Neha Patil (Editor)

1996 MTV Video Music Awards

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Country  United States
Network  MTV
Other ceremonies  1995, 1997
Hosted by  Dennis Miller
Date  4 September 1996
Host  Dennis Miller

Location  Radio City Music Hall, New York, New York

The 1996 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 4, 1996, honoring the best music videos from June 16, 1995, to June 14, 1996. The show was hosted by Dennis Miller at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.


The show centered on The Smashing Pumpkins, who led the pack that night with nine nominations. Having both lost their touring keyboardist days before this appearance to a heroin overdose and kicked longtime, original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin out of the band as a result of this incident, the band opened the show as a three-piece, performing an awe-inspiring, emotional version of "Tonight, Tonight." What is more, the Pumpkins ended up winning seven of the awards they were up for: "Tonight, Tonight" earned six wins out of its eight nominations, including Video of the Year, thus making it the night's most nominated and biggest winning video; while their video for "1979" earned the one Moonman it was nominated for: Best Alternative Video.

1996 MTV Video Music Awards VMA 1996 MTV Video Music Awards MTV

The next biggest nominee and winner that night was Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, who won three out of her six nominations for her video "Ironic." Tying with her in terms of nominations was Icelandic singer Björk, who also received six; however, her video for "It's Oh So Quiet" only took home one Moonman for Best Choreography. Closely following with five nominations each were Coolio, the Foo Fighters, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Out of these, though, only the former two ended up taking home some Moonmen for their videos. Coolio won three, as "Gangsta's Paradise" won two out of its three nominations, and "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" won one out of its two nominations, while the Foo Fighters' "Big Me" took home one Moonman for Best Group Video. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, meanwhile, went home empty-handed.

Highlights of the show included a pre-show set by little-but-soon-to-be-widely known No Doubt, who performed on the entrance marquee of Radio City Music Hall. There was also a short-lived reunion of the four original members of Van Halen, who had not appeared together at that time for more than a decade, presenting the award for Best Male Video, as well as a live interlink with astronauts on the Mir space station. The show also marked Tupac Shakur's final public appearance before being shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada three days later on September 7, dying of his wounds on September 13.


Winners are in bold text.

Video of the Year

The Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight"

  • Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – "Tha Crossroads"
  • Foo Fighters – "Big Me"
  • Alanis Morissette – "Ironic"
  • Best Male Video

    Beck – "Where It's At"

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  • Bryan Adams – "The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You"
  • Coolio – "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)"
  • R. Kelly (featuring Ernie Isley and Ronald Isley) – "Down Low (Nobody Has to Know)"
  • Seal – "Don't Cry"
  • Best Female Video

    Alanis Morissette – "Ironic"

  • Björk – "It's Oh So Quiet"
  • Tracy Chapman – "Give Me One Reason"
  • Jewel – "Who Will Save Your Soul"
  • Best Group Video

    Foo Fighters – "Big Me"

    1996 MTV Video Music Awards ARI000501jpg
  • Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – "Tha Crossroads"
  • The Fugees – "Killing Me Softly"
  • Hootie & the Blowfish – "Only Wanna Be with You"
  • Best New Artist in a Video

    Alanis Morissette – "Ironic"

  • Tracy Bonham – "Mother Mother"
  • Garbage – "Stupid Girl"
  • Jewel – "Who Will Save Your Soul"
  • Best Hard Rock Video

    Metallica – "Until It Sleeps"

  • Alice in Chains – "Again"
  • Marilyn Manson – "Sweet Dreams"
  • Rage Against the Machine – "Bulls on Parade"
  • Best R&B Video

    The Fugees – "Killing Me Softly"

  • Toni Braxton – "You're Makin' Me High"
  • Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men – "One Sweet Day"
  • D'Angelo – "Brown Sugar"
  • Best Rap Video

    Coolio (featuring L.V.) – "Gangsta's Paradise"

  • 2Pac (featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) – "California Love"
  • Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – "Tha Crossroads"
  • LL Cool J – "Doin' It"
  • Best Dance Video

    Coolio – "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)"

  • Everything but the Girl – "Missing"
  • La Bouche – "Be My Lover"
  • George Michael – "Fastlove"
  • Best Alternative Video

    The Smashing Pumpkins – "1979"

