Eminem has had a unique history with the MTV Video Music Awards since the very beginning of his breakthrough in the industry. He is the first artist to win a Video of the Year twice, and he holds the record number of VMA Astronauts in his collection — 13, more than any other rapper in history.
On the eve of his scheduled appearance at this year’s award ceremony, let’s take a look back at all his visits to VMAs, each of them is memorable.
Marshall’s major-label debut spawned one of his most recognisable videos, “My Name Is”, which was nominated in Video of the Year, Best New Artist in a Video, and Best Male Video categories. It won Eminem an award for Best New Artist in a Video and allowed him to perform to a multimillion TV audience on stage. It was a medley of “My Name Is” and “Guilty Conscience”, also nominated this year as Breakthrough Video.
Eminem, Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg MTV Video Music Awards 1999
The following year, the “The Real Slim Shady” video won Em two awards: Video of the Year and Best Male Video. His joint with Dr. Dre’s “Forgot About Dre” won in the Best Rap Video category.
Marshall hit the stage with “The Real Slim Shady” and “The Way I Am” double bill.
The success of the “Without Me” video of astonishing. The visuals took four awards: Best Male Video, Best Rap Video, Best Direction in a Video, and Video of the Year, again. Marshall became the first artist in history to receive this recognition twice.
However, he chose to perform at the ceremony songs with a more personal and serious message: “White America” and “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”.
This year, Marshall was very busy at the ceremony, as he represented himself and his young protege, 50 Cent. Em won in the Best Video from a Film category for his “Lose Yourself” video and took Fifty with him to receive it.
That night Eminem had to go onstage two more times. One, to introduce Fif’s live performance in a sarcastic skit, playing on his alleged penchant for violence:
And also to be with 50 Cent, who won a Best Rap Video award for “In Da Club”:
After a long gap, Eminem was back in business, winning a Best Hip-Hop Video award for “We Made You”
He didn’t perform that year at the VMAs (his attention was on the MTV Movie Awards), but that night was eventful for Em anyway. He fell victim to Sacha Baron Cohen’s dirty prank.
Also, Eminem and Cuba Gooding Jr. presented Lady Gaga with a Best New Artist award and their interaction onstage immediately went viral.
It was a “Recovery” year for Marshall. An epic season for an epic album. Even his promo aimed big.
Em got “Not Afraid” nominated in eight categories. It won two: Best Hip-Hop Video and Best Male Video. That night Em performed this song live and then invited Rihanna to sing together “Love the Way You Lie”.
In 2014, Eminem had two videos nominated for the VMAs. “Berzerk” for Best Hip-Hop Video and
“Rap God” in three technical categories: Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, and Best Editing. Marshall’s fourth most popular video on YouTube was awarded for the Best Editing, of all things.
Since then, none of Em’s nominations actually won at the MTV VMAs. “Walk on Water” feat. Beyoncé, “River” feat. Ed Sheeran, and “Godzilla” feat. Juice WRLD were all snubbed.
In 2022, Eminem is nominated together with Snoop Dogg for their second collaboration, “From the D 2 the LBC”. Both implied that they would show up at the ceremony, and there are reasons to believe that both have indeed arrived in New Jersey. Fingers crossed for a new award for Eminem.
MTV streams the event live, so you’ll be able to see Eminem at the ceremony later today.