It’s hard to believe the MTV Video Music Awards are 40. On Tuesday, the VMAs 2023 marked nearly four decades since the awards show first aired on September 14, 1984, gathering boldface names to honor the best music videos. Back then, Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler hosted the ceremony, held at Radio City Music Hall, while Herbie Hancock took home five awards, and a wedding-dress-clad Madonna performed “Like a Virgin” atop a 17-foot-tall wedding cake.
This year, Taylor Swift and SZA are the most nominated acts, with 11 and eight nominations, respectively. Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Future, Lil Wayne, Shakira, Diddy, and Doja Cat, among many others, will perform, and Nicki Minaj—who cohosted last year’s VMAs too—will emcee.
But while today the songs, music videos, and artists celebrated may look and sound a lot different than 40 years ago, one thing remains the same: The VMAs red carpet is still the place to be. From Lil’ Kim’s one-sleeve purple jumpsuit complete with nipple pasty in 1999 to Macy Gray reinventing self-promotion in a dress that read “My New Album Drops Sept. 18 2001” to Lady Gaga’s unanticipated meat dress by Franc Fernandez in 2010, you never know what to expect from the VMAs red carpet.
And while many celebs have descended on the tristate area in support of New York Fashion Week (which marks the beginning of what’s been dubbed “fashion month,” as next comes London, then Milan, and then Paris), on Tuesday, the red carpet outside of the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, replaced the runway.
See who made our list of the VMAs 2023 best dressed, and for all the must-see looks from the VMAs 2023, click here.