#tbt-VMA’s

For this Throwback Thursday, we remember MTV’s fabled end-of-summer tradition: the Video Music Awards. It’s the annual gathering of music’s biggest stars vying for the famous Moon Man statues and we all have come to expect not just amazing music performances – we have come to expect the unexpected.

Well, here’s something I didn’t expect: the “Best Video with a Social Message” category. Started in 2011, this award goes to those musical artists who “went there. They addressed tough issues in captivating pieces that not only made audiences think, but, in many cases, also encouraged them to act.”  Yet, none of this year’s nominated videos were up for “Video of the Year” – MTV’s equivalent for “Best in Show.” Past nomineees included Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy”

Or possibly 1991 winner “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M.?

1995’s Video of the Year, TLC’s “Waterfalls,” confronted social issues like urban violence and AIDS.

I’m grateful to MTV for applauding artists and videos that have the guts to take a stand on social issues and hopefully this category thrives into the future. These are the real videos of the year – no offense, Taylor, JT, or Robin Thicke (no link – sorry, guys).

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Cover photo courtesy of flickr user Lightdrawer

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