The MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction is a craft award given to the artist, the artist's manager, and the director of the music video. From 1984 to 2006, the full name of the award was Best Direction in a Video, and in 2007, it was briefly renamed Best Director. The category acquired its current name starting with the 2008 awards. The biggest winners are Spike Jonze and David Fincher with three wins each, although one of Jonze's wins is credited as the "Torrance Community Dance Group".
The most nominated director is David Fincher with eight nominations. Remarkably, seven of Fincher's nominations were achieved in a three-year span (1989–1991), as he was nominated a record three times in both 1989 and 1990. Fincher's latest nomination (and win) occurred over twenty years later in 2013 for his work on Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie." Closely following them is Francis Lawrence with six nominations. Hype Williams is the director with most nominations and no wins at five.
Four performers have won a Moonman in this category for their work directing/co-directing their videos: George Michael ("Father Figure"), Beck ("The New Pollution"), Erykah Badu ("Honey"), and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys ("Make Some Noise"). An additional six other performers have been nominated for their work co-directing/directing videos: Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Christina Aguilera, Jared Leto (as Bartholomew Cubbins), Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift
|MTV Video Music Award |
for Best Direction
|Currently held by||Calmatic − "Old Town Road (Remix)" by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus (2019)|
|1984||Tim Newman – "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top||
|1985||Jean-Baptiste Mondino – "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley||
|1986||Steven Barron – "Take On Me" by a-ha|||
|1987||Stephen R. Johnson – "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel|||
|1988||Andy Morahan and George Michael – "Father Figure" by George Michael|||
|1989||David Fincher – "Express Yourself" by Madonna|||
|1990||David Fincher – "Vogue" by Madonna|||
|1991||Tarsem – "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M.|||
|1992||Mark Fenske – "Right Now" by Van Halen|||
|1993||Mark Pellington – "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam|||
|1994||Jake Scott – "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.|||
|1995||Spike Jonze – "Buddy Holly" by Weezer|||
|1996||Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris – "Tonight, Tonight" by The Smashing Pumpkins|||
|1997||Beck – "The New Pollution" by Beck||
|1998||Jonas Åkerlund – "Ray of Light" by Madonna|||
|1999||Torrance Community Dance Group – "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim||
|2000||Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris – "Californication" by Red Hot Chili Peppers|||
|2001||Spike Jonze – "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim|||
|2002||Joseph Kahn – "Without Me" by Eminem||
|2003||Jamie Thraves – "The Scientist" by Coldplay|||
|2004||Mark Romanek – "99 Problems" by Jay-Z|||
|2005||Samuel Bayer – "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day|||
|2006||Robert Hales – "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley|||
|2007||Samuel Bayer – "What Goes Around... Comes Around" by Justin Timberlake||
|2008||Erykah Badu and Mr. Roboto – "Honey" by Erykah Badu|||
|2009||Marc Webb – "21 Guns" by Green Day|||
|2010||Francis Lawrence – "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga|||
|2011||Adam Yauch – "Make Some Noise" by Beastie Boys|||
|2012||Romain Gavras – "Bad Girls" by M.I.A.|||
|2013||David Fincher – "Suit & Tie" by Justin Timberlake (featuring Jay Z)||
|2014||DANIELS – "Turn Down for What" by DJ Snake and Lil Jon|||
|2015||Colin Tilley and the Little Homies – "Alright" by Kendrick Lamar||
|2016||Melina Matsoukas – "Formation" by Beyoncé|||
|2017||Dave Meyers and The Little Homies - "HUMBLE." by Kendrick Lamar|
|2018||Hiro Murai − "This Is America" by Childish Gambino|
|2019||Calmatic – "Old Town Road (Remix)" by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus||
"99 Problems" is the third single released by American rapper Jay-Z in 2004 from The Black Album. The chorus hook "I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one" is taken from the Ice-T single "99 Problems" from the album Home Invasion (1993). The hook was coined during a conversation between Ice-T & Brother Marquis of Miami-based 2 Live Crew. Marquis later used the phrase in the 1996 2 Live Crew song "Table Dance".
In the song, Jay-Z tells a story about dealing with rap critics, racial profiling from a police officer who wants to search his car, and an aggressor. The song reached number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.Alright (Kendrick Lamar song)
"Alright" is a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar, taken from his third album To Pimp a Butterfly (2015). Lyrically a festive song about hope, it features uncredited vocals from the song's co-producer Pharrell Williams during the chorus. "Alright" was released to radio stations as the album's fourth single on June 30, 2015. Most music publications considered it among the best songs and videos of the year, highlighting their message in the social context of the time. "Alright" received four nominations at the 58th Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Music Video, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, winning the latter two.
