MTV may not be known for playing music videos 24/7 anymore, but for one night a year, we hearken back to the days of "I Want My MTV," VJs and "Total Request Live" to celebrate music's visual form during the MTV Video Music Awards. This year's awards air Aug. 24, and with all of your favorite eccentric artists gathered under one roof, not to mention what are sure to be memorable performances from the likes of Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj, it's going to be one crazy night.

The awards generally take the back seat during the VMAs broadcast, but that doesn't detract from their importance. Music videos are truly an art form, and the most innovative will take home the top prize of "Video of the Year." This year's nominees for the category are Beyonce featuring Jay-Z for "Drunk in Love," Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX for "Fancy," Miley Cyrus for "Wrecking Ball," Pharrell Williams for "Happy," and Sia for "Chandelier."

These nominees follow in the footsteps of some truly amazing videos that have revolutionized the art form since the first VMAs aired in 1984. All 30 videos that have won so far are pretty phenomenal in their own ways, but these five truly stand out as the absolute best.

1. "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel (1987)

There's basically two periods in the history of music videos: everything that came before Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" and everything after. This video was a pioneer in visual effects and the capabilities of a music video captivate the viewer in just five minutes. Using stop-motion animation to seamlessly take the viewer on a journey from a blue sky to a carnival to under the sea, "Sledgehammer" is nothing short of a masterpiece.

2. "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M. (1991)

Imagery inspired by history, religion and art combined with lead singer Michael Stipe's evocative dance moves and delivery make it impossible to forget the video for "Losing My Religion."

3. "Tonight, Tonight" by The Smashing Pumpkins (1996)

At first, an early 1900s period piece seems like an odd visual representation for a rock video. However, The Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight," which recreates Georges Melies' 1902 silent film "A Trip to the Moon," is the perfect soundtrack to this whimsical video.

4. "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai (1997)

In describing Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity," you could say that it just shows the group's lead singer dancing in a white room. However, that would be grossly underselling it. Furniture moves on its own, people appear out of nowhere and Kay glides on the floor as if he's in the room of the future that we all want to live in.

5. "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" by Beyonce (2009)

Beyonce's video for "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" has beauty in its simplicity. Three women in black leotards performing some fierce dance moves inspired countless parodies and a cultural phenomenon that would help Beyonce become the No.1 diva in this game.

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