The year was 2013. We knew where that one Malaysia Airlines plane was. Donald Trump was still that guy from The Apprentice. “Dark Brandon” “rizz” and “ozempic” were mere twinkles in some raccoon dog’s eye.
Former Disney darling Miley Cyrus was set to take the stage at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, performing her hit singles “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines,” the other (weirdly creepy and kinda plagiarized) song of the summer, before an audience of celebrities and roughly 10.1 million viewers at home.
What’s the most memorable controversy in pop culture?— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) April 25, 2023
Yet, over the course of her roughly four-minute performance, Cyrus found herself embroiled in several controversies, sparking from her skin-tight latex outfit, seductively caressing her body with a foam finger, and twerking on Robin Thicke.
Sparking a maximum of 306,100 tweets each minute, Cyrus and Thicke’s performance shocked fans, even eliciting a reply from the Parents Television Council, a group that boasted the teen singer’s dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, on its advisory board.
"MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate 'twerking' in a nude-colored bikini," they said in a statement, asking "how is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?"
Cyrus and Thicke, however, were prepared for the backlash, a sentiment Cyrus reiterated four years later in 2017.
"Me and Robin, the whole time said, 'You know we're about to make history right now,'" she said of her divisive performance. "What's amazing is I think now ... people are still talking about it. They're overthinking it."
From dancing with Miley (doin’ whatever we want!) to learning Britney Spears (allegedly) cheated on Justin Timberlake via music video and Kanye West’s award show with Taylor Swift, here are some of Twitter’s favorite pop culture moments.
We'll never forget pic.twitter.com/uN8eIXljCK— D E V V Y (@spaceydevvy) April 25, 2023
and she still hasn’t deleted it pic.twitter.com/MmXdkYpxBd— ✰ (@nickstarrr__) April 25, 2023
Unbeatable. I want both to sit down and put peace pic.twitter.com/cnGpzdAt2z— ☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️ (@_wraplyly) April 27, 2023
Wahlberg❣️dat sack. pic.twitter.com/ETzpTimJVf— Capitalista (@almajessica1973) April 26, 2023
Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford climbing the set to interrupt Limp Bizkit winning Best Rock Video at the 2000 MTV VMAs pic.twitter.com/4bubMCB5KR— James Crugnale (@jamescrugnale) April 25, 2023
This was defiantly up there. pic.twitter.com/9CgjuLhE5G— Robert ⚔️ (@hausofrobert) April 25, 2023
THIS ONE. pic.twitter.com/ccLiZ5vQND— ️ (@HeyItsMeSpidey) April 25, 2023
This is top 10 for me because I still don't understand how it was announced wrong https://t.co/i20WTlq9pI— a nascent (@notcraigg) April 26, 2023
before this it’d been a min since celebrity drama had the whole internet together for discourse pic.twitter.com/TGpgfk4Ofb— princess ♛ (@thekinggdom) April 25, 2023
Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Superbowl halftime. The fact that it was the impetus for the FCC requiring networks to time-delay live broadcasts speaks volumes to how shocking & impactful this was. pic.twitter.com/2ZnG4t5wRD— Lin - @email@example.com (@fleetcheetah) April 27, 2023
World ain’t been right since pic.twitter.com/xgJDpoMz6B— s 3 x ɴ ɪ ɴ ᴇ ™️ (@S3X9NERA) April 25, 2023