VMAs 2020: Nominees, Host, Performers, How to Watch, and More

While many awards shows have been postponed, rescheduled, or canceled lately, the MTV Video Music Awards are forging ahead — with some adjustments. The ceremony airs this Sunday, Aug. 30, and it won’t be held in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, as originally planned. Instead, Deadline reports that the VMAs will stage a series of outdoor performances with limited or no audience in various New York City boroughs. But while the event may look different, it will still honor some of the biggest names in music right now.

Among the artists up for Video of the Year are Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande for their spacey “Rain on Me,” The Weeknd for his sleek “Blinding Lights,” and Taylor Swift for “The Man.” Lady Gaga and The Weeknd are also competing for Artist of the Year alongside Megan Thee StallionJustin Bieber, DaBaby, and Post Malone. In the Song of the Year category, Roddy Ricch‘s TikTok famous “The Box” is battling it out against hits like Doja Cat‘s “Say So” and Post Malone‘s “Circles.”

There are also new categories this year that give nods to artists who found a way to perform and create music during 2020’s pandemic. We’re not sure if it’s awesome or slightly dystopian that Best Music Video From Home and Best Quarantine Performance are now official categories. 

With the ceremony just around the corner, here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 Video Music Awards. 

Keke Palmer will host. The former Nickelodeon star, who is also set to join Disney+’s Proud Family revival, will take the helm for this year’s ceremony. Palmer revealed the news Thursday in a fun Instagram video in which she hit up her eponymous True Jackson, VP character to help dress her for the event.

There’s a star-studded array of presenters. The announced presenters include Anthony Ramos, Bebe Rexha, Bella Hadid, Drew Barrymore, Jaden Smith, Joey King, Kelly Clarkson, Machine Gun Kelly, Madison Beer, Nicole Richie, Sofia Carson, and Travis Barker.

Some heavy hitters have been enlisted to perform. This year’s ceremony will feature performances by Lady Gaga, Doja Cat, J Balvin, and Miley Cyrus, who is set to perform her new single “Midnight Sky.” In addition, BTS will debut their new, English-language single “Dynamite,” marking the first time the hit K-pop group will take the VMA stage. The Weeknd, Roddy Ricch, Maluma, and Latin boy band CNCO have also joined the stacked line-up of performers.

Prepare for an epic duet. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande will perform together. Singing their duet “Rain on Me,” the pair will perform that song, nominated for seven VMAs and Video of the Year, together live for the first time. 

Voting is officially open. Fans who wish to vote for their favorite artist can head over to now through Aug. 23. In addition, voting for the PUSH Best New Artist Presented by Chime Banking will remain open until Sunday, Aug. 30. 

The nominees are out! See below for the complete list of who’s up for an award. 

Video of the Year
Billie Eilish – “everything i wanted” 
Eminem ft. Juice WRLD – “Godzilla”
Future ft. Drake – “Life Is Good”
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me”
Taylor Swift – “The Man” 
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights”

Artist of the Year
Justin Bieber 
Lady Gaga
Megan Thee Stallion
Post Malone 
The Weeknd

Song of the Year
Billie Eilish – “everything i wanted” 
Doja Cat – “Say So” 
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” 
Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage”
Post Malone – “Circles” 
Roddy Ricch – “The Box”

PUSH Artist of the Year
Doja Cat 
Jack Harlow 
Lewis Capaldi 
Roddy Ricch
Tate McRae 

Best Music Video From Home
5 Seconds of Summer – “Wildflower”
Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber – “Stuck with U” 
blink-182 – “Happy Days” 
Drake – “Toosie Slide”
John Legend – “Bigger Love” 
twenty one pilots – “Level of Concern”

Best Quarantine Performance
Chloe & Halle – “Do It” from MTV’s Prom-athon
CNCO – Unplugged At Home
DJ D-Nice – Club MTV presents #DanceTogether
John Legend – #togetherathome Concert Series
Lady Gaga – “Smile” from One World: Together At Home
Post Malone – Nirvana Tribute

Best Alternative
The 1975 – “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)” 
All Time Low – “Some Kind Of Disaster” 
FINNEAS – “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night” 
Lana Del Rey – “Doin’ Time” 
Machine Gun Kelly – “Bloody Valentine” 
twenty one pilots – “Level of Concern”

Best Pop
BTS – “On” 
Halsey – “You should be sad”
Jonas Brothers – “What a Man Gotta Do”
Justin Bieber ft. Quavo – “Intentions”
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me”
Taylor Swift – “Lover” 

