The MTV Video Music Awards is known for its wild fashions, show-stopping performances, and “OMG NO HE DID NOT” moments you talk about for months. It also appreciates the artistry of music videos, including the ones made by amateurs with nothing but pictures, colored backgrounds, and the lyrics of the song, for song-learning purposes. Here are seven times the coveted award went to a video displaying nothing but lyrics:
1. 2006: “Blink 182 – All the Small Things lyrics”
Like Bob Dylan’s iconic “Subterranean Homesick Blues” video, the YouTube lyric video “blink 182 all the small things lyrics”, as uploaded by YouTube user fuckyoudumbcuntimnot, was a never-before-seen style of visual ingenuity. Utilizing then-groundbreaking Windows Movie Maker technology, this video featuring the 1999 release swept the 2006 VMAs, inspired countless sing-a-longs, and set the standard for how many times “na” could be typed in a single frame. Most experts expected Panic! At the Disco to win Video of the Year for “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” since they are a real band who released their song that year, but as we all know, anything can happen at the VMAs!
2. 2007: “Beyonce – Listen [LYRICS]”
With dynamic use of some text being small, and then other text being big but a little bit see-through in the background, Beyoncé’s “Listen” by xxAydaxx was a top contender at the 2007 VMAs. The text, a bright pink color, had journalists buzzing at first glance, and is now a widely regarded as a timeless classic. The video won for Video of the Year, surprising even such rock critics as Matt Pinfield, who wrote, “Is this a joke? A real VMA went to some idiot on YouTube?” There’s more where that came from, Matty!
3. “Buckcherry – Sorry Lyrics”
Another lyric sensation at the 2008 VMAs was miraculouslysober’s off-center, in-your-face punk interpretation of Buckcherry’s “Sorry”. Diagonal, pink, and black, the content of this video unapologetically screamed a “Fuck you!” to the prominent white-and-blue lyric videos of yesteryear. It won for Best New Artist, despite the actual song being released in 2005.
4. “Fifteen-Taylor Swift lyrics”
Minimalist and subversive, this “hardly-lyric” video further turned the genre on its head, by simply featuring “**music**” for the entirety of the song’s four minutes and fifty-five seconds. The video was met with heavy criticism, most notably from Kanye West lyric video uploader, sujain9, who stormed into the comments to publicly eviscerate “Fifteen”, as he believed it didn’t deserve 2009’s Video of the Year. Taylor Swift responded by saying, “I wish YouTube user kittyera the best but don’t understand how she won a major award for my work.” The VMAs are crazy!
5. “Wiggle – Jason Derulo ft snoop dog lyrics”
Following a six-year drought, once more a lyric video found its way back into the VMAs with OfficialLyrics’ stunning “Wiggle Jason Derulo ft snoop dog lyrics”. The video was acclaimed for being “fun”, “simple”, and “exactly what a music video should be”. The prominent portrait of a smokin’ hot Jason Derulo soaked the video in sex appeal. Oddly, user OfficialLyrics retired from the game after uploading the video and hasn’t posted another one since.
6. “Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang (Lyrics Video) [HD]”
Jessie. Ariana. Nicki. Uploader DannySmithTV. In HD. This changed everything. Bang Bang (LyricsVideo) [HD] blew the fucking lid of the scene in 2014. It introduced four different color lines, high-def resolution, cover art featuring the three superstar artists, AND cool wiggly font. “Bang Bang” snatched Video of the Year from the actual song “Bang Bang”, an upset Ariana Grande called “How is this possible?”
7. “All for you by Sister Hazel lyrics”
It has been announced that a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented at this year’s 2015 VMA awards to lyric video pioneer rustins59, for his work on “All for you by Sister Hazel lyrics”. rustins59 redefined what a lyrics music video was in 2009 when he remastered Sister Hazel’s smash hit “All for You” with annotations to cover up words he had misspelled. You can bet rustins59 will be thanking his fans and urging them to “Please rate&subscribe”.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll be glued to MTV on August 30th to see which lyric video walks away with the moonman!