Madonna makes surprise appearance at VMAs to celebrate 40 years of MTV

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It's been 40 years since MTV first launched in 1981 with Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles. So, to celebrate the milestone, it was only right that MTV invited back the woman who opened up the very first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984 with her hit Like A Virgin - Madonna.

Madonna's Like A Virgin performance in 1984 is still one of the most scandalous in the award show's history, so it was no surprise to some fans when 63-year-old Madonna stepped out onto the stage in a 'cheeky' full leather outfit.

"Around 40 years ago, I came to New York City with nothing but $35 and a pair of dance shoes." Madonna told the audience.

"I told the taxi driver to take me to the center of it all. He dropped me off in Times Square. I was 19 and terrified, but it was just the first step. I knew that someday, with a lot of hard work, I'd be known not just in New York City, but all over the world." she continued.

"Forty years ago, another underdog arrived in New York City, hoping to create something revolutionary: an all-music channel premiered in the middle of the night and called itself MTV. We found each other and formed a bond that changed my life, changed music, and created a whole new art form. That's why there's only one place to be tonight."

Madonna proceeded to strut onstage to “Vogue” and unfasten her Night Porter-style trench coat to reveal a butt-baring, black leather dominatrix outfit that seemed pulled straight from her Erotica-era closet. 

Madonna wasn’t the only early-MTV queen to make a surprise appearance at Sunday’s VMAs. Cyndi Lauper, who took home Best Female Video honors at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards 37 years ago, showed up rocking a lavender lob and a very rock ‘n’ roll black leather-and-lace ensemble to present the Best Pop Award, and she used her return to MTV an opportunity to make a political statement. 

“I won a Moon Person at the very first VMAs in 1984. Things are a little different now. Yeah, girls wanna have fun. But we also want to have funds. Equal pay! Control over our bodies! You know, fundamental rights!” Lauper shouted to thunderous applause.