by Jon Blistein
Kanye West will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards in honor of his innovative music videos and live performances, and continued work in music, art and fashion.
West has been nominated for over 30 Moonmen — starting with four for 2004’s “All Falls Down” — yet has only won two (Best Male Video for “Jesus Walks” in 2005; Best Special Effects for “Good Life” in 2008). Still, those numerous nods reflect a unique body of work packed with arresting clips like the first-person “All Falls Down,” the Daft Punk-featuring “Stronger,” and the bombastic, frenzied "Niggas in Paris" with Jay Z. West’s filmography also includes the 40-minute Runaway (which accompanied My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), the Cruel Summer short and a recent collaboration with director Steve McQueen.
A promo clip for West’s Vanguard Award pastes numerous images from throughout the rapper’s life and career onto a green background, à la the show's primary spots with host Miley Cyrus.
Despite having won only two VMAs, West has left an undeniable mark on the award show over the years with memorable performances. He debuted in 2004 with a medley of “Jesus Walks,” “All Falls Down” and “Through the Wire” featuring Chaka Khan; performed live with Auto-Tune for the first time in 2008 with “Love Lockdown”; and has taken the stage with Jay Z, T-Pain and Jamie Foxx over the years. (Of course, West’s VMA track record also boasts at least one notorious, non-musical moment.)
Previous winners of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award Jackson himself, Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Guns N’ Roses, Beastie Boys, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé.
The 2015 MTV VMAs will air live Sunday, August 30th at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Cyrus will host, and The Weeknd has been confirmed to perform his summer hit, “Can’t Feel My Face.” More performers and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.