A Definitive Timeline of Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMAs

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Feel like taking a trip down VMAs memory lane, with a healthy sprinkle of Miley Cyrus? Join us, won’t you…

On Sunday (Aug. 30), Miley will host the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards as the world is reminded once again of the time she did that thing with Robin Thicke two years prior. In an effort to remind ourselves that Miley is truly more than that twerk-filled evening, here’s an in-depth look at her history at the VMAs.

2008: Goodbye Hannah, Hello Miley

Miley kicked off her first post-Hannah Montana year with a bang thanks to her debut studio album Breakout and its lead single, “7 Things” (which may or may not be about ex boyfriend Nick Jonas). The single landed Miley her first VMA nomination and an invitation to the big show in 2008.

The 2008 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

Fashion: Miley let down her signature curls and smiled her way through the red carpet in a Zac Posen frilly dress with belt and sequin details.

Award talk: Miley was up for a moonman for Best New Artist. Unfortunately, she lost to Tokio Hotel that year. (So did fellow nominees Katy Perry, Jordin Sparks and Taylor Swift).

Misc: Make what you will of their friendship these days, but in 2008, it was basically a level playing field for Miley, Katy and Taylor, who appeared on a pre-show chat on the red carpet, with TSwift doing the interviewing.

My oh my. How far we’ve/they’ve all come…

2009-10: Some MTV Love, Just Not for the VMAs

Miley took a quick break from the VMAs circuit, even though she was nominated in 2009 for “7 Things” again, this time for Best Editing (she lost). To refresh your pop-infused memories: 2009 was the year Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” took home Video of the Year and Best Female Video. Kanye West’s “Imma let you finish” was also born that year. Miley did go to the 2009 MTV Movie Awards , where she took home a popcorn trophy for Song of the Year for “The Climb” (from The Hannah Montana Movie).

18th Annual MTV Movie Awards - Show

2010’s VMAs were all about Lady Gaga and her meat dress. Miley was not nominated that year, but she did go to the EMAs as she was nominated for three awards. Miley went home empty-handed.

2011: Miley’s Back Debuts at the VMAs

Miley went for a mature look at the 2011 VMAs. Though she was up for absolutely nothing, the 18-year-old was fresh on everyone’s minds, having just starred in The Last Song (with then-boyfriend Liam Hemsworth) the year before. Miley served as presenter with Shaun White for Best Rock Video.

A Pregnant Beyonce at The 28th Annual MTV Video Music Awards in LA

Fashion: Miley showed off her back in a full-length Roberto Cavalli gown.

Award talk: Miley took a break from singing and focused on her other talent that year: acting. So like the previous year, she was not nominated. (But we’d like to think she won that year’s award for Hottest Boyfriend Alive).

Misc: Perhaps the only reason you don’t remember anything about Miley being at the 2011 VMAs is because that was the year Queen Beyoncé announced her pregnancy.


2012: Short Hair Don’t Care

It’s hard to believe that just 12 short months later, the only thing anyone talked about had nothing to do with Miley’s short hair, which made a fashionable entrance at the VMAs in 2012.

2012 MTV Video Music Awards

Fashion: Miley chose a Pucci gown that was sheer in all the right places. Good work, everyone.

Award talk: Miley was not up for any moonmen that year.

Misc: Headlines about Miley that year focused mostly on her interesting movie choices and of course, her engagement to Hemsworth.

2013: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Twerking

The VMAs that need no introduction, the 2013 spectacle remains a hard one to forget and understand, mostly because Miley and her tongue came out of nowhere. She twerked. We cringed. Say “Miley Cyrus” and “VMAs” to anyone aged 12 (roughly) and up and watch him or her react with pure delight or disgust. (But never both).

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet

Fashion: Perhaps Miley is best remembered for the latex suit she donned while grinding up against Robin Thicke or the bear costume she wore moments before. Here’s a reminder that she also wore Dolce & Gabbana on the red carpet, along with black platform shoes and teeny tiny buns.

Award talk: Miley was up for four moonmen, including Best Female Video and Best Pop Video for “We Can’t Stop.” She went home empty-handed.

Misc: Miley would announce her split from Liam Hemsworth the following month.

2014: That Time Miley Brought a Homeless Dude as Her VMAs Date

Instead of giving the people what they want (which for some was twerkfest 2.0), Miley toned things down at last year’s VMAs. She sat with Katy Perry and Sam Smith. She wore all black. She breathed in a twerk-free zone. And she went to the show with a 22-year-old homeless man named Jesse Helt.

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

Fashion: Miley went for basic black in a chic leather top and matching pants by designer Alexandre Vauthier. On the red carpet, she told sis Brandi Cyrus she did her own makeup.

Award talk: Miley was up for two awards and took home her first ever VMA, the coveted Video of the Year for “Wrecking Ball.” Jesse spoke on behalf of Miley. There were tears.


Misc: Jesse would get arrested and sentenced just weeks later for an outstanding search warrant.

2015: Will Miley Be the Best VMAs Host of All Time?

Watch MTV on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 9 p.m. EST to find out.

Thanks for taking this journey with us. Happy VMAs week!