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The honor recognizes an artist or band “whose unparalleled career and continued impact and influence has maintained a unique level of global success in music and beyond.” The honoree is someone who has “left an indelible mark on the musical landscape and continues to influence, inspire and evolve.”
This marks the first time the award has been presented at the VMAs, though it has been handed out at MTV’s Europe Music Awards. Past recipients include Queen, Eminem and Whitney Houston.
The Foo Fighters — which is comprised of Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee — has been a familiar presence at the VMAs over the years, starting with their first nominations for Big Me in 1996 (including a nom for video of the year and a win for best group video) along with a win in 2011 for best rock video for “Walk.” They also performed at the 1997 and 2007 shows.
This year, they are nominated for best rock video, best choreography and cinematography for “Shame Shame.” Their 10th album, Medicine at Midnight, was released Feb. 5.
The group has been in the news recently for its efforts to stage concerts safely amid the pandemic. Most recently, the band said it would require people who attend their shows in Alaska this week to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a negative test result 48 hours before attending.
In June, the Foo Fighters played Madison Square Garden, marking the first full-capacity concert in New York since March 2020. Ticketholders were required to show proof of vaccination to enter the venue.
The 2021 VMAs will air live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., at 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 12.
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