The song was associated with Black Lives Matter after several youth-led protests were heard chanting the chorus, with some publications calling "Alright" the "unifying soundtrack" of the movement. In 2019, it was named the best song of the 2010s by Pitchfork.Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Green Day song)
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is a song by American rock band Green Day, recorded for their seventh studio album American Idiot (2004). Reprise Records released "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" as the second single from American Idiot. The song's lyrics were written by lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, and the music was composed by the band. Production was handled by Rob Cavallo and Green Day. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" remains one of Green Day's signature songs.
The song speaks from the point of view of American Idiot's main character, "Jesus of Suburbia", and is a moderate midtempo song characterized by somber and bleak lyrics. This is in contrast to the previous track on the album, "Holiday", which illustrates Jesus of Suburbia's high of being in The City. MTV's Green Day Makes a Video described "Holiday" as a party, and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" as the subsequent hangover.
The song was ranked the number one on Rolling Stone's Reader's Choice: Singles of the Decade list in 2009 and number 65 on the 100 Best Songs of the Decade list in the same year. It has sold over 2 million copies in the United States as of 2010. The single peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind "Candy Shop" by 50 Cent and Olivia, making it Green Day's most successful song in the United States. The song was the ninth-highest-selling single of the 2000–2009 decade with worldwide sales exceeding 5 million copies.As of 2019, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is the only song to win both the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year.Buddy Holly (song)
"Buddy Holly" is a song by the American rock band Weezer, written by Rivers Cuomo. It was released as the second single from the band's debut album Weezer (The Blue Album) in 1994. The single was released on what would have been Buddy Holly's 58th birthday. The lyrics reference the song's 1950s namesake and actress Mary Tyler Moore. It reached number two and number 34 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart and the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, respectively. The song also reached number six in Canada, number 12 in the United Kingdom, number 13 in Iceland and number 14 in Sweden.
Rolling Stone ranked "Buddy Holly" number 499 in its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2010). The digital version of the single for "Buddy Holly" was certified gold by the RIAA in 2006. VH1 ranked it as one of the 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s at number 59 in December 2007.Californication (song)
"Californication" is the Red Hot Chili Peppers' fourth single and sixth track from their 1999 seventh studio album, Californication. Released as a single in May 2000, the song reached number 69 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 16 on the UK Singles Chart and number one on both the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. The song also debuted at number one in Iceland, becoming the third number-one single from the album there.
"Californication" has remained one of the band's most popular and most performed live songs, appearing in almost every setlist since its live debut and making it the band's third-most performed song, with over 500 performances.Everybody Hurts
"Everybody Hurts" is a song by American rock band R.E.M., originally released on the band's 1992 album Automatic for the People and was also released as a single in 1993. It peaked at number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top ten on the charts in Australia, Canada, France, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.Father Figure (George Michael song)
"Father Figure" is a song by English singer George Michael from his debut studio album, Faith (1987). It was released on 28 December 1987 as the album's fourth single by Columbia Records. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 11 on the UK Singles Chart. Additionally it was a top 5 hit in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain.Honey (Erykah Badu song)
"Honey" is a song by Erykah Badu, released on December 11, 2007, as the lead single from her 2008 album New Amerykah Part One (4th World War). The song was produced by 9th Wonder and samples singer Nancy Wilson's 1978 song "I'm in Love".Losing My Religion
"Losing My Religion" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M. The song was released as the first single from the group's 1991 album Out of Time. Built on a mandolin riff, "Losing My Religion" was an unlikely hit for the group, garnering extensive airplay on radio as well as on MTV and VH1 due to its critically acclaimed music video. The song became R.E.M.'s highest-charting hit in the United States, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and expanding the group's popularity beyond its original fanbase. Out of Time garnered R.E.M. seven nominations at the 1992 Grammy Awards, the most nominations of any artist that year. The band won three awards: one for Best Alternative Music Album and two for "Losing My Religion", Best Short Form Music Video and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.Make Some Noise (Beastie Boys song)
"Make Some Noise" is a song by American hip hop group the Beastie Boys, released as the third single from their eighth studio album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (2011). Following two other singles from the album, "Make Some Noise" was released on April 11, 2011, prior to the album's release. The song is also their highest-charting single since 2004's "Ch-Check It Out", peaking at No. 1 on the Nielsen BDS alternative rock indicator chart. The song appears on the soundtrack to the videogame Madden NFL 12.Praise You
"Praise You" is a song by British big beat musician Fatboy Slim. It was released as the third single from his second studio album, You've Come a Long Way, Baby, in 1999. It reached number one on the UK Singles Chart and in Iceland, number four in Canada, number six in the Republic of Ireland and number 36 in the United States.
