After a year off, the YouTube Music Awards will return on March 23rd with a new format. First, the video-streaming site will honor 50 artists, ranging from Beyoncé, Rihanna and Lady Gaga to Taylor Swift, Drake and Kendrick Lamar and newcomers like Sam Smith, George Ezra and Hozier, for their contributions to YouTube over the past year. Instead of a conventional award show, YouTube will go back to its music video roots by simultaneously premiering nine videos from among the 50 YouTube Award-winning artists on March 23rd. Vice will produce the online event.
The nine music videos will feature both established million-views artists like Charli XCX and Ed Sheeran and YouTube stars like Megan Nicole. Migos, Martin Garrix and Nicky Jam are also among those who will premiere new videos. According to a press release, “the winners were selected by YouTube based on the artists’ views and engagement over the last six months.” Check out the YouTube Music Awards official page for more details.
The last YouTube Music Awards took place in 2013 in a warehouse at New York’s Pier 36. Legendary music video director Spike Jonze oversaw that weird ceremony, which featured performances by Lady Gaga, Eminem, Arcade Fire, Earl Sweatshirt and more. The award show itself was hosted by Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts, with the pair not allowed to rehearse prior to the show in order to add a layer of spontaneity to the proceedings. Girls’ Generation’s “I Got a Boy” was named Video of the Year.