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From Madonna to Miley Cyrus: The most memorable VMA performances ever

Creating a memorable VMA performance can be done any number of ways—shocking collaborations, wardrobe malfunctions, on-stage intruders, on-stage makeouts, and then there’s always the option just to put on a really, really great show. And since the MTV VMA Awards first aired in 1984, all of those things have happened on the show’s stage … and more.

In honor of this year’s show, here are some of the most memorable VMA performances of all time:

1984: Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” performance
An obvious first choice was Madonna kicking off the VMAs by debuting her single, “Like a Virgin.” But because she’s Madonna, she didn’t just sing the song. She sang it in a wedding dress, on top of a wedding cake, and later, rolling around on the floor (as all good brides do).

1992: Nirvana’s “Rape Me”-into-“Lithium” fakeout
This performance is also known as that time Krist Novoselic knocked himself out with a guitar toss.

1995: Michael Jackson’s 15-minute performance
Fifteen minutes of Michael Jackson meant we got a taste of numerous songs, from “Beat It” to “Billie Jean” and “Black or White,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and more. Add in moonwalking and Slash on guitar and there’s a very small chance anyone who saw it has forgotten this performance … ever.

2000: Eminem’s army of Slim Shadies
Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? When Eminem performed his hit song, followed by “The Way I Am,” he brought a few friends with him. Specifically, he and about 50 look-a-likes came into the show off the streets of New York to liven things up (bleached hair and all).

2000 & 2001: Britney Spears’ back-to-back naked outfit and snake performances
In 2000, all the buzz surrounded Spears’ scandalous nude outfit that she wore during a performance of “Satisfaction” and “Oops I Did It Again.” But in 2001, she decided to add a few accessories to her outfit, namely a very large snake, for her performance of “”I’m A Slave 4 U.”

2003: Madonna/Britney kiss
In a callback to Madonna’s iconic 1984 performance, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera both wore replicas of Madonna’s wedding dress for a performance of “Like A Virgin,” followed by Madonna coming out on stage in a black pantsuit—get it? she’s the groom—to sing her song “Hollywood.” Before Missy Elliott joined the ladies on stage, Madonna smooched both of her brides. So why did the Spears kiss cause more discussion? Two reasons: 1) There was more tongue; and 2) The camera man cut to Justin Timberlake’s reaction face when Madonna kissed Aguilera.

2005: R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” performance
R. Kelly performing “Trapped in the Closet” live was one of the most fascinating things that’s ever happened at the VMAs. It was just one man, on one stage, sing-talking, making a lot of gestures, playing multiple parts, and ultimately, succeeding at life.

2007: Britney Spears biffs “Gimme More”
In 2007, Spears was not in typical VMA shape. At the time, the singer was in the middle of a public meltdown and seemed to fake her way through a painful performance with obvious lip-synching, very little movement, and even less joy.

2009: Lil’ Mama crashes “Empire State of Mind”
Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” performance almost went perfectly. If you cut to the 5-minute mark of the video, you’ll see they got a last-minute visit from Lil’ Mama, who crashed the stage just in time for Jay Z and Keys to strike their final pose. If Jay Z’s body language doesn’t say “get off my stage,” then nothing does.

2009: Lady Gaga “Paparazzi”
In typical Lady Gaga fashion, she made this a performance to remember by hanging from the ceiling, and more notably, throwing fake blood on herself.

2011: Beyoncé’s mic-drop baby reveal
At the beginning of Beyoncé’s “Love On Top” performance, she asked the audience to stand up and “feel the love that’s growing inside of me.” That sentence didn’t make all that much sense until the end of the song, when Beyoncé would drop the mic—after a killer vocal showing—and unbutton her blazer to reveal her growing baby bump. It was Blue’s first performance!

2013: Miley Cyrus’ plushie porn
There’s so much about this performance that’s burned into viewers’ brains. From Cyrus’ tongue to her twerking, this combination of “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines” was the performance that launched a thousand GIFs. Oh, and Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz were also there (if you could see them behind the perverse teddy bears).


2013: Justin Timberlake’s Video Vanguard performance
Timberlake took fans back through just about all of his biggest hits in this 15-minute performance. The most buzzed about moment was, of course, the very brief ‘N Sync reunion.

This year’s Video Music Awards air Aug. 24 on MTV.

Questlove on the Iggy Azalea debate: 'Hip-hop is a contagious culture'

Most people recognize Questlove as The Roots’ drummer and Jimmy Fallon’s sidekick, but as of Wednesday night, he will also be the executive producer of SoundClash, a new music show coming to VH1 and Palladia. In honor of this venture, in which he gets top artists to play different renditions of their hits and/or cover other performers’ work, Time talked with the artist about the music of summer, and specifically, where he falls on the cultural appropriation debate surrounding Iggy Azalea.

When asked if he was pro- or anti-Azalea, Questlove said he can see both sides. “I’m caught in between,” he said. “And I defend it. I see false Instagram posts like, ‘She said the N-word! She said the N-word!’ I’ll call people out—’Yo, don’t troll.’ I know you’re ready to give your 42-page dissertation on theGrio about why this is culture vulture-ism.