Best Rock
blink-182 – “Happy Days”
Coldplay – “Orphans” 
Evanescence – “Wasted On You” 
Fall Out Boy ft. Wyclef Jean – “Dear Future Self (Hands Up)” 
Green Day – “Oh Yeah!” 
The Killers – “Caution”

Best R&B
Alicia Keys – “Underdog” 
Chloe x Halle – “Do It”
H.E.R. ft. YG – “Slide” – MBK / RCA Records
Khalid ft. Summer Walker – “Eleven” 
Lizzo – “Cuz I Love You”
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” 

Best Hip-Hop 
DaBaby – “BOP” 
Eminem ft. Juice WRLD – “Godzilla”
Future ft. Drake – “Life Is Good”
Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage” 
Roddy Ricch – “The Box” 
Travis Scott – “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” 

Best Latin
Anuel AA ft. Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, Karol G & J Balvin – “China” 
Bad Bunny – “Yo Perreo Sola” 
Black Eyed Peas ft. Ozuna & J. Rey Soul – “MAMACITA”
J Balvin – “Amarillo”
Karol G ft. Nicki Minaj – “Tusa”
Maluma ft. J Balvin – “Qué Pena”

Best K-Pop
(G)I-DLE – “Oh My God” 
BTS – “On” t
EXO – “Obsession” 
Tomorrow X Together – “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)”
Red Velvet – “Psycho”

Best Collaboration
Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber – “Stuck with U” 
Black Eyed Peas ft. J Balvin – “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life)” 
Ed Sheeran ft. Khalid – “Beautiful People” 
Future ft. Drake – “Life Is Good”
Karol G ft. Nicki Minaj – “Tusa” 
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” 

Video for Good 
Anderson .Paak – “Lockdown” 
Billie Eilish – “all the good girls go to hell” 
Demi Lovato – “I Love Me”
H.E.R. – “I Can’t Breathe”
Lil Baby – “The Bigger Picture” 
Taylor Swift – “The Man”

Best Direction
Billie Eilish – “xanny” – Directed by Billie Eilish
Doja Cat – “Say So” – Directed by Hannah Lux Davis
Dua Lipa – “Don’t Start Now” – Directed by Nabil
Harry Styles – “Adore You” – Directed by Dave Meyers
Taylor Swift – “The Man” – Directed by Taylor Swift
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – Directed by Anton Tammi

Best Choreography
BTS – “On” – Choreography by Son Sung Deuk, Lee Ga Hun, Lee Byung Eun
CNCO & Natti Natasha – “Honey Boo” – Choreography by Kyle Hanagami
DaBaby – “BOP” – Choreography by Dani Leigh and Cherry
Dua Lipa – “Physical” – Choreography by Charm La’Donna
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Choreography by Richy Jackson
Normani – “Motivation” – Choreography by Sean Bankhead

Best Visual Effects
Billie Eilish – “all the good girls go to hell” – Visual Effects by Drive Studios
Demi Lovato – “I Love Me” – Visual Effects by Hoody FX
Dua Lipa – “Physical” – Visual Effects by EIGHTY4
Harry Styles – “Adore You” – Visual Effects by Mathematic
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Visual Effects by Ingenuity Studios

Best Art Direction
A$AP Rocky – “Babushka Boi” – Art Direction by A$AP Rocky & Nadia Lee Cohen
Dua Lipa – “Physical” – Art Direction by Anna Colomé Nogu ́
Harry Styles – “Adore You” – Art Direction by Laura Ellis Cricks
Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter” – Art Direction by Christian Stone
Selena Gomez – “Boyfriend” – Art Direction by Tatiana Van Sauter
Taylor Swift – “Lover” – Art Direction by Ethan Tobman

Best Editing
Halsey – “Graveyard” – Edited by Emilie Aubry, Janne Vartia & Tim Montana
James Blake – “Can’t Believe the Way We Flow” – Edited by Frank Lebon
Lizzo – “Good As Hell” – Edited by Russell Santos & Sofia Kerpan
Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter” – Edited by Alexandre Moors, Nuno Xico
ROSALÍA – “A Palé” – Edited by Andre Jones
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – Edited by Janne Vartia & Tim Montana

Best Cinematography
5 Seconds of Summer – “Old Me” – Cinematography by Kieran Fowler
Camila Cabello ft. DaBaby – “My Oh My” – Cinematography by Dave Meyers
Billie Eilish – “all the good girls go to hell” – Cinematography by Christopher Probst
Katy Perry – “Harleys In Hawaii” – Cinematography by Arnau Valls
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Cinematography by Thomas Kloss
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – Cinematography by Oliver Millar

The VMA’s airs Sunday, Aug. 30 at 8/7c on MTV. 

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