1985 Video Music Awards
Host: Eddie Murphy
Venue: Radio City Music Hall
City: New York City, NY
Date: September 13, 1985
Video of the Year: Don Henley "The Boys of Summer"
1985 Video Music Awards
While significant in their own right, none of the aforementioned events resonated culturally like the second MTV Video Music Awards. Some may say there's a bit of bias in this statement, but we at MTV stand by our guns on this one. The evidence:
Producers decided to up the ante for the second VMA ceremony, bring on meteorically rising star Eddie Murphy to helm the proceedings. Consider this: already a breakout Saturday Night Live player, Eddie was coming off an explosively funny HBO comedy special (Delirious), and a string of successful films (48 Hrs., Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop). Following a turn as presenter at the first VMAs, getting him to host the soiree was indeed a big score.
And host he did. Murphy provided some of the most memorable MTV Video Music Awards host moments of all time. Whether he was taking a stroll through the ladies room or searching the streets of New York for a co-host, Eddie was over-the-top hysterical and set the standard for what a VMA host should be.
As for the Moonmen, Don Henley proved that he didn't need a flock of fowl behind him to rock, taking home four statuettes, including Video of the Year, for his hit "The Boys of Summer." Tina Turner built on her 1984 VMA performance of "What's Love Got To Do With It" by walking away with the Best Female Video award for that very song.
The Bob Geldof-organized famine relief concert Live Aid, held just a few months prior, brought a Special Recognition Award that inspired presenter Joan Baez to force the crowd into what many consider to be the first recorded instance of the dreaded "awkward standing ovation." Keeping with the philanthropic theme of the times, USA for Africa's instant-classic "We Are the World" won Best Group Video (and with everyone from Michael Jackson and Tina Turner to Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, it was some group), as well as the Viewer's Choice Moonman.
Truly, it was a year to remember.
1985 VMA Winners
Video of the Year
Best Male Video
Best Female Video
Best Group Video
Best New Artist
Best Concept Video
Best Stage Performance
Best Overall Performance
Most Experimental Video
Best Special Effects
Best Art Direction
1985 VMA Performances
Eurythmics "Would I Lie To You?"
Tears for Fears "Shout"
John "Cougar" Mellencamp "Lonely Ol' Night"
Pat Benatar "Seven Rooms of Gloom"
Sting "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free"
Eddie Murphy "Party All The Time"
1985 VMA Photos
1985 Highlights Before he was an international movie star, Eddie Murphy was the host of a ridiculous hair convention called the 1985 VMAs. Relive it in all its feathered glory, only here.