming off. Classy.
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While accepting her best new artist award in 1997, Fiona Apple decided to scrap the typical thank-you speech and use the opportunity to share her deep thoughts on life. "This world is bullshit," she said. "You shouldn't model your life about what you think that we think is cool or what we're wearing or what we're saying. Go with yourself." Truer words have never been spoken.
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Let them eat cake! Madonna took costuming to a whole other lavish level for her 1990 performance of dressing up in extravagant royal garb that included an enormous wig, pearls, a pannier, a plunging neckline, a corset, fan and over-the-top set with gilded decor. After all, nothing is fancier than channeling Marie Antoinette!
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There has never been a smile so big! After rocking out on stage to her song "Love on Top" at the 2011 show, Beyoncé unbuttoned her sparkly jacket and put her baby bump on display, signaling to the audience that, yes, she was indeed pregnant. Jay Z beamed from the front row, Kanye was pumped – it was a joyous occasion for all. If only people had paid more attention to how she introduced the song: "I want you to stand up on your feet," she said. "I want you to feel the love that's growing inside me." Ah, like a baby!
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