Did MTV forget about David Bowie and Prince?

The music industry is still mourning the deaths of pair, who died three months apart in early 2016. The 2016 MTV VMAs aired live Sunday from Madison Square Garden and featured a number of standout performances, with everyone from Rihanna to Beyoncé taking the stage. And yet, as many fans pointed out via social media, the show didn't—but should have—included tributes to Bowie and Prince. After all, the singers were two of the most influential visual artists of all time.

Not to mention, Bowie and Prince both won multiple VMAs in their heydays.

Bowie was nominated 10 times between 1984 and 2016. His first win came in 1984, when the rock star took home Best Male Video for "China Girl" and the Video Vanguard Award. In 1986, Bowie was recognized for Best Overall Performance in a Video for "Dancing in the Street."

The singer was posthumously nominated four times in 2016—more times than he'd ever been in a single year. "Lazarus" was up for Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography, but it lost to Beyoncé's "Formation"; director Melina Matsoukas, director of photography Malik Sayeed and editor by Jeff Selis walked away with the Moonman trophies. Bowie's "Blackstar" won the award for Best Art Direction, though credit was given to art director Jan Houllevigue.

David Bowie, Prince

Getty Images/NPG Records, E! Ilustration

As for Prince? He received 12 nominations between 1985 and 2006. He won Best Choreography in a Video for "Raspberry Beret" in 1986, Best Male Video and Best Stage Performance in a Video for "U Got the Look" in 1988, and Best Dance Video for "Cream" in 1992.

MTV has not explained why it opted to forgo tribute performances during Sunday's ceremony. It was surprising to many, given that its first-ever awards ceremony featured a pre-recorded performance of Bowie's "Blue Jean." Prince also performed twice at the VMAs, singing a medley of "Sign o' the Times" and "Play in the Sunshine" in 1987, followed by "Gett Off" (with The New Power Generation) in 1991. Bowie and Prince had also appeared as presenters over the years.

A month after Bowie's death on Jan. 10, Lady Gaga honored the icon during the Grammys, while Lorde did him justice at the BRIT Awards. Following Prince's death on Apr. 21, Madonna and Stevie Wonder played his greatest hits at the Billboard Awards. But the BET Awards went all out, recruiting Jerome Benton, Sheila E., Elisa Fiorillo, Mayte Garcia, Jennifer Hudson, Tori Kelly, Maxwell, Janelle Monáe, Liv Warfield and Stevie Wonder.

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