1992 MTV Video Music Awards

The 1992 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 9, 1992, honoring the best music videos from June 16, 1991, to June 15, 1992. The show was hosted by Dana Carvey at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

1992 MTV Video Music Awards
DateWednesday, September 9, 1992
LocationPauley Pavilion, Los Angeles
CountryUnited States
Hosted byDana Carvey
Most awardsVan Halen & Red Hot Chili Peppers (3)
Most nominationsRed Hot Chili Peppers (9)
Television/radio coverage

The night's biggest winners were Van Halen and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as each group earned three moonmen that night. Particularly, Van Halen's video for "Right Now" took home the main award of the night, Video of the Year, and received seven nominations, making it the most nominated video of the night. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, meanwhile, won the award for Viewer's Choice and received a total of nine nominations for two of their videos, becoming the most nominated act of the night. Six of the Peppers' nominations were for "Give It Away", and the remaining three went to "Under the Bridge".

The show was notable for a feud between Axl Rose and members of Nirvana as well as Courtney Love. It began backstage before the awards show, when Love jokingly offered to make Rose the godfather of Frances Bean Cobain. Rose threatened Cobain, telling him to quiet his wife, and barbs were exchanged between Love and Rose's then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour.[1][2] Bassists Krist Novoselic and Duff McKagan almost came to blows over the incident, just before Nirvana were to take the stage.[3][4] The spat went public onstage immediately after Nirvana's performance of "Lithium", as drummer Dave Grohl taunted Rose. Cobain then raised the dispute in post-show interviews at the VMA.[1][2]

Along with Nirvana and Guns N' Roses, the night's performers included the likes of Bryan Adams, Def Leppard, En Vogue, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, and Eric Clapton, among others. Also, there was a special performance by U2 via satellite, with host Dana Carvey playing the drums for them from the Pauley Pavilion. English band The Cure was slated to perform, too, but they had to cancel their appearance, citing illness and exhaustion from the band.[5]

Winners and nominations

Winners are in bold text.[6]

Video of the Year

Van Halen – "Right Now"

Best Male Video

Eric Clapton – "Tears in Heaven" (Performance)

Best Female Video

Annie Lennox – "Why"

Best Group Video

U2 – "Even Better Than the Real Thing"

Best New Artist in a Video

Nirvana – "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Best Metal/Hard Rock Video

Metallica – "Enter Sandman"

Best Rap Video

Arrested Development – "Tennessee"

Best Dance Video

Prince and the New Power Generation – "Cream"

Best Alternative Video

Nirvana – "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Best Video from a Film

Queen – "Bohemian Rhapsody" (from Wayne's World)

Breakthrough Video

Red Hot Chili Peppers – "Give It Away"

Best Direction in a Video

Van Halen – "Right Now" (Director: Mark Fenske)

Best Choreography in a Video

En Vogue – "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" (Choreographers: Frank Gatson, Travis Payne and LaVelle Smith Jr.)

Best Special Effects in a Video

U2 – "Even Better Than the Real Thing" (Special Effects: Simon Taylor)

Best Art Direction in a Video

Red Hot Chili Peppers – "Give It Away" (Art Directors: Nick Goodman and Robertino Mazati)

Best Editing in a Video

Van Halen – "Right Now" (Editor: Mitchell Sinoway)

Best Cinematography in a Video

Guns N' Roses – "November Rain" (Directors of Photography: Mike Southon and Daniel Pearl)

Viewer's Choice

Red Hot Chili Peppers – "Under the Bridge"

International Viewer's Choice Awards

MTV Asia

Christina – "Jing Mai Klua"

  • Artists R.A.P. (Roslan Aziz Productions) – "Ikhlas Tapi Jauh"
  • Chang Yu-sheng – "Take Me to the Moon"
  • The Dawn – "Iisang Bangka Tayo"
  • Lo Ta-yu – "Story of the Train"
  • Marsha – "Taak-Hak"
MTV Australia

Diesel – "Man Alive"

MTV Brasil

Nenhum de Nós – "Ao Meu Redor"

MTV Europe

The Cure – "Friday I'm in Love"

MTV Internacional

El General – "Muévelo"

Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award

Guns N' Roses


Kurt Cobain (front) and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana performing at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.



Main show


  1. Hartmann, Graham 'Gruhamed'. "AXL ROSE VS. NIRVANA – NASTIEST ROCK FEUDS". Loudwire. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  2. Hyden, Steven (19 October 2010). "Part 2: 1991: "What's so civil about war anyway?"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  3. McKagan, Duff (11 February 2010). "All Apologies". Seattle Weekly. Archived from the original on 2011-12-28. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  4. Novoselic, Krist (18 November 2008). "What Really Happened at the 1992 MTV Music Video Awards". Seattle Weekly. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  5. TCDB (12 November 2015). "THE CURE cancel MTV Video Music Awards performance - 1992" via YouTube.
  6. Considine, J.D. (September 9, 1992). "Other award shows can be totally stodgy, but this is MTV". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on October 11, 2020. Retrieved October 11, 2020.