Remembering The 41 Greatest Moments From The 1993 VMAs

Twenty years ago, MTV held the most epic and iconic VMAs of all time — which included appearances by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Madonna, Janet Jackson, R.E.M., and Neil Young. So step aside, 2000 VMAs. Just step aside.

1. Cindy Crawford hosted the pre-show.

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2. That’s right, a supermodel hosted the pre-show — that’s just how awesome the VMAs used to be.

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3. Coolest couple of the night: Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, who brought along daughter Frances Bean.

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This was Kurt’s final VMA appearance. He committed suicide eight months later.

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4. Winona Ryder tried to sneak in undetected with then-boyfriend Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum.

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5. Kurt played double duty that night: rock star and dad. Aw!

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6. Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell came dressed as Beetlejuice.

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7. Lenny Kravitz came appropriately dressed like a glam-rock spaceman. He also brought along his mother, the late Roxie Roker.

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8. Sharon Stone (alongside the legendary Tony Bennett) brought some serious “Ginger Rothstein” glamour to the red carpet.

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9. But RuPaul brought the real glamour!

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10. Kurt couldn’t get enough to eat.

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11. George Clinton came down from the mothership to hug it out with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones.

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12. U2’s The Edge did a rare solo performance of the band’s hit song “Numb.”

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13. Peter Gabriel (dressed like the leader of a cult) with then-girlfriend Sinéad O’Connor.

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14. The “Bee Girl,” Heather De Loach, was there — sans Blind Melon.

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15. Courtney touching up MTV VJ Kennedy’s makeup.

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16. The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson (with then-wife Lala Sloatman) showed up looking like a Tiny Tim impersonator.

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17. STING!!! Sadly, he only was there to perform “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” and not to announce a Police reunion.

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18. John Norris caught up with Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan (who just randomly showed up).

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19. Oh, that’s just Neil Young hanging out with R.E.M.

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20. Lenny and Whoopi Goldberg shared a moment…

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21. …until Shaq came and broke it up.

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22. Martin Lawrence was there!

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23. Stephen Baldwin tried to make leather pants with a tweed vest and blazer work.

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24. Courtney left immediately before the photo was taken — obviously she was feeling inferior next to RuPaul’s glamour.

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25. And then this iconic moment happened:

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26. The show began with Erotica-era Madonna performing “Bye Bye Baby.”

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27. Christian Slater hosted.

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28. Michael Stipe brought out his heavy brow pencil (or is that a Sharpie?) to perform “Everybody Hurts” and “Drive” with R.E.M.:

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29. RuPaul and Milton Berle had a cringeworthy fight on stage.

According to RuPaul, Milton had been disrespectful to him backstage. When it came time for the two of them to hit the stage to present The Viewer’s Choice Award, Ru decided to make his displeasure known and ad-libbed the line, “So you used to wear gowns, but now you’re wearing diapers.” A shocked Milton snapped back, “Oh, we’re going to ad-lib? I’ll check my brain and we’ll start even.”

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30. Aerosmith took home The Viewer’s Choice Moonman for “Livin’ on the Edge,” which also happened to be the only video from their Get a Grip album to not feature Alicia Silverstone.

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31. Pearl Jam performed their new song “Animal” and then brought out the “Godfather of Grunge,” Neil Young, for their iconic performance of his classic song “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

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32. K.d. lang won Best Female Video for “Constant Craving” — beating out Janet Jackson’s “That’s The Way Love Goes.” (I am still bitter about that.)

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33. MTV darlings Beavis and Butt-head presented Best Metal/Hard Rock Video.

Pearl Jam won the Moonman for their video for “Jeremy.”

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34. Naughty by Nature got the crowd moving while performing “Hip Hop Hooray.”

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35. Nirvana won Best Alternative Video for “In Bloom.”

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36. Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl celebrated their win backstage.

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37. George Clinton, along with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, presented the first-ever Best R&B Video Moonman. Snoop actually had to sneak into the awards show, as the Los Angeles Police Department had a warrant out for his arrest.

En Vogue took home the Moonman for their video for “Free Your Mind.”

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The LAPD came to the show looking for Snoop. He was able to evade them and turned himself in after the show.

Snoop was wanted in connection with a drive-by murder of an L.A. gang member. Eventually all charges were dropped against him.

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38. Janet Jackson performed a flawless medley of “That’s the Way Love Goes” and “If”:

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39. Tony Bennett presented Video of the Year, along with Flea and Anthony Kiedis — who was busy showing off his skills with a banana.

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40. Pearl Jam was the big winner of the night. They took home Video of the Year for “Jeremy,” and they even brought along the star of the video to the podium for their acceptance speech.

Pearl Jam beat out Aerosmith for “Livin’ on the Edge,” En Vogue for “Free Your Mind,” Peter Gabriel for “Digging in the Dirt,” and R.E.M. for “Man on the Moon.”

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41. Eddie Vedder ended the night being, well… very Eddie Vedder.

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Keep on rockin’ in the free world, Eddie!

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