Our Dream VMA Performers


We've traveled across space and time to bring you this star-studded list.

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Think of the Outfits

Catherine Fuentes, managing editor, @cat_fuentes

Dream Performers: Rhythm Nation-era Janet Jackson and Prince

Why: Combine one of the greatest performers at the top of her game with one of the best guitarists to ever live, and you will have one of the most explosive VMA performances ever.

And the Best Part About It Would Be: Imagine Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" video dance break. Now imagine one of Prince's legendary guitar solos. Just think of both of those happening together on the same stage. There's not a word that can describe how mind-blowing that would be. 

Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Rhyme

Sameet Sharma, assistant photo editor, @sameetsharma

Dream Performers: John Candy, Doug E. Doug, Leon, Rawle Lewis, and Malik Yoba performing the "Jamaican Bobsledding Chant" with support from Worl-A-Girl and the original Jamaican bobsled team

Why: Because Cool Runnings is my favorite movie.

And the Best Part About It Would Be: Everybody will realize, both during and after the performance, just how amazing of a movie Cool Runnings truly is.

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"She's Our Friend and She's Crazy: The Musical"

Chantal Strasburger, assistant editor, @chantagold

Dream Performers: A duet by Gaten Matarazzo and Millie Bobby Brown (a.k.a Dustin and Eleven from Stranger Things)

Why: Word on the street is that these two little actors have some major pipes, so we might as well kick-start their musical careers now, right?

And the Best Part About It Would Be: Now that Stranger Things is over, we can move on to more appropriate uses of Millie Bobby Brown's telekinesis, like floating backup dancers.

The Pre-Bieber Heartthrob

Rebecca Bates, senior editor, @re.beccabates

Dream Performer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Why: Mozart was the original child prodigy, and maybe the greatest composer ever. He was the envy of literally every older musician and composer who had achieved fame at that time. It's like when a new Usher or Bieber bursts onto the scene, and all the singer-songwriters who have been at it for years are so jealous, but pretend not to be.

And the Best Part About It Would Be: Mozart's contemporaries recalled that he was a snappy dresser. In my fantasy, he wears some beautiful gold frilly suit that Kanye will reference in a single he releases a few months later.

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This Would Impress Us Much

Chanel Parks, assistant editor, @chanelinezp

Dream Performers: Céline Dion and Shania Twain

Why: Because, let's be honest, the top Canadians in music history have to be these two powerhouse divas—apologies to all fans of Bieber and Drake.

And the Best Part About It Would Be: Well, if it isn't the whole damn thing, it will have to be the moment when they beautifully try to outdo each other ad-libbing at the end of their spectacular medley, which would consist of "From This Moment On," "My Heart Will Go On," "You're Still the One," and "Because You Loved Me," arguably four of the best love songs ever. It will be, without question, the best note-holding competition of all time—and we'll be taking bets.

Leave It to the Legends

Martin Sanchez, associate editor, @thet_t

Dream Performers: Group performance by Michael Jackson, Bowie, and Whitney Houston

Why: Because legends never die.

And the Best Part About It Would Be: When they slowly ascend from beneath the stage and begin singing their collaborative version of "We Are the World."

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Because Blondes Have More Fun

Rebecca Deczynski, editorial assistant, @rebeccadecz

Dream Performers: Stevie Nicks and Dolly Parton—coming together as a whimsical blonde super-duo

Why: Dolly and Stevie both reached major acclaim in the '70s, both eventually shifted from their original sound to try out more of a pop vibe, and both came to have an affinity for flowy bell sleeves. Why haven't they already duetted?

And the Best Part About It Would Be: Just imagine that rendition of "Landslide" and try to even fathom a single dry eye in that theater. Just try.

The Triumphant Free-For-All

Stefan Marolachakis, senior editor, @stefanmymind

Dream Performer: A new supergroup called "The Loose Cannon Brigade" featuring Elvis Presley, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Axl Rose, and DJ Screw, doing a chopped-and-screwed cover of Queen's "We Are the Champions"

Why: This would have everything you need out of an awards show performance: enormous egos, emotional volatility, unmatched showmanship, comically high production value, and a general sense of sonic disorientation.

And the Best Part About It Would Be: The moment ODB descends from the ceiling in a spaceship, walks slowly down the ramp, and joins the rest of the band right as the chorus hits, singing "we are the champions" with all his might.

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