The very first MTV Video Music Awards was held some 35 years ago in 1984 (my unbelievable experience as a seatfiller for the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards is below).

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The nominees for the Best New Artist  category were:

  • Eurythmics
  • Cyndi Lauper (she was nominated twice in the same category!)
  • Madonna
  • Wang Chung

Madonna didn't win, but she still made headlines after busting out from a cake in a wedding dress and slithering around the stage "like a virgin".


I got the chance of a lifetime to be chosen as a seatfiller for the VMA's on September 6, 2001. I flew to New York. Good times, good times.

The day of the VMA's, I was put in a group of about 200 other seatfillers and Casting Directors told us to show up early to secure our spot. We had to wait literally for hours in the basement of the St. Patrick's Cathedral (they went all out with the great snacks, though)! When it was finally showtime, they had us walk over to bleachers for the live red carpet pre-show. I remember that Diddy performed on top of a truck, and we all laughed at him because he was being so extra, on camera and off.

After the pre-show, our group was told to walk over to the front of the Lincoln Center building, where a special stage had been set up for the Aaliyah tribute later in the show. Missy Elliott was one of the stage performers and I think Jay-Z or Timbaland was there, too. We were each given a candle to hold in the air to light up the night in Aaliyah's memory.

Which reminds me, tonight, Missy Elliott is receiving the MTV Vanguard Award at the VMA's!

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