“You know, we as black people have to come to grips that hip-hop is a contagious culture,” Questlove continued. “If you love something, you gotta set it free. I will say that ‘Fancy,’ above any song that I’ve ever heard or dealt with, is a game-changer in that fact that we’re truly going to have to come to grips with the fact that hip-hop has spread its wings.”

For Questlove, the Azalea conversation is about more than just her music. It’s also about where she’s from. And she isn’t the only Australian artist Questlove’s currently listening to. “I don’t think it’s a mistake that a lot of of my favorite artists are coming from Down Under,” he said. “A lot of them [are] more soulful than what we’re dealing with now. When you think soul music and Aretha Franklin and the Baptist-born singer, that’s sort of an idea in the past. As black people, we’re really not in the church as we used to be, and that’s reflected in the songs now.”

Though he’s still on the fence about the simmering Azalea controversy—”I’m not going to lie to you, I’m torn between the opinions on the internet, but I’mma let Iggy be Iggy,” Questlove said—he was able to come to a decision on whether her hit “Fancy” should be labeled the song of the summer. “The song is effective. I’m in the middle of the approximation of the enunciation, I’ll say,” he explained, again acknowledging the debate. “Part of me hopes she grows out of that and [sings] with her regular dialect—I think that would be cooler. But, yeah, ‘Fancy’ is the song of the summer.”

Ke$ha enters rehab for eating disorder

Singer Ke$ha today announced she has entered rehab, seeking treatment for an eating disorder.

In a statement, the “Timber” singer said she plans to spend 30 days in treatment.

Her full statement is below:

“I’m a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself but I’ve found it hard to practice. I’ll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder…to learn to love myself again. exactly as I am.”

Just three days ago, Ke$ha released a music video for her single, “Dirty Love,” which was also the singer’s directorial debut.

Selena Gomez cancels Australian tour to 'spend time' on herself

After wrapping her Stars Dance tour in the U.S. and Europe on Nov. 26, Selena Gomez is ready for some time off.

According to People, Gomez has canceled her 2014 Australian tour to take some time to herself. The singer reportedly released a statement saying, “My fans are so important to me and I would never want to disappoint them. But it has become clear to me and those close to me that after many years of putting my work first, I need to spend some time on myself in order to be the best person I can be.”

Beyonce releases surprise album

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Beyoncé has delivered the ultimate holiday surprise.

Just after midnight on the east coast, the singer suddenly dropped a brand new 14-track self-titled studio album  on iTunes. That’s right — without any pre-promotion. (Read Nick Catucci’s review here.)

As if this bombshell — which, in her Instagram announcement, she described as a “visual album” — needed anything else, each song also comes with a music video and the download of BEYONCÉ will also score you three additional videos.

Here is the full track list. Notably, there’s a duet with husband Jay-Z and a cameo from daughter Blue Ivy:

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Miley Cyrus lights up onstage at MTV European Music Awards -- VIDEO

Remember when you were so emotionally disturbed by Miley Cyrus’ twerking at the VMAs you wanted to remove your eyeballs with a rusty spoon? Or the time you rushed your family down to your homemade bomb shelter after viewing her “Wrecking Ball” video? Nope, me neither. But, as previously reported, earlier today the pop star continued her year of Offending People Who Enjoy Being Offended By Things Miley Cyrus Does when she lit up what most definitely did not look like a cigarette at the MTV European Music Awards in Amsterdam, birthplace of the marijuana-dispensing coffee shop and Kirk Douglas (although only one of those facts seems relevant to this story).

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Who's that girl? EW talks to Prince protege (and bank-commercial star) Andy Allo

Most people don’t want to watch commercials — there are whole technologies devoted to the pursuit of ad-free television consumption.

So how did a Wells Fargo cad with no celebrities, CGI, or nerds making out with models rack up almost two million views on Youtube? READ FULL STORY

Violent Femmes talk reunion, Central Park show

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When the organizers of Coachella reached out to the Violent Femmes to play this summer’s event, it had been six years since the much beloved indie-rock trio had performed a show, in part because of intra-band tensions.

“It was an offer that came to us through our booking agent,” singer-guitarist Gordon Gano tells EW. “I think he said in a communication, ‘I know there’s no chance in hell but I’ve got to let you know that there’s this going on.’ But we thought, ‘Yeah, alright, let’s see if we can get together and do this.'”

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Beyonce is 'Standing on the Sun' again: Hear the leaked version here

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In the two months since Beyoncé debuted a chunk of her new song “Standing on the Sun” in an H&M ad, much has happened: Kanye West released an album, Jay-Z announced a new one of his own, and Kim Kardashian gave birth to two directions. One thing that didn’t happen, though? A full version of “Standing on the Sun” — until today, according to reports.

Full of tropical-island vibes and lazy-summer swagger, this newly leaked (and perhaps unofficial and unsanctioned) version of the song seems strategically timed to soundtrack that beach/lake/Ecuadorian getaway you’ve been planning for Fourth of July weekend.

But will it? Take a listen below and find out:

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Pussy Riot doc director says band member on hunger strike has not been hospitalized

Earlier this week, it was widely reported that Pussy Riot member Maria “Masha” Alekhina had been hospitalized on the seventh day of a hunger strike at the penal colony in the Urals where she is imprisoned. But according to Maxim Pozdorovkin, co-director of the documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, that is not the case.

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