Things Got Crazy In Our Most Iconic VMA Performances Poll

Iconic VMA Performances

Most Iconic VMA Performance turned out to be the most contentious category in our Ultimate VMA Showdown with nearly 10 million votes tallied. It’s really no surprise though, after all, the MTV Video Music Awards are well-known as the place some of the most iconic performances in music go down.

Only in a poll this huge would 36,379 votes garner Madonna just 0.37 percent of the total tally for her historic performance of “Like a Virgin” at the first-ever VMAs in 1984. The same holds true for Britney Spears and Lady Gaga, both of whom amassed just over 200,000 votes each but still only registered 2 percent of the total.

That’s because the real story here is that this particular poll found its way into the hands of fansites dedicated to Michael Jackson and Bon Jovi, and we can now say with complete assurance that those are two groups who will rally like crazy around their favorite artist. For much of the polling period, the King of Pop’s legendary medley of his greatest hits at the 1995 VMAs and Bon Jovi’s classic take on their smashes “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” from the 1989 show were in a virtual lock … one that kept swelling in size but not really changing in terms of percent of the vote.

Jackson pulled ahead in the final lap, moving past Bon Jovi by a nearly 20 percent. Read on for a full breakdown of how the final vote turned out.

Most Iconic VMA Performance

Winner: Michael Jackson, “The Way You Make Me Feel”/”Scream”/”Beat It”/”Smooth Criminal” Medley (1995) – 5,666,325 – 57.05%

Madonna, “Like a Virgin” (1984) – 36,379 – 0.37%
Guns N’ Roses, “Welcome to the Jungle” (1988) – 19,366 – 0.19%
The Rolling Stones, “Mixed Emotions” (1989) – 7,944 – 0.08%
Bon Jovi, “Livin’ on a Prayer”/”Wanted Dead or Alive” (1989) – 3,776,582 – 38.02%
Diddy, Faith Evans, 112, Sting, “I’ll Be Missing You” (1997) – 1,753 – 0.02%
Aerosmith, Run DMC, Kid Rock, “Walk This Way” (1999) – 5,396 – 0.05%
Eminem, “The Real Slim Shady”/”The Way I Am” (2000) – 6,056 – 0.06%
Britney Spears, “I’m a Slave 4 U” (2001) – 205,183 – 2.07%
Lady Gaga, “Paparazzi” (2009) – 207,941 – 2.09%