Relive the Past Three Decades Through These MTV VMA Photos

Martha Stewart and Busta Rhymes during 1997 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
624028 Photo: Ron Galella/Getty

The MTV Video Music Awards are back on the West Coast this Sunday following 2013’s quick visit to Brooklyn. No matter: The lineup promises performances from Maroon 5, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, and Iggy Azalea. It’s a 2013–14 time capsule, which is what the VMAs do best. Just look at past award shows: Each contained at least one moment that could serve as a microcosm for what was “cool” in that particular year. Don’t believe us? We’ll prove it. Proceed.

Relive the Past 30 Years Through MTV VMA Photos