  • Bush – "Glycerine"
  • Everclear – "Santa Monica"
  • Foo Fighters – "Big Me"
  • Best Video from a Film

    Coolio (featuring L.V.) – "Gangsta's Paradise" (from Dangerous Minds)

  • Brandy – "Sittin' Up in My Room" (from Waiting to Exhale)
  • Bush – "Machinehead" (from Fear)
  • Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. – "Theme from Mission: Impossible" (from Mission: Impossible)
  • Breakthrough Video

    The Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight"

  • Björk – "It's Oh So Quiet"
  • Busta Rhymes – "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check"
  • Foo Fighters – "Big Me"
  • Garbage – "Queer"
  • Radiohead – "Just"
  • Best Direction in a Video

    The Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight" (Directors: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris)

  • Björk – "It's Oh So Quiet" (Director: Spike Jonze)
  • Foo Fighters – "Big Me" (Director: Jesse Peretz)
  • Alanis Morissette – "Ironic" (Director: Stéphane Sednaoui)
  • Best Choreography in a Video

    Björk – "It's Oh So Quiet" (Choreographer: Michael Rooney)

  • Janet Jackson – "Runaway" (Choreographer: Tina Landon)
  • George Michael – "Fastlove" (Choreographers: Vaughan and Anthea)
  • Quad City DJ's – "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)" (Choreographers: Quad City DJ's)
  • Best Special Effects in a Video

    The Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight" (Special Effects: Chris Staves)

  • The Beatles – "Free as a Bird" (Special Effects: Johnny Senered, Kristen Johnson and Ben Gibbs)
  • Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – "Tha Crossroads" (Special Effects: Cameron Noble)
  • Green Day – "Walking Contradiction" (Special Effects: Jefferson Wagner and Brian Boles)
  • Best Art Direction in a Video

    The Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight" (Art Directors: K. K. Barrett and Wayne White)

  • Björk – "It's Oh So Quiet" (Art Director: Teri Whitaker)
  • The Cranberries – "Salvation" (Art Director: William Abelo)
  • R.E.M. – "Tongue" (Art Director: Clam Lynch)
  • Best Editing in a Video

    Alanis Morissette – "Ironic" (Editor: Scott Gray)

  • Beck – "Where It's At" (Editor: Eric Zumbrunnen)
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – "Warped" (Editor: Hal Honigsberg)
  • The Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight" (Editor: Eric Zumbrunnen)
  • Best Cinematography in a Video

    The Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight" (Director of Photography: Declan Quinn)

  • Brandy (featuring Wanya Morris) – "Brokenhearted" (Director of Photography: Martin Coppen)
  • Eric Clapton – "Change the World" (Directors of Photography: Peter Nydrle and Marco Mazzei)
  • Madonna – "You'll See" (Director of Photography: Adrian Wild)
  • Viewer's Choice

    Bush – "Glycerine"

  • Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – "Tha Crossroads"
  • Coolio (featuring L.V.) – "Gangsta's Paradise"
  • Metallica – "Until It Sleeps"
  • Alanis Morissette – "Ironic"
  • The Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight"
  • MTV Asia

    Seo Taiji & Boys – "Come Back Home"

  • Dewa 19 – "Cukup Siti Nurbaya"
  • IE – "Chan Tang Jai"
  • Put3Ska – "Manila Girl"
  • MTV Brasil

    Skank – "Garota Nacional"

  • Fernanda Abreu – "Veneno da Lata"
  • Baba Cósmica – "Sábado de Sol"
  • Barão Vermelho – "Vem Quente Que Eu Estou Fervendo"
  • Chico Science & Nação Zumbi – "Manguetown"
  • Engenheiros do Hawaii – "A Promessa"
  • Os Paralamas do Sucesso – "Lourinha Bombril"
  • Pato Fu – "Qualquer Bobagem"
  • Raimundos – "Eu Quero Ver o Oco"
  • Renato Russo – "Strani Amori"
  • Sepultura – "Roots Bloody Roots"
  • Titãs – "Eu Não Aguento"
  • MTV Europe

    George Michael – "Fastlove"

  • Björk – "It's Oh So Quiet"
  • Die Fantastischen Vier – "Sie Ist Weg"
  • Jovanotti – "L'Ombelico del Mondo"
  • Pulp – "Disco 2000"
  • MTV India

