When George Michael kissed Madonna live on stage at the 1989 MTV Awards

12 January 2021, 17:17

George Michael was being presented the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award – also known as the Video Vanguard Award – when he gave Madonna a sensual kiss on the lips.
George Michael was being presented the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award – also known as the Video Vanguard Award – when he gave Madonna a sensual kiss on the lips. Picture: MTV/Youtube

Madonna was presenting George Michael with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1989 MTV Awards when the 'Faith' singer kissed the Queen of Pop in front of the whole world.

It's not every day you get kissed on lips by someone you have a crush on, but that's exactly what happened to Madonna in 1989.

George Michael was being presented the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award – also known as the Video Vanguard Award – when he gave Madonna a sensual kiss on the lips.

See more: George Michael facts: Singer's age, songs, family, partner and death explained

The moment between the two stars aired live to the world on September 6, 1989 from the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

Madonna, smoking a cigarette and accompanied by two smoking backing dancers, comes on stage to present the Video Vanguard Award to "an artist who has made outstanding contributions to the world of music video.
Madonna, smoking a cigarette and accompanied by two backing dancers, comes on stage to present the Video Vanguard Award to "an artist who has made outstanding contributions to the world of music video. Picture: MTV/Youtube
The singer himself then walks out on stage and after waving to the crowd immediately gives Madonna a huge bear hug, before approaching the podium.
The singer himself then walks out on stage and after waving to the crowd immediately gives Madonna a huge bear hug, before approaching the podium. Picture: MTV/Youtube
Madonna was presenting George Michael with the Video Vanguard Award at the 1989 MTV Video Awards
Madonna was presenting George Michael with the Video Vanguard Award at the 1989 MTV Video Awards. Picture: MTV/Youtube

Madonna and Paula Abdul were the joint biggest award winners of the night with four awards each, with the Queen of Pop winning Best Direction in A Video, Best Art Direction in a Video and Best Cinematography in a Video for 'Express Yourself', and the highly coveted Viewers Choice Award for 'Like a Prayer.'

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Performances on the night included The Rolling Stones singing 'Mixed Emotions', Jon Bon Jovi giving a rendition of 'Livin' on a Prayer' and Cher's 'If I Could Turn Back Time' and after the performances were nearly over, it was soon time for the last award of the night.

Madonna, smoking a cigarette and accompanied by two smoking backing dancers, comes on stage to present the Video Vanguard Award to "an artist who has made outstanding contributions to the world of music video.

See more: 19-year-old George Michael's phenomenal first TV appearance with Wham! - watch video

"He has an excellent voice, he's a great songwriter and he makes very classy videos...ladies and gentlemen, George Michael!"

What follows is a montage of George Michael speaking about his music videos and including clips from 'I Want Your Sex', 'Faith' and 'Monkey', before the cameras cut back to Madonna.

See more: 8 times George Michael stunned strangers with private acts of charity

"George, I Want Your Sex," Madonna had said to a wolf whistling crowd.
"George, I Want Your Sex," Madonna had said to a wolf whistling crowd. Picture: MTV/Youtube
As the 'Like A Virgin' singer hands him the famous silver MTV astronaut statue, George leans forward and kisses Madonna gently on the lips as the audience scream.
As the 'Like A Virgin' singer hands him the famous silver MTV astronaut statue, George leans forward and kisses Madonna gently on the lips as the audience scream. Picture: MTV/Youtube
After the pair kiss, Madonna leaves the stage as George Michael starts to give his speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award.
After the pair kiss, Madonna leaves the stage as George Michael starts to give his speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Picture: MTV/Youtube

"George, I Want Your Sex," she says to a wolf whistling crowd. "So be my Father Figure, and I will have Faith if we have to live Hand To Mouth! Ladies and Gentlemen, the diva himself, George Michael!"

See more: The incredible night George Michael went undercover to watch his impersonator

The singer himself then walks out on stage and after waving to the crowd immediately gives Madonna a huge bear hug, before approaching the podium.

As the 'Like A Virgin' singer hands him the famous silver MTV astronaut statue, George leans forward and kisses Madonna gently on the lips as the audience scream.

See more: George Michael's ex-girlfriend recalls relationship with 'hilarious' and 'generous' star

The camera then cuts away just as Madonna can be seen smiling before she waves to George and leaves him on stage on his own to make an acceptance speech.

The 1989 MTV Awards took place when George Michael was riding on the coattails of his sex symbol status with Wham!, ten years before he would officially come out as gay and two years before he met the 'love of his life' Anselmo Feleppa.

See more: The moment George Michael came out as gay on live TV and inspired a generation

The 'Faith' star was singing on stage at a 1991 Rio de Janeiro concert when he locked eyes with Anselmo in the crowd for the first time and nearly forgot his words to the song.

See more: Forgotten loves of George Michael, Freddie Mercury and Elton John: The secret women they loved

The extraordinary moment was caught on camera, with George later saying: “At the front of 160,000 people there was this guy over at the right-hand side of the stage that just fixed me with this look."

"He was so cute. I was so distracted by him, I stayed away from that corner, because otherwise I thought I was going to get really distracted and forget the words."

See more: Moment George Michael first locks eyes with ‘future soulmate’ in audience while singing Careless Whisper

In 1998, after been arrested for a propositioning an undercover policeman in a Beverley Hills park, George Michael appeared on television to real he was gay for the first time and inspire the world with the words: "I don’t feel any shame whatsoever."

After spending just two years together, George's 'soulmate' Anselmo Feleppa had succumbed to AIDS and died in 1993, leaving George struggling to commit again.

See more: Watch incredible moment George Michael sang to dying "secret first love" at concert

George Michael and partner Kenny Goss dated from 1996 to 2011. Pictured in 2002.
George Michael and partner Kenny Goss dated from 1996 to 2011. Pictured in 2002. Picture: MTV/Youtube

"I was so devastated by Anselmo dying. I was in a world of my own. I didn’t attempt any relationship in that time. And then, of course, I met Kenny three years after Anselmo passed away.…" he told the Gay Times in 2007.

"Even though it was a horrendous experience to lose Anselmo, it had been a terrific experience to have my first relationship."

See more: Watch George Michael's last ever concert - his final words are heartbreakingly poignant

George went on to meet new partner Kenny Goss and the two dated from 1996 to 2011 - remaining good friends until the star's death in 2016.