Ariana Grande was nominated in five different categories at MTV’s 2016 Video Music Awards and celebrated her formidable new album Dangerous Woman onstage with rapper Nicki Minaj. The duo performed a rousing rendition of Grande’s new single “Side to Side.” Pop savant Max Martin co-wrote and co-produced the ragge-tinged, upbeat song.
Grande started her performance on an exercise bike with four cyclists flanking her on both sides. After dismounting from her bicycle, the singer strutted to a pommel horse centerstage. Minaj eventually joined her after entering the stage accompanied by a small entourage of muscular weightlifters.
Grande has teamed up with Minaj before, first on the Jessie J showstopper “Bang Bang” in 2014, and again the same year on Minaj’s titillating Pinkprint single “Get On Your Knees.” The singer also won a VMA in the Best Pop Video category in 2014 for “Problem,” her peppy single assisted by Iggy Azalea and Jason Derulo.
Grande is primarily nominated this year for her brooding new single “Into You,” which is currently sitting at Number 13 on the Hot 100. She’s also competing in the Best Collaboration category for her work on “Let Me Love You” with Lil Wayne.