17 Unforgettable MMVA Performances

Toronto has always been a hotspot for musical acts, but one thing brings our favourite artists back time and time again – the iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards, also known as the MMVAs. 27 years later, the MMVAs have come a long way, attracting artists and fans worldwide. A defining factor? The fan involvement. Those who wanted to catch a glimpse of the various musical acts could line up along the red carpet or be in the live audience. The first show aired in 1990 as the Canadian Music Video awards with rapper Maestro Fresh Wes freestyling from a subway station all the way to the show itself. This set a bar for MMVA performers for years to come, and they’ve definitely pushed standards ever since. Here are some of the most unforgettable MMVA performances!

17. Katy Perry, “Wide Awake”

Year: 2012

Katy wowed audiences with her performance of “Wide Awake” at the 2012 MMVAs. Her gorgeous performance setup will always go down in history as a visually stunning set. Let’s not forget her butterfly moment during this perfromance as well!

16. Fifth Harmony, “Work From Home” 

Year: 2016

The girl group has been taking the world by storm. In addition to picking up two MMVAs that night, they had a spectacular performance.

15. Carly Rae Jepsen and Flo Rida, “Good Feeling” and “Wild Ones”

“Call Me Maybe” was definitely the song of summer 2012, but this performance with both Carly Rae Jepsen was a collab we never knew we needed in our lives.

14. The Weeknd, “The Hills” and “Earned It”


Year: 2015

Toronto’s very own gave fans not only one, but two amazing songs during this year’s show, captivating audiences the whole way through.

13. Justin Bieber, “Somebody to Love” and “Baby”

Year: 2010

Remember the term “Bieber fever” or Justin Bieber’s iconic hair? This performance is a prime example of it.

12. Marianas Trench, “Celebrity Status”


Year: 2010

The band have become notorious for their amazing MMVA red carpet arrivals, but let’s not forget their amazing energy while onstage. This year, they performed one of their many hits from their album, Masterpiece Theatre.

11. Drake, “Over”

Year: 2010

Drake has been showing his hometown of Toronto a fair amount of love even before the release of Views. What better fanbase than your city, right?

10. Blink-182, “All The Small Things”


Year: 2000

The world was at its peak for pop-punk so naturally, the MMVAs made sure to have one of the biggest names in the genre perform. As per usual, the band smashed it!

9. Finger Eleven, “Paralyzer”

Year: 2007

This was an absolutely electrifying performance from Finger Eleven. Not only was “Paralyzer” a hit, but the band had an amazing rooftop performance, complete with fireworks.

8. The Jonas Brothers, “Burning Up”

Year: 2009

Were you really around in 2009 if you didn’t love this song, or at least hear it everywhere? The trio was “Burning Up” the stage with this performance!

7. Britney Spears, “Crazy” and “Sometimes”

Year: 1999

The princess of late-90’s and early 2000’s pop made an appearance at the MMVAs, delivering an amazing rendition of two songs.

7. PSY, “Gangnam Style”

Year: 2013

Most people either look back fondly at this song, or block it out of their memory. Either way, PSY bringing the hit to Toronto was an unforgettable MMVA moment!

6. Rihanna, “Take A Bow”

Year: 2008

This was Rihanna’s first televised performance of the hit, and she absolutely nailed it.

6. Miley Cyrus, “Can’t Be Tamed”

Year: 2010

This pre-Bangerz era performance marked a turning point in Miley’s career with an energetic show.

5. Ariana Grande, “Problem”

Year: 2014

Ariana Grande danced her way onto the MMVA stage this year, bringing the whole package of vocals, choreography, and a good time.

4. Adam Lambert, “Whataya Want From Me”

Year: 2010

Following his time on American Idol and the release of his debut album For Yor Entertainment, Adam Lambert graced the MMVA stage with powerful vocals that would frequent radio stations everywhere.

3. The Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”

Year: 2009

2009 was an amazing year for The Black Eyed Peas, following the release of their album The E.N.D.  Fans were expecting nothing less than an energetic performance, and they definitely delivered.

2. Lady Gaga, LoveGame and Poker Face

Year: 2009

At this point in time, Lady Gaga had kicked off her career with the stellar album, The Fame with hits such as “LoveGame” and “Paparazzi”. Her performance at the 2009 MMVAs and other various award shows solidified her place in the music industry for years to come.

1. David Bowie, “The Pretty Things are Going to Hell”

Year: 1999

The one and only icon made an appearance at the MMVAs back in the day, and it was phenomenal. Check out the performance here.

BONUS Ed Sheeran, “Photograph”

Year: 2015

You didn’t really think we’d leave out Ed Sheeran, did you? Not only was he a host for the 2015 show, he also performed twice the same night. This simple yet emotional performance of “Photograph” had audiences hanging onto every lyric and strum of the guitar.

You can catch this year’s show on Sunday, June 18th and watch along on the MMVA website.


Are you excited for this year’s iHeartRadio MMVAs? Let us know by tweeting us at @CelebMix.

Written by Kath Jiang

Western University grad, music lover, and pizza enthusiast from Toronto.

Email: katherine.jiang@live.ca
(Please CC hello@CelebMix.com on all inquiries!)