Miley Cyrus, 2013
This time last year our Twitter feeds were blowing up with talk of Miley's scandalous performance of "We Can't Stop," featuring dancing teddy bears, a barely-there bikini, and tweaking (in case you managed to forget.) Love her or hate her, Miley now holds a place in the awards show's hall of fame.
Nicki Minaj, 2012
First things first: We love Nicki Minaj. This particular ensemble? Not so much. From the lime green wig to the full-body spandex to the diamond-crusted heels, Minaj is working with "a whole lotta look."
Katy Perry, 2011
Never one to shy away from a chance to play dress up, Katy Perry showed up to the 2011 VMAs with pink hair and a pastel, Kimono-inspired gown. No wonder she took home the Moonman for Video of the Year for "Firework."
Lady Gaga, 2010
When she's not arriving in an egg or wearing a full lace body suit complete with headpiece, Lady Gaga does "understated" with an Alexander McQueen dress and feather headpiece. She later pulled a costume change into the now-infamous meat dress.
Christina Aguilera, 2002
The early 2000s introduced us to a slew of pop music divas, a lineup that wouldn't be complete without Christina Aguilera's powerhouse vocals. The era also introduced us to a wave of unfortunate trends, including cut off miniskirts, two-tone hair extensions, and the scarf-as-shirt look.
Destiny's Child, 2001
Before there was Queen Bey there was Destiny's Child—the group took home multiple awards in 2001 for their hit, "Survivor." Known for their coordinated costumes (created by Beyonce's mom, Tina), the trio failed to disappoint with this peachy-keen color scheme.
Britney Spears, 2001
Britney is the undisputed queen of the VMAs. Whether performing Slave 4 U with a boa constrictor around her neck or famously ripping off a tuxedo outfit in a mashup of "Satisfaction" and "Oops I Did It Again," her performances are legendary. This Dolce and Gabanna dress was scandalous in 2001, but doesn't rival anything Miley Cyrus wears today.
Gwen Stefani, 1998
With her crop tops and fancy pants, the No Doubt front woman has always been ahead of the trends. In '98, she beat the current obsession with rainbow hair by over a decade with an icy shade of blue (dyed to match her furry bikini top, we're guessing).
PJ Harvey, 1995
From Alanis Morissette to Courtney Love, the mid-'90s treated us to a slew of female alt-rockers, arguably none more unique than British singer-songwriter PJ Harvey. In '95, she attended the awards in a simple blue slip dress and over-the-top Cleopatra-style eye makeup.
While we'll never forget Madonna's history-making performance of "Like a Virgin" in a tattered wedding dress, we'd be remiss if we overlooked her more conservative (for her) but no less fascinating interpretation of "Vogue." Marie Antoinette would be impressed.
Photos: Getty Images