Michael Jackson earned his title as King of Pop for his mosaic of entertainment talent and ingenuity—especially when it came to creating iconic music videos. With Thriller, Jackson introduced cinematography into music videos, turning what used to be simple live recordings into fully-fledged short films. The 13-minute video (which I performed in a summer camp talent show as a teenager, and still remember most of the moves) was MTV’s first world premiere.
Jackson’s musical mosaic of R&B, rock, pop, jazz and funk coupled with a repertoire of iconic dance moves made him the benchmark for artistic excellence in the entertainment industry. The Weeknd, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber are just some of today’s most prominent stars entertainers who cite Jackson as inspiration.
The MTV Video Music Awards pay credence to this legacy with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
The award celebrates “forerunners in the music video sphere,” according to Slate.
“MTV is legitimately the definitive arbiter on such matters. And their track record with the Vanguard has reinforced their authority: The first recipients of the award, in 1984, were the Beatles and Richard Lester, for the trailblazing A Hard Day’s Night, and David Bowie, for his groundbreaking films from the late ’60s and ’70s.”
This year, pop star P!NK will receive the honor, joining the pantheon of esteemed winners from previous years. The gutsy songstress established a close relationship with MTV and the VMAs over the course of her 17-year career.
Watch some of P!NK’s greatest VMA moments: