SINGAPORE (August 12, 2021) – MTV today unveiled the nominations for the 2021 “VMAs,featuring artists whose cultural impact and work over the past year has transformed the music industry and created global conversation. Justin Bieber (7) leads this year’s list of nominees, followed closely by Megan Thee Stallion (6) with Billie Eilish, BTS, Doja Cat, Drake, Giveon, Lil Nas X and first-time nominee Olivia Rodrigo earning (5) nods apiece. 

 

The 2021 “VMAs” return to New York City airing LIVE from Barclays Center on Sunday, September 12 at 8PM ET/PT, airing across MTV’s global footprint of linear and digital platforms in 180 countries and territories, reaching nearly 400 million households in nearly 30 different languages. Fans in Southeast Asia can catch the VMAs on the MTV Asia channel in a same-day delayed primetime premiere at 7pm (WIB) and 8pm (SG/MY/PH) on Monday, September 13. 

 

Beginning today, fans can vote for their favorites across 14 gender-neutral categories, including “Video of the Year,” “Artist of the Year,” “Best Collaboration” and more by visiting vma.mtv.com through Friday, September 3, 2021 – thanks to Burger King®, the presenter of this year’s award voting. Voting for “Best New Artist,” Presented by Facebook, will remain active into the show on Sunday, September 12, 2021. Nominations for social categories including “Best Group” and “Song of Summer” will be announced at a later date.

 

Today, MTV partnered with Marlene Marmolejos (@motionmami), Aja Walton (@ajackdannie), and Fred Sands IV (@IVormerlyknownas) to announce marquee show categories including “Video of the Year,” “Song of the Year” and “Artist of the Year” through each of their diverse mediums; from digital art to nail art.

 

The “VMAs” are set to be one of the first fan-filled awards shows in NYC since the city’s reopening. The health and safety of artists, fans, staff and partners remain the number one priority, and MTV and Barclays Center are working closely with state and local officials to implement best practices in order to safely bring together music fans from around the globe. Barclays Center’s current health and safety protocols can be found here. Any additional protocols will be announced closer to the event. 

 

COMPLETE LIST OF 2021 NOMINEES:

 

VIDEO OF THE YEAR 

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP” – Atlantic Records

DJ Khaled ft. Drake – “POPSTAR” (Starring Justin Bieber) – OVO / We The Best / Epic Records

Doja Cat ft. SZA – “Kiss Me More” – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records

Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” – Atlantic Records 

Lil Nas X – “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records

The Weeknd – “Save Your Tears” – XO / Republic Records

 

ARTIST OF THE YEAR 

Ariana Grande – Republic Records

Doja Cat – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records

Justin Bieber – Def Jam 

Megan Thee Stallion – 300 Entertainment

Olivia Rodrigo – Geffen Records

Taylor Swift – Republic Records

 

SONG OF THE YEAR 

24kGoldn ft. iann dior – “Mood” – RECORDS LLC / Columbia Records 

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave The Door Open” – Aftermath Entertainment / Atlantic Records 

BTS – “Dynamite” – BIGHIT MUSIC 

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP” – Atlantic Records 

Dua Lipa – “Levitating” – Warner Records 

Olivia Rodrigo – “drivers license” – Geffen Records

 

BEST NEW ARTIST, Presented by Facebook 

24kGoldn – RECORDS LLC / Columbia Records

Giveon – Epic Records / Not So Fast 

The Kid LAROI – Columbia Records

Olivia Rodrigo – Geffen Records

Polo G – Columbia Records

Saweetie – Warner Records 

 

PUSH PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

September 2020: Wallows – "Are You Bored Yet?" – Columbia Records 

October 2020: Ashnikko – "Daisy" – Warner Records 

November 2020: SAINt JHN – "Gorgeous" – Godd Complexx / HITCO 

December 2020: 24kGoldn – "Coco" – RECORDS LLC / Columbia Records 

January 2021: JC Stewart – "Break My Heart" – Elektra Music Group 

February 2021: Latto – "Sex Lies" – RCA Records 

March 2021: Madison Beer – "Selfish" – Epic Records / Sing It Loud 

April 2021: The Kid LAROI – "WITHOUT YOU" – Columbia Records 

May 2021: Olivia Rodrigo – "drivers license" – Geffen Records 

June 2021: girl in red "Serotonin" – world in red / AWAL 

July 2021: Fousheé – "my slime" – RCA Records 

August 2021: jxdn – “Think About Me” – DTA Records / Elektra Music Group 

 

BEST COLLABORATION

24kGoldn ft. iann dior – “Mood” – RECORDS LLC / Columbia Records 

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP” – Atlantic Records 

Doja Cat ft. SZA – “Kiss Me More” – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records 

Drake ft. Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later” – OVO / Republic Records 

Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches” – Def Jam 

Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa – “Prisoner” – RCA Records

 

BEST POP

Ariana Grande – “positions” – Republic Records 

Billie Eilish – “Therefore I Am” – Darkroom / Interscope Records 

BTS – “Butter” – BIGHIT MUSIC 

Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness” – Columbia Records 

Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches” – Def Jam 

Olivia Rodrigo – “good 4 u” – Geffen Records 

Shawn Mendes – “Wonder” – Island Records 

Taylor Swift – “willow” – Republic Records

 

BEST HIP-HOP

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP” – Atlantic Records 

Drake ft. Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later” – OVO / Republic Records 

Lil Baby ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “On Me (remix)” – Quality Control / Motown 

Moneybagg Yo – “Said Sum” – N-Less Entertainment / Interscope Records 

Polo G – “RAPSTAR” – Columbia Records 

Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A. – “FRANCHISE” – Cactus Jack / Epic Records 

 

BEST ROCK

Evanescence – “Use My Voice” – BMG 

Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame” – Roswell Records / RCA Records 

John Mayer – “Last Train Home” – Columbia Records

The Killers – “My Own Soul's Warning” – Island 

Kings Of Leon – “The Bandit” – RCA Records 

Lenny Kravitz – “Raise Vibration” – Roxie Records / BMG

 

BEST ALTERNATIVE

Bleachers – “Stop Making This Hurt” – RCA Records 

Glass Animals – “Heat Waves” – Republic Records 

Imagine Dragons – “Follow You” – KIDinaKORNER / Interscope Records

Machine Gun Kelly ft. blackbear – “my ex’s best friend” – Bad Boy / Interscope Records 

twenty one pilots – “Shy Away” – Fueled By Ramen 

WILLOW ft. Travis Barker – “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” – MSFTSMusic / Roc Nation

 

BEST LATIN

Bad Bunny x Jhay Cortez – “Dákiti” – The Orchard 

Billie Eilish & ROSALÍA – “Lo Vas A Olvidar” – Darkroom / Interscope Records 

Black Eyed Peas and Shakira – “GIRL LIKE ME” – Epic Records 

J. Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy – “UN DIA (ONE DAY)” – Universal Music Latino / NEON16 

Karol G – “Bichota” – Universal Music Latino 

Maluma – “Hawái” – Sony Music US Latin

 

BEST R&B

Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid – “BROWN SKIN GIRL” – Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records 

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave The Door Open” – Aftermath Entertainment / Atlantic Records 

Chris Brown and Young Thug – “Go Crazy” – Chris Brown Entertainment/RCA Records 

Giveon – “HEARTBREAK ANNIVERSARY” – Epic Records / Not So Fast 

H.E.R. ft. Chris Brown – “Come Through” - MBK Entertainment / RCA Records 

SZA – “Good Days” – Top Dawg Entertainment / RCA Records

 

BEST K-POP

(G)I-DLE – “DUMDi DUMDi” – Republic Records 

BLACKPINK and Selena Gomez – “Ice Cream” – YG Entertainment / Interscope Records 

BTS – “Butter” – BIGHIT MUSIC

Monsta X – “Gambler” – Starship Entertainment 

SEVENTEEN – “Ready to love” – Pledis Entertainment 

TWICE – “Alcohol-Free” – JYP Entertainment Company 

 

VIDEO FOR GOOD 

Billie Eilish – “Your Power” – Darkroom / Interscope Records 

Demi Lovato – “Dancing With The Devil” – Island 

H.E.R. – “Fight For You” – MBK Entertainment / RCA Records 

Kane Brown – “Worldwide Beautiful” – Sony Music Nashville / RCA Records 

Lil Nas X – “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records

Pharrell Williams ft. JAY-Z – “Entrepreneur” – Columbia Records

 

BEST DIRECTION

Billie Eilish – “Your Power” – Darkroom / Interscope Records – Directed by: Billie Eilish 

DJ Khaled ft. Drake – “POPSTAR (Starring Justin Bieber)” – OVO / We The Best / Epic Records – Directed by: Julien Christian Lutz aka Director X 

Lil Nas X – “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records – Directed by: Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino 

Taylor Swift – “willow” – Republic Records – Directed by: Taylor Swift 

Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A – “Franchise” – Cactus Jack / Epic Records – Directed by: Travis Scott 

Tyler, The Creator – “LUMBERJACK” – Columbia Records – Directed by: Wolf Haley

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid – “BROWN SKIN GIRL” – Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records – Cinematography by: Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, MOHAMMAED ATTA AHMED, Santiago Gonzalez, Ryan Helfant 

Billie Eilish – “Therefore I Am” – Darkroom / Interscope Records – Cinematography by: Rob Witt 

Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame” – Roswell Records / RCA Records – Cinematography by: Santiago Gonzalez 

Justin Bieber ft. Chance The Rapper – “Holy” – RBMG/Def Jam – Cinematography by: Elias Talbot 

Lady Gaga – “911” – Interscope Records – Cinematography by: Jeff Cronenweth 

Lorde – “Solar Power” – LAVA/Republic Records – Cinematography by: Andrew Stroud

BEST ART DIRECTION

Beyoncé, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer – “ALREADY” – Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records – Art Direction by: Susan Linns, Gerard Santos 

Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” – Atlantic Records – Art Direction by: Alison Dominitz 

Lady Gaga – “911” – Interscope Records – Art Direction by: Tom Foden, Peter Andrus 

Lil Nas X – “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by: John Richoux

Saweetie ft. Doja Cat – “Best Friend” – Warner Records – Art Direction by: Art Haynes 

Taylor Swift – “willow” – Republic Records – Art Direction by: Ethan Tobman, Regina Fernandez 

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Bella Poarch – “Build A Bitch” – Warner Records – Visual Effects by: Andrew Donoho, Denhov Visuals, Denis Strahhov, Rein Jakobson, Vahur Kuusk, Tatjana Pavlik, Yekaterina Vetrova 

Coldplay – “Higher Power” – Atlantic Records – Visual Effects by: Mathematic 

Doja Cat & The Weeknd – “You Right” – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records – Visual Effects by: La Pac, Anthony Lestremau, Julien Missaire, Petr Shkolniy, Alexi Bailla, Micha Sher, Antoine Hache, Mikros MPC, Nicolas Huget, Guillaume Ho Tsong Fang, Benjamin Lenfant, Stephane Pivron, MPC Bangalore, Chanakya Chander, Raju Ganesh, David Rouxel 

Glass Animals – “Tangerine” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by: Ronan Fourreau

Lil Nas X – “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records – Visual Effects by: Mathematic 

P!NK – “All I Know So Far” – RCA Records – Visual Effects by: Dave Meyers, Freenjoy Inc

 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Ariana Grande – “34+35” – Republic Records – Choreography by: Brian Nicholson & Scott Nicholson 

BTS – “Butter” – BIGHIT MUSIC – Choreography by: SON SUNG DEUK With BHM PERFORMANCE DIRECTING TEAM 

Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” – Atlantic Records – Choreography by: Natricia Bernard 

Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame” – Roswell Records / RCA Records – Choreography by: Nina McNeely 

Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness” – Columbia Records – Choreography by: Paul Roberts

Marshmello & Halsey – “Be Kind” – Astralwerks / Capitol Records – Choreography by: Dani Vitale

 

BEST EDITING

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave The Door Open” – Aftermath Entertainment/Atlantic Records – Editing by: Troy Charbonnet 

BTS – “Butter” – BIGHIT MUSIC – Editing by: Yong Seok Choi from Lumpens 

Drake – “What's Next” – OVO/Republic Records – Editing by: Noah Kendal 

Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness” – Columbia Records  –  Editing by: Claudia Wass

Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches” – Def Jam  –  Editing by: Mark Mayr, Vinnie Hobbs

Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa – “Prisoner” – RCA Records

LIST OF NOMINATIONS BY ARTIST 

 

Justin Bieber – 7 Nominations

Video of the Year: “POPSTAR” (Starring Justin Bieber) 

Artist of the Year 

Best Pop: “Peaches” 

Best Collaboration: “Peaches” 

Best Direction: “POPSTAR” (Starring Justin Bieber) 

Best Cinematography: “Holy” 

Best Editing: “Peaches” 

 

Megan Thee Stallion – 6 Nominations 

Video of the Year: “WAP” 

Artist of the Year 

Song of the Year: “WAP”

Best Collaboration: “WAP” 

Best Hip-Hop: “WAP” 

Best Hip-Hop: “On Me (The Remix)” 

 

Billie Eilish – 5 Nominations 

Best Pop: “Therefore I Am” 

Best Latin: “Lo Vas A Olvidar” 

Video For Good: “Your Power” 

Best Direction: “Your Power” 

Best Cinematography: “Therefore I Am” 

 

BTS – 5 Nominations 

Song of the Year: “Dynamite” 

Best Pop: “Butter” 

Best K-Pop: “Butter” 

Best Choreography: “Butter” 

Best Editing: “Butter”

 

Doja Cat – 5 Nominations 

Video of the Year: “Kiss Me More” 

Artist of the Year 

Best Collaboration: “Kiss Me More” 

Best Art Direction: “Best Friend” 

Best Visual Effects: “Best Friend” 

 

Drake – 5 Nominations 

Video of the Year – “POPSTAR” (Starring Justin Bieber)

Best Collaboration – “Laugh Now Cry Later” 

Best Hip-Hop: “Laugh Now Cry Later” 

Best Direction: “POPSTAR (Starring Justin Bieber)” 

Best Editing: “What's Next” 

 

Giveon – 5 Nominations 

Best New Artist 

Best Collaboration: “Peaches” 

Best Pop: “Peaches” 

Best R&B: “HEARTBREAK ANNIVERSARY” 

Best Editing: “Peaches” 

 

Lil Nas X – 5 Nominations 

Video of the Year: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” 

Video For Good: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” 

Best Direction: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” 

Best Art Direction: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” 

Best Visual Effects: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” 

 

Olivia Rodrigo – 5 Nominations 

Artist of the Year 

Song of the Year: “drivers license” 

Best New Artist Push

Performance of the Year: “drivers license” 

Best Pop: “good 4 u” 

 

24kGoldn – 4 Nominations 

Song of the Year: “Mood” 

Best New Artist: “Mood” 

Push Performance of the Year: "Coco" 

Best Collaboration: “Mood” 

 

Cardi B – 4 Nominations 

Video of the Year: “WAP” 

Song of the Year: “WAP” 

Best Collaboration: “WAP” 

Best Hip-Hop: “WAP”

 

Dua Lipa – 4 Nominations 

Song of the Year: “Levitating” 

Best Collaboration: “Prisoner” 

Best Latin: Una Dia 

Best Editing: “Prisoner” 

 

Taylor Swift – 4 Nominations 

Artist of the Year 

Best Pop: “willow” 

Best Direction: “willow”

Best Art Direction: “willow” 

 

Anderson .Paak – 3 Nominations 

Song of the Year: “Leave The Door Open” 

Best R&B: “Leave The Door Open” 

Best Editing: “Leave The Door Open” 

 

Ariana Grande – 3 Nominations

Artist of the Year 

Best Pop: “positions” 

Best Choreography: “34+35” 

 

Beyoncé – 3 Nominations 

Best R&B: “BROWN SKIN GIRL” 

Best Cinematography: “BROWN SKIN GIRL” 

Best Art Direction: “ALREADY”

 

Bruno Mars – 3 Nominations 

Song of the Year: “Leave The Door Open” 

Best R&B: “Leave The Door Open” 

Best Editing: “Leave The Door Open” 

 

Ed Sheeran – 3 Nominations 

Video of the Year: “Bad Habits” 

Best Art Direction: “Bad Habits” 

Best Choreography: “Bad Habits” 

 

Foo Fighters – 3 Nominations 

Best Rock: “Shame Shame” 

Best Choreography: “Shame Shame” 

Best Cinematography: “Shame Shame” 

 

SZA – 3 Nominations 

Video of the Year: “Kiss Me More” 

Best Collaboration: “Kiss Me More” 

Best R&B: “Good Days”  

 

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As previously announced, MTV is collaborating with 9/11 Day, the nonprofit that began and leads the federally recognized September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, for a series of service-oriented activities during the week leading up to the VMAs, promoting awareness and positive action in observance of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Additional details to be announced. 

 

Bruce Gillmer and Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic are Executive Producers for the 2021 “VMAs.” Barb Bialkowski is Co-Executive Producer. Alicia Portugal and Jackie Barba serve as Executives in Charge of Production. Wendy Plaut is Executive in Charge of Celebrity Talent. Lisa Lauricella is Music Talent Executive.

Follow @MTV and @VMAs on social to keep up with all-things #VMAs.

 

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