David Bowie wins the first ever MTV VMA Best Male Video in 1984

On this day in 1984 with “China Girl”

David Bowie wins the first ever MTV VMA Best Male Video in 1984

The music video, featuring New Zealand model Geeling Ng, was directed by David Mallet, that worked on several Bowie videos, and shot mainly in the Chinatown district of Sydney, Australia. Along with his previous single’s video for “Let’s Dance” with the critique of racism in Australia, Bowie described the video as a “very simple, very direct” statement against racism. David Bowie was one of the pioneers on the music video industry, understanding the importance of it during the late 70’s. Prior to it he already had did what were called back then promo films such as “John, I’m Only Dancing”, “Life On Mars” and “Jean Genie” in the early 70’s, but wasn’t until the release of the “Berlin Trilogy” between 1977 and 1979 that he began doing more elaborated videos, specially for the 1979 album “Lodger” such as “D.J”, “Don’t Look Back In Anger” and “Boys Keep Swinging”. In 1980 he made the first most expensive music video at the time, “Ashes To Ashes”. During the rest of the decade Bowie did a series of memorable videos, including “China Girl” in 1983, a song co-written with Iggy Pop that was first released on Iggy Pop’s album “The Idiot” part of their Berlin period. Bowie’s version, included on his 1983 album “Let’s Dance”, became a hit single and a classic 80’s song. On September 14th, 1984 it won the Best Male Video on the first MTV VMA’s ceremony.

Watch the video of David Bowie’s “China Girl” and take a look back at the 1984 MTV VMA’s moment where it won Best Male Video accepted by Iggy Pop

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