The Best-Ever Video Music Awards Diva Moments (PHOTOS)

We’ve compiled the best-ever VMA diva moments because WHAT ELSE have our lives been leading to?!

Every year around this time, divas the nation — nay, the world — over descend on the VMAs for one reason: to make us GAAAAAAAAG. And this year’s VMAs (Sunday, Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. ET) should be no different. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus are slated to perform, and who knows? Queens like Britney Spears, Beyoncé, and Rihanna could always drop some TBA album bombshells. WE JUST WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS ALREADY. So, to distract ourselves, let’s take a look back at The Best-Ever VMA Diva Moments of all time.

Diva methods differ amongst queens. Remember when Adele sang a stirring rendition of “Someone Like You” in 2011? Or what about when RuPaul told Milton Berle who the H.B.I.C. behind the podium was? And Britney Spears circa 2008, clad in a shimmering silver dress and her arms full o’ Moonmen? That girl shouted her diva victory without saying a word. The Diva Moment means may change, but the end is always the same. You pay attention.

Well, you heard the lady.

Now, don’t just stand there. Let’s get to it, and dive face-first into the best-ever Video Music Awards diva moments of all time!!!!

1.) MADONNA BRINGS MUSIC VIDEOS TO LIFE, 1990: With her elaborate Louis XVI furnishings and Marie Antoinette get-up, Madonna broke the mold of what a live performance was supposed to be with her VMA performance of “Vogue,” bringing a high-concept, exquisitely choreographed world of her music videos to life, in a way that’s still influencing live pop music performances to this day.

2.) DEMI LOVATO + SELENA GOMEZ ARE ALL GROWN UP, 2011: Dressed to the nines, Demi-Goddess and Slay-ena proved that they were Disney kids no more, and divas forevaaaa.

3.) “COURTNEY LOVE IS IN DIRE NEED OF ATTENTION RIGHT NOW,” 1995: Though Madonna meant those words negatively, we’re gonna view ’em as a positive. The Hole frontwoman understands that sometimes you’ve gotta interrupt Kurt Loder’s MTV News interview by hurling your MAC compact at Madonna’s head, and you’ve gotta do it NOW.

4.) BEYONCE’S BABY BUMP REVEAL, 2011: Repeating the fertile Earth goddess pose she’d struck earlier on the red carpet, Beyoncé confirmed that she was indeed pregnant at the end of her performing “Love On Top.” The world rejoiced, even Farrah Franklin.

5.) BEYONCE SHARES THE SPOTLIGHT WITH TAYLOR SWIFT, 2009: Two years prior, Beyoncé pulled one of the most unexpected diva moves of all: making everything about someone else. In an effort to smooth things over post-Kanye, Bey handed her Video Of The Year acceptance speech over to Taylor Swift, whose would-be #DivaMoment had been previously interrupted that night.

+ PHOTOS: Check out THE BEST-EVER VMA DIVA MOMENTS., plus more flawless moments after the jump.

6.) RIHANNA’S ROYAL ENTRANCE, 2012: …Presented without comment.

7.) DIANA ROSS + LIL’ KIM’S SECRET HANDSHAKE, 1999: Lil’ Kim, being Lil’ Kim, wore a mermaid-inspired full-breast cutout catsuit. Diana Ross, being Diana Ross, gave Kim a friendly “Hello, there!” under-boob pat-pat. Mary J. Blige, being Mary J. Blige, stared awkwardly ahead because #NoMoreDrama. And so it is? And so it is.

8.) LADY GAGA TEASES “BORN THIS WAY” NEXT TO CHER, 2010: SHNAP OUT OF IT! Not only did Cher (!) present the night’s top honor wearing her iconic “If I Could Turn Back Time” outfit, but the meat-clad singer channeled her inner Jenna Maroney and debuted a snippet of “Born This Way” a cappella.

9.) BRITNEY SPEARS + CHRISTINA AGUILERA SIDE-BY-SIDE, 2000: Whether or not their feud was merely the work of a bored tabloid media, when Britney and Christina symbolically buried the hatching by presenting Whitney Houston together — BOOM — we all felt it.

10.) WHITNEY HOUSTON’S ULTIMATE DIVA POWER MOVE, 2000: Oh, and why did they present Whitney? SO THAT SHE COULD THEN PRESENT VIDEO OF THE YEAR. In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that Ms. Houston was like, “Sure, I’ll present the Moonman, but only if you get two warring pop divas to settle their feud, introduce me without saying my name, and let me sing a 12-second-held “And IIIIIIIIIIIII-EEE-IIIIIII” before finally appearing onstage.” Prove that she didn’t.

R.I.P. the original diva!


Cast your vote NOW for this year’s Video Music Award winners from the 2013 VMA Nominees. The 2013 Video Music Awards air Aug. 25 on MTV and, live from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. No sleep till Brooklyn!

Photo credit: Getty Images / GIFs:,

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