    Colonial Cousins – "Sa Ni Dha Pa"

  • Asha Bhosle – "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja"
  • Biddu – "Boom Boom"
  • Indus Creed – "Sleep"
  • Shaan and Style Bhai – "Roop Tera Mastana"
  • MTV Japan

    Kuroyume – "Pistol"

  • Ken Ishii – "Extra"
  • Toshinobu Kubota – "Funk It Up"
  • The Mad Capsule Markets – "Walk!"
  • Seiko – "Let's Talk About It"
  • MTV Latin America

    Soda Stereo – "Ella Usó Mi Cabeza Como un Revólver"

  • Los Fabulosos Cadillacs – "Mal Bicho"
  • Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas – "Abarajame"
  • Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del 5to. Patio – "Don Palabras"
  • Eros Ramazzotti – "La Cosa Más Bella"
  • MTV Mandarin

    Nana Tang – "Freedom"

  • Dou Wei – "Outside the Window"
  • Andy Lau – "Truly Forever"
  • Eric Moo – "Love Is So Heavy"
  • Regina Tseng – "From Dark to Light"
  • Pre-show

  • Beck – "Where It's At"
  • No Doubt – "Spiderwebs"/"Just a Girl"
  • Main show

  • The Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight"
  • The Fugees (featuring Nas) – "Medley" ("Killing Me Softly," "Fu-Gee-La," "Ready or Not" and "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)")
  • Metallica – "Until It Sleeps"
  • LL Cool J – "Doin It"
  • Neil Young – "The Needle and the Damage Done" (live from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland)
  • Hootie & the Blowfish – "Sad Caper"
  • Alanis Morissette – "Your House"
  • Bush – "Machinehead"
  • The Cranberries – "Salvation"
  • Oasis – "Champagne Supernova"
  • Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – "Tha Crossroads"
  • Kiss – "Rock and Roll All Nite" (live from beneath the Brooklyn Bridge)
  • Main show

  • Mariah Carey – presented Best Group Video
  • Kevin Bacon and Rosie O'Donnell – presented Best New Artist in a Video
  • Claudia Schiffer and Red Hot Chili Peppers (Anthony Kiedis and Flea) – presented Best Dance Video
  • Béla Károlyi – appeared in several backstage vignettes with Lars Ulrich and Hootie & the Blowfish
  • Toni Braxton and Dennis Rodman – presented Breakthrough Video
  • Norm Macdonald (as Bob Dole) – appeared in a pre-commercial vignette about Viewer's Choice voting
  • Beck and Chris Rock – presented Best R&B Video
  • Michael Buffer – introduced LL Cool J
  • Geena Davis – presented Best Direction in a Video
  • Cosmonauts Valery Korzun and Aleksandr Kaleri – interviewed by host Dennis Miller live via satellite from the Mir space station
  • Jenny McCarthy and Damon Wayans – presented Best Rap Video
  • 2Pac and Snoop Doggy Dogg – presented Best Hard Rock Video
  • Seal – introduced Alanis Morissette
  • Darrell Hammond (as Bill Clinton) – appeared in a pre-commercial vignette about Viewer's Choice voting
  • Beavis and Butt-head – introduced the International Viewer's Choice Award winners
  • VJs Rahul Khanna (India), George Williams (Japan), Eden Harel (Europe), Sabrina Parlatore (Brasil), Edith Serrano (Latin America), Mike Kasem (Asia) and Stacy Hsu (Mandarin) – announced their respective region's Viewer's Choice winner
  • Tim Robbins – presented Best Alternative Video
  • Janeane Garofalo – introduced The Cranberries
  • Gwyneth Paltrow – introduced the winners of the professional categories
  • Aerosmith (Steven Tyler and Joe Perry) – presented Viewer's Choice
  • Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner – introduced Oasis
  • Van Halen – presented Best Male Video
  • Susan Sarandon – presented Best Female Video
  • Jay Leno – appeared in a "coming up" vignette hyping the Video of the Year award and the Kiss performance
  • Sharon Stone – presented Video of the Year
  • Post-show

  • John Norris and Alison Stewart – presented Best Video from a Film
  • References

    1996 MTV Video Music Awards Wikipedia

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