MTV’s annual Video Music Awards is always ready for controversy when the music world’s biggest stars show up for a night of unscripted celebration while the iconic Moonman statues are handed out. The show takes place Sunday, August 28th and will air live from New York City’s Madison Square Garden at 9 p. m. ET/PT. (The pre-show, hosted by DJ Khaled, starts at 8 p.m., and red carpet arrivals begin at 6:15 p.m.)
Britney Spears, whose new album Glory is out, will perform her lead single, “Make Me,” and Nicki Minaj joins Ariana Grande for a much-anticipated version of Grande’s new song, “Side to Side.” Expect a stunning performance from Rihanna, who will receive the Video Vanguard Award. Plus, Nick Jonas will sing “Bacon” with Ty Dolla $ign; Future will rap; and the Chainsmokers will join forces with Halsey. Kanye West has been given time to do whatever he wants for several minutes, so there’s no way to predict what will happen. In non-music celeb power: Olympic champ Michael Phelps and gold-winning Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman will also be presenting awards.
As for nominees, Beyoncé is sure to receive a few Moonman statues. She hit a career landmark with 11 nominations for her visual album Lemonade. She might have competition from Adele in several categories including Video of the Year. For the show’s biggest award of the night, “Formation” and “Hello” are competing against Drake’s massive “Hotline Bling,” Justin Bieber’s infectious “Sorry” and Kanye West’s controversial “Famous.” Beyoncé’s “Formation” is not the only video from her visual album to be recognized on an individual level: “Hold Up” is nominated for Best Female Video and “Freedom” featuring Kendrick Lamar is nominated for Best Collaboration.
Other artists recognized at this year’s award show include Calvin Harris — for both “How Deep Is Your Love” and “This Is What You Came For” — Rihanna, Fifth Harmony and Ariana Grande. Bryson Tiller, Desiigner, Zara Larsson, Lukas Graham and DNCE are this year’s nominees for Best New Artist. The professional categories recognize videos by artists that did not make the cut for the main video categories. FKA Twigs, David Bowie and Zayn Malik are among the artists whose video’s cinematographers, editors and directors received a nomination.