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The 1990 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 6, 1990, honoring the best music videos from June 2, 1989, to June 1, 1990. The show was hosted by Arsenio Hall at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

1990 MTV Video Music Awards
DateThursday, September 6, 1990
LocationUniversal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles
CountryUnited States
Hosted byArsenio Hall
Television/radio coverage

This year saw the elimination of yet another one of the show's original categories, Best Stage Performance in a Video. This would turn out to be the last time an award from 1984 would be permanently eliminated (although Breakthrough Video was eliminated in 2006 and then brought back in 2009).

Janet Jackson was presented the Video Vanguard Award for her contributions and influence within music and popular culture. She also performed a controversial rendition of "Black Cat", considered "her first shocking public statement."[1] For the second year in a row, Madonna was one of the night's biggest winners, taking home three technical awards, while Sinéad O'Connor was the other most rewarded artist of 1990, also winning three Moonmen including Video of the Year. Meanwhile, most other winners that night took home two awards, including Aerosmith, Don Henley, The B-52s, Tears for Fears, and MC Hammer.

Regarding nominations, Madonna also had the distinction of being the most nominated artist of the night, as her video for "Vogue" received nine nominations, making it also the most nominated video of 1990. Closely following in nominations came Aerosmith, whose video for "Janie's Got a Gun" earned eight nominations that night and took home two awards, including Viewer's Choice.



Winners are in bold text.

Video of the YearEdit

Sinéad O'Connor – "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Best Male VideoEdit

Don Henley – "The End of the Innocence"

Best Female VideoEdit

Sinéad O'Connor – "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Best Group VideoEdit

The B-52s – "Love Shack"

Best New Artist in a VideoEdit

Michael Penn – "No Myth"

Best Metal/Hard Rock VideoEdit

Aerosmith – "Janie's Got a Gun"

Best Rap VideoEdit

MC Hammer – "U Can't Touch This"

Best Dance VideoEdit

MC Hammer – "U Can't Touch This"

Best Post-Modern VideoEdit

Sinéad O'Connor – "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Best Video from a FilmEdit

Billy Idol – "Cradle of Love" (from The Adventures of Ford Fairlane)

Breakthrough VideoEdit

Tears for Fears – "Sowing the Seeds of Love"

Best Direction in a VideoEdit

Madonna – "Vogue" (Director: David Fincher)

Best Choreography in a VideoEdit

Janet Jackson – "Rhythm Nation" (Choreographers: Janet Jackson and Anthony Thomas)

Best Special Effects in a VideoEdit

Tears for Fears – "Sowing the Seeds of Love" (Special Effects: Jim Blashfield)

Best Art Direction in a VideoEdit

The B-52s – "Love Shack" (Art Director: Martin Lasowitz)

Best Editing in a VideoEdit

Madonna – "Vogue" (Editor: Jim Haygood)

Best Cinematography in a VideoEdit

Madonna – "Vogue" (Director of Photography: Pascal Lebègue)

Viewer's ChoiceEdit

Aerosmith – "Janie's Got a Gun"

International Viewer's Choice AwardsEdit

MTV AustraliaEdit

Midnight Oil – "Blue Sky Mine"

MTV BrasilEdit

Titãs – "Flores"

MTV EuropeEdit

The Creeps – "Ooh I Like It"

MTV InternacionalEdit

Gloria Estefan – "Oye Mi Canto"

MTV JapanEdit

Kome Kome Club – "Funk Fujiyama"

Video Vanguard AwardEdit

Janet Jackson



Main showEdit


  • Kurt Loder – introduced the winners of the professional categories

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "7 Immortalized TV Memories of the '90s –". Archived from the original on 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2014-04-20.