FANDOM


1989-mtv-vma-logo

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, California.

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 that year and the eligibility cutoff date was moved two months down from April to June, making this a 14-month eligibility year.

Notable NominationsEdit

Meanwhile, in terms of the awards themselves, 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."

Meanwhile, the award for "Video of the Year" 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").

However, the Viewer's Choice award went to another video that also stirred up controversy: Madonna's "Like a Prayer."

Memorable MomentsEdit

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.

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

NominationsEdit

(Note: Winners are in bold text.)

Video of the YearEdit

Neil Young – "This Note's for You"

Nominees

  • Fine Young Cannibals – "She Drives Me Crazy"
  • Michael Jackson – "Leave Me Alone"
  • Madonna – "Like a Prayer"
  • Steve Winwood – "Roll with It"

Best Male VideoEdit

Elvis Costello – "Veronica"

Nominees

  • Bobby Brown – "Every Little Step"
  • Lou Reed – "Dirty Blvd."
  • Steve Winwood – "Roll with It"

Best Female VideoEdit

Paula Abdul – "Straight Up"

Nominees

  • Tracy Chapman – "Fast Car"
  • Madonna – "Express Yourself"
  • Tanita Tikaram – "Twist in My Sobriety"
  • Jody Watley – "Real Love"

Best Group VideoEdit

Living Colour – "Cult of Personality"

Nominees

  • Fine Young Cannibals – "She Drives Me Crazy"
  • Guns N' Roses – "Sweet Child o' Mine"
  • Traveling Wilburys – "Handle with Care"

Best New Artist in a VideoEdit

Living Colour – "Cult of Personality"

Nominees

  • Paula Abdul – "Straight Up"
  • Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – "What I Am"
  • Neneh Cherry – "Buffalo Stance"

Best Heavy Metal VideoEdit

Guns N' Roses – "Sweet Child o' Mine"

Nominees

  • Aerosmith – "Rag Doll"
  • Def Leppard – "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
  • Metallica – "One"

Best Rap VideoEdit

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

Nominees

  • Ice-T – "Colors"
  • Kool Moe Dee – "How Ya Like Me Now"
  • MC Hammer – "Turn This Mutha Out"
  • Tone Lōc – "Wild Thing"

Best Dance VideoEdit

Paula Abdul – "Straight Up"

Nominees

  • Bobby Brown – "Every Little Step"
  • Michael Jackson – "Smooth Criminal"
  • Jody Watley – "Real Love"

Best Post-Modern VideoEdit

R.E.M. – "Orange Crush"

Nominees

  • The Cure – "Fascination Street"
  • The Escape Club – "Wild, Wild West"
  • Love and Rockets – "So Alive"
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees – "Peek-a-Boo"

Best Video from a FilmEdit

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

Nominees

  • The Belle Stars – "Iko Iko" (from "Rain Man")
  • Ice-T – "Colors" (from "Colors")
  • Annie Lennox and Al Green – "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" (from "Scrooged")

Breakthrough VideoEdit

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

Nominees

  • Paula Abdul – "Straight Up"
  • Elvis Costello – "Veronica"
  • The Escape Club – "Wild, Wild West"
  • Fine Young Cannibals – "She Drives Me Crazy"
  • Michael Jackson – "Leave Me Alone"
  • Jody Watley – "Real Love"

Best Stage Performance in a VideoEdit

Living Colour – "Cult of Personality"

Nominees

  • Bobby Brown – "My Prerogative"
  • Def Leppard – "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
  • Guns N' Roses – "Paradise City"

Best Direction in a VideoEdit

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

Nominees

  • DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – "Parents Just Don't Understand" (Director: Scott Kalvert)
  • Van Halen – "Finish What Ya Started" (Director: Andy Morahan)
  • Jody Watley – "Real Love" (Director: David Fincher)
  • Steve Winwood – "Roll with It" (Director: David Fincher)

Best Choreography in a VideoEdit

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

Nominees

  • Bobby Brown – "Every Little Step" (Choreographer: Bobby Brown)
  • Michael Jackson – "Smooth Criminal" (Choreographers: Michael Jackson and Vincent Paterson)
  • New Kids on the Block – "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" (Choreographer: Tyrone Procter)

Best Special Effects in a VideoEdit

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

Nominees

  • Adrian Belew – "Oh Daddy" (Special Effects: Joey Ahlbum)
  • The Escape Club – "Wild, Wild West" (Special Effects: Nicholas Brandt and Bridget Blake-Wilson)
  • Prince – "I Wish U Heaven" (Special Effects: Maury Rosenfeld and Fred Raimondi)

Best Art Direction in a VideoEdit

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

Nominees

  • DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – "Parents Just Don't Understand" (Art Director: Greg Harrison)
  • Debbie Gibson – "Electric Youth" (Art Director: Rhaz Zeizler)
  • INXS – "New Sensation" (Art Director: Lynn-Maree Milburn)
  • Michael Jackson – "Leave Me Alone" (Art Director: Jim Blashfield)
  • Jody Watley – "Real Love" (Art Director: Piers Plowden)

