The MTV VMA MoonMan has become a coveted award in the music world. Not only is music recognized that otherwise might not be at the Grammys in the beginning of the year, but accompanying music videos mean something so much more. There’s also been an exciting change to the nominations this year: No gendered categories.
So who in the biz had the best music and/or videos of the year? Here are our highlights of this year's nominees.
Leading the pack, rapper Kendrick Lamar has 8 nominations at this year’s VMA, most of which are in conjunction with his single, “HUMBLE.,” off his newest and highly praised album DAMN. Kendrick is also being called the greatest rapper alive by Complex, Vice, Genius and many more, but there’s no award for that. It’s just a given.
NODS: Video Of The Year | Artist Of The Year | Best Hip Hop | Best Cinematography | Best Direction | Best Art Direction | Best Visual Effects | Best Choreography
This year’s host and all-around cool chick scored herself five nominations for work that spans all over the music landscape. Besides releasing her own album, Witness, this year, Katy has collaborated on multiple tracks, most of which hold nominations for these categories:
NODS: Best Collaboration | Best Pop | Best Direction | Best Art Direction | Best Visual Effects
The New Zealand singer-songwriter is only 20 years old and ruling the world. Lorde’s anticipated second full-length album, Melodrama, didn’t disappoint and has no doubt been the reason for her two nominations this year, one for Best Editing in the video for her single “Green Light,” and the other the coveted Artist of the Year award.
NODS: Artist Of The Year | Best Editing
Bruno Mars, a moon man in name and performative skill, is up for four MoonMen this year. Best known for having the catchiest songs on the radio, Bruno has taken over the summer with his happy-go-lucky single "24K Magic," which you just can't help but dance to. The song even comes with its own moves that many have learned from the music video, which earned one of the biggest noms on the list: Video of the Year.
NODS: Video Of The Year - Artist Of The Year | Best Direction | Best Art Direction
Another pop singer you just can't get out of your head is the adorable Ed Sheeran. With three nominations, the lovable ginger kid is most likely slated to win the Best Pop category for his bop "Shape of You," while the gorgeous music video for his single "Castle On The Hill" is being recognized for its beauty, and his overall stature as one of the most popular people on the planet earned him a nod for Artist of the Year.
NODS: Artist Of The Year | Best Pop | Best Cinematography
The next Princess of Pop, quickly taking over the title from Britney and Christina (sorry, girls...) is Ariana Grande, only nominated for two MoonMen this year, but still taking over airwaves with her song "Side to Side" featuring Nicki Minaj. The song is nominated for Best Choreography, mostly because dancing on stationary workout bikes is difficult. Ariana is also nominated for Artist of the Year, a deserved nod after her strength in bringing the people of Manchester, England together after the terrorist attack at one of her shows earlier this year.
NODS: Artist Of The Year | Best Choreography
The former One Direction frontman made a hot comeback this year with a solo album, and a lot of knees went weak. With two nominations for his hit single "Sign of the Times," Harry could be accepting a Best Pop or Best Visual Effects MoonMan. Oh, and he's still dreamy as hell. Just look at that hair quaff and pinstripe combo.
NODS: Best Pop | Best Visual Effects
With a single nomination in the New Artist category, SZA has been making waves with the recent release of her album CTRL, which she has been performing across the US. But what a lot of people don't know is that she's been a huge part of the hip hop and R&B world for years now, working with top dogs Chance the Rapper, Isaiah Rashad, Schoolboy Q, and eventually Kendrick Lamar. SZA is an exciting addition to the otherwise male-dominated R&B landscape, and is definitely an artist to look out for.
NOD: Best New Artist
Want More? Yes Please!
Take a look at the past collaborations between the pop-art Moschino designer Jeremy Scott & his songstress muse Katy Perry.