As of 1999 it has sold over 150,000 units in United States.Right Now (Van Halen song)
"Right Now" is a rock song written by the group Van Halen for their album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. The song reflects on living for the moment and not being afraid of making a change. Vocalist Sammy Hagar has said that he was writing the lyrics to this song at the studio very late one night, and he heard Eddie Van Halen in an adjacent room working on a piano melody. Hagar said he suddenly realized that "we were writing the same song," so he walked into the room and began singing his words over Eddie's music. According to Eddie, the instrumental dates back to 1983, "before I wrote "Jump" - it didn't come out until about '92, '93 or something like that, cause nobody wanted anything to do with it." An early version of the melody appears in the 1984 movie The Wild Life which was scored by Eddie. Eddie also stated that before Hagar was hired to replace David Lee Roth, he considered an album that would feature various guest singers, with Joe Cocker assigned to "Right Now".Hagar says the lyrics for "Right Now" were the best he ever wrote for a Van Halen song. "I was tired of writing cheap sex songs," he recalled almost two decades later. "Eddie and I wanted to get serious and talk about world issues." Different edits of the video had been used in Van Halen's 2004 tour to make more explicitly political statements in later years.Sharp Dressed Man
"Sharp Dressed Man" is a song performed by ZZ Top from their 1983 album Eliminator. The song was produced by band manager Bill Ham, and recorded and mixed by Terry Manning. Pre-production recording engineer Linden Hudson was very involved in the early stages of this song's production.At 2007's VH1 Rock Honors, Nickelback covered the song as a tribute (Billy Gibbons had earlier made a guest appearance on Nickelback's own song "Rockstar" & "Follow You Home"). ZZ Top played this song at halftime of the 2008 Orange Bowl college football bowl game.Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel song)
"Sledgehammer" is a song by English rock musician Peter Gabriel. It was released as the lead single from his fifth studio album, So (1986), on 25 April 1986. It was produced by Gabriel and Daniel Lanois. It hit No. 1 in Canada on 21 July 1986, where it spent four weeks; No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States on 26 July 1986; and No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart, thanks in part to its music video. It was his biggest hit in North America and ties with "Games Without Frontiers" as his biggest hit in the United Kingdom.
The song's music video won a record nine MTV Video Music Award at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards and Best British Video at the 1987 Brit Awards. The song also saw Gabriel nominated for three Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. In a 2005 poll conducted by Channel 4 the music video was ranked second on their list of the 100 Greatest Pop Videos.The Boys of Summer (song)
"The Boys of Summer" is a song released in 1984 by Eagles vocalist and drummer Don Henley, with lyrics written by Henley and music composed by Mike Campbell, guitarist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
The lead single from Henley's album Building the Perfect Beast, "The Boys of Summer" was released on October 26, 1984, and reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US as well as No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart and number 12 in the UK Singles Chart.
The song's music video won several awards. "The Boys of Summer" was also performed live by Henley with the reunited Eagles; such a version is included on the group's 2005 Farewell 1 Tour: Live from Melbourne DVD.The New Pollution
"The New Pollution" is a song by Beck. The song appears on his album Odelay and was also released as a single. The song samples the single "Venus" by Joe Thomas.This Is America (song)
"This Is America" is a song by American rapper Childish Gambino. Written by Donald Glover, Ludwig Göransson, and Jeffery Lamar Williams, and produced by Glover and Göransson, it was released on May 5, 2018, at the same time that Gambino was hosting that day's episode of Saturday Night Live. The song features background vocals by American rappers Young Thug (who also has writing credit as Williams), Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd, BlocBoy JB, Quavo, and 21 Savage. The song addresses the wider issue of gun violence in the United States, the high rate of mass shootings in the United States, along with longstanding racism and discrimination against African Americans.
The song's accompanying music video was directed by filmmaker Hiro Murai, a frequent Gambino collaborator. According to RCA Records, the song is not the first single from Gambino's upcoming studio album. "This Is America" became the 31st song to debut at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming both Gambino's first number one and top ten single in the country. It has also topped the charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. The song won in all four of its nominated categories at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Music Video. This made Gambino the first hip-hop artist to win Record of the Year and Song of the Year, and "This Is America" the first rap song to win these awards.Tonight, Tonight (The Smashing Pumpkins song)
"Tonight, Tonight" is a song by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, written by the band's frontman, Billy Corgan. It was the fourth single and second track on the first disc from their third album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and was released in April 1996 in Europe and later in June 1996 in the United States. "Tonight, Tonight" was critically acclaimed and commercially well-received upon its release, reaching number one in Iceland, number two in New Zealand, number seven in the United Kingdom and number 36 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The music video accompanying the song was also successful and won several awards.
A shorter acoustic version of the song, titled "Tonite Reprise", was included as a B-side to the single and on the triple LP version of Mellon Collie. This single also later appeared in an extended form on the box set The Aeroplane Flies High. Additionally, the song appears on the band's greatest hits release, Rotten Apples.Weapon of Choice (song)
"Weapon of Choice" is a song by English big beat musician Fatboy Slim from his third studio album, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars. It features American funk musician Bootsy Collins. It was released as a double A-side single with "Star 69" on 23 April 2001, as well as a standalone single release, and a 2010 re-release with remixes. The single peaked at No. 10 on the UK Singles Chart.The music video, directed by Spike Jonze, features actor Christopher Walken dancing around a deserted hotel lobby. It won multiple awards at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards and won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Music Video.