Best Editing in a VideoEdit

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

Nominees

  • Michael Jackson – "Leave Me Alone" (Editor: Paul Diener)
  • Madonna – "Express Yourself" (Editor: Scott Chestnut)
  • Jody Watley – "Real Love" (Editor: Scott Chestnut)
  • Steve Winwood – "Roll with It" (Editor: Scott Chestnut)

Best Cinematography in a VideoEdit

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

Nominees

  • Michael Jackson – "Smooth Criminal" (Director of Photography: John Hora)
  • Tanita Tikaram – "Twist in My Sobriety" (Director of Photography: Jeff Darling)
  • Steve Winwood – "Roll with It" (Director of Photography: Mark Plummer)

Viewer's ChoiceEdit

Madonna – "Like a Prayer"

Nominees

  • Fine Young Cannibals – "She Drives Me Crazy"
  • Michael Jackson – "Leave Me Alone"
  • Steve Winwood – "Roll with It"
  • Neil Young – "This Note's for You"

International Viewer's Choice AwardsEdit

MTV EuropeEdit

Roxette – "The Look"

Nominees

  • Front 242 – "Headhunter"
  • The Jeremy Days – "Brand New Toy"
  • Niagara – "Soleil d'Hiver"
  • Rainbirds – "Sea of Time"
  • Vaya con Dios – "Don't Cry for Louie"

MTV InternacionalEdit

Chayanne – "Este Ritmo Se Baila Así"

Nominees

  • Emmanuel – "La Última Luna"
  • Gipsy Kings – "Djobi Djoba"
  • Miguel Mateos–ZAS – "Y, sin Pensar"
  • Fito Páez – "Sólo los Chicos"

MTV JapanEdit

Kome Kome Club – "Kome Kome War"

Nominees

  • Kyosuke Himuro – "Angel"
  • Toshinobu Kubota – "Indigo Waltz"
  • Unicorn – "Daimeiwaku"

Video Vanguard AwardEdit

George Michael

PerformancesEdit

  • Madonna – "Express Yourself"
  • Bobby Brown – "On Our Own"
  • Def Leppard – "Tear It Down"
  • Tone-Loc – "Wild Thing"
  • The Cult – "Fire Woman"
  • Paula Abdul – "Straight Up"/"Cold Hearted"/"Forever Your Girl"
  • Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora – "Livin' on a Prayer"/"Wanted Dead or Alive"
  • The Cure – "Just Like Heaven"
  • Cher – "If I Could Turn Back Time"
  • The Rolling Stones – "Mixed Emotions"
  • Axl Rose and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – "Free Fallin'"/"Heartbreak Hotel"

AppearancesEdit

  • Christina Applegate and Alice Cooper – presented Best Group Video
  • Mick Jagger – presented the Best Group Video Moonman to Living Colour during their acceptance segment via satellite from Three Rivers Stadium
  • Corbin Bernsen and Downtown Julie Brown – presented Best Dance Video
  • Kevin Seal – appeared in a couple of pre-commercial segments telling viewers what was 'coming up' on the show
  • Richard Lewis – performed a brief stand-up routine and introduced Def Leppard
  • Jasmine Guy and "Weird" Al Yankovic – presented Best Video from a Film
  • Fab Five Freddy – appeared in a pre-commercial segment telling viewers what was 'coming up' on the show
  • Julie Brown – appeared in a series of taped vignettes before some commercial breaks
  • Mötley Crüe – presented Best Heavy Metal Video
  • Adam Curry – appeared in a couple of pre-commercial segments telling viewers what was 'coming up' on the show
  • Jody Watley and Lou Diamond Phillips – presented Best Choreography in a Video and Best Stage Performance in a Video
  • Robert Townsend – introduced the International Viewer's Choice Award winners
  • VJs Daisy Fuentes (Internacional), Sayo Morita (Japan) and Maiken Wexø (Europe) – announced their respective region's Viewer's Choice winner
  • Ray Cokes – briefly introduced international winners Chayanne and Kome Kome Club before a commercial break and told viewers what was 'coming up' on the show
  • James Woods – presented Best Direction in a Video
  • Ione Skye and Christian Slater – presented Best New Artist in a Video
  • Madonna – presented the Video Vanguard Award
  • Neneh Cherry and Fab Five Freddy – presented Best Rap Video
  • Arsenio Hall (host) – introduced the winners of the professional categories and announced the winners of Breakthrough Video and Best Post-Modern Video
  • Daisy Fuentes – appeared in a pre-commercial segment telling viewer's what was 'coming up' on the show
  • Andrew Dice Clay – performed a brief stand-up routine and introduced Cher
  • Ken Ober and Colin Quinn – presented Viewer's Choice and appeared in segments about Viewer's Choice voting procedures throughout the show
  • Julie Brown and Richard Marx – presented Best Male Video and Best Female Video
  • Michael Hutchence – presented Video of the Year

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.