By Julia Duran
The MTV Video Music Awards is an awards ceremony that honors the best music videos of each year. This year’s event was hosted by artists such as Nicki Minaj, LL Cool J, and Jack Harlow. The ceremony took place on Sunday, August 28th, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The VMAs feature many categories including but not limited to: Best Video, Best New Artist, Song of the Summer, Best Artist, Best Song, Best Long Form Video, Best Cinematography, and Best Album. Many artists are nominated within these categories, but only one can take home the award. Thus, let us dive into some of this year’s nominations and winners!
The ceremony opened strong with Jack Harlow performing his VMA nominated song “First Class”, featuring a surprising twist of Fergie’s song “Glamorous”. Starting off with the first category, Best K-Pop Artist, the winner was none other than Lisa, from the popular K-pop girl group, Blackpink. She was awarded for her solo debut album “LALISA” released back in September of 2021. The group Blackpink also won earlier that night for Best Metaverse Performance. The next category featured was Best Group. It came to no surprise when K-Pop boy group, BTS was announced the winner, as this is their fourth year receiving this award. BTS was also nominated for Best Choreography, but the award went to Doja Cat for her hit song “Woman”. “Woman” went viral on TikTok in 2021, after many creators began choreographing dances to the song. This isn’t the first time that Doja Cat has had a song go viral, as her former hit single “Say So” also gained high recognition across social media.
The next, and most coveted, award of the ceremony was Video of the Year. This award was won by Taylor Swift with her popular music video, “All Too Well: The Short Film”. She also won Best Direction and Best Long Form Video for the same video. This isn’t the first time that Swift has won a VMA, as she holds 11 in total. Harry Styles was another big winner this year, taking home 3 VMA’s. Styles started his career in the boy band One Direction but later took the solo route in 2017 with his debut album “Harry Styles”. He was awarded this year with Album of the Year for his latest record, Harry’s House. Styles also took home Best Pop Video and Best Cinematography for his song “As It Was”.
Winner in the R&B category was The Weeknd for his hit song “Out of Time ” off of his Dawn FM record. This award came as no surprise as in 2019, he released his hit song “Blinding Lights”, which was later declared the all-time No.1 song on the Billboard charts.The next award was given to Dove Cameron for Best New Artist. Dove started her career as a Disney actress starring in the hit TV series, Liv & Maddie. Fans began to hear her singing ability in the popular trilogy, Descendants. She first released her latest song “Boyfriend” back in February, and quickly became popular. In June, she released another song called “Breakfast”. These two songs are sneak peaks of her album that will be released in a few months.
The Song of the Summer award was given to Jack Harlow for his hit song “First Class” that went viral effortlessly on TikTok this year. He also went on to win three more awards in the categories, Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, and Best Collaboration with Lil Nas X, on the track, “Industry Baby.” Jack Harlow was also nominated for artist of the year, but the award was given to Bad Bunny. Bad Bunny made history by becoming the first non-English speaking performer to win this award, and the second Latin artist, after Camila Cabello. He’s not the first one to make VMA history this year, though. South Korean boy group, Seventeen, became the first K-pop band to win PUSH performance of the year. Another artist who made VMA history this year was Anitta. She became the first Brazilian artist to win Best Latin Video. She also was nominated alongside other popular Latin artists such as Bad Bunny and Karol G. Italian rock band, Maneskin, took home two awards including Best Alternative Video and the Global Icon Award. The Global Icon Award is often given to an artist or band who has made a big impact through music and advocacy.
The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award was given to hip-hop artist, Nicki Minaj. This award is a merit given to music video directors or recording artists. Minaj also won Best Hip-Hop Video for the song she made with Lil Baby, “Do We Have A Problem?” The next award was given to Rosalia for Best Editing for her music video “SAOKO,” which is Puerto Rican slang for “outstanding rhythm.” Video for Good is an award given to an artist that creates a music video that sends a positive message to the world. This year it was awarded to popular artist, Lizzo. The song that helped her win this award was “About Damn Time” which landed No.1 on the Billboard charts off her album Special, which was placed at No.2 after Bad Bunny’s album, Un Verano Sin Ti.
The final award was given to Billie Eilish for Song of the Year. Last year, she put out a new album titled Happier Than Ever which included 16 tracks. Similar to her debut album, it scored No.1 on the Billboard charts. This year’s VMAs had many memorable moments with record breaking songs, artists making history and an overall crazy performance.