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Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift Top MTV VMAs Noms; Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X Lead Frosh

The list of top nominees for the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards suggests that pop music is the farthest thing from a dude ranch right now … with the exception, of course, of Lil Nas X and the horse he rode in on.

The cowpoke-themed hip-hop artist was the only guy to show up on a list of the five most eligible nominees this year, with eight nominations for “Old Town Road.” Otherwise, it’s a woman’s world right now, at least in the upper ranks of young music stars. Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift tied for the most nominations, with 10 apiece. Newcomer Billie Eilish was close behind with nine. Halsey was the fifth most popular nominee, with five nods.

A bit more gender parity sets in from there. Shawn Mendes managed five VMA nominations. Vying for four apiece are Camila Cabello, Cardi B, J Balvin, the Jonas Brothers and BTS. The list of triply nominated performers includes Anderson .Paak, Drake, FKA twigs, H.E.R., LSD, Rosalia and Solange.

The VMAs will be broadcast on MTV and its sister networks from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on August 26 at 8 p.m. Comedian and author Sebastian Maniscalco is set to host.

The award for video of the year pits a track that didn’t otherwise come up so much in the preliminary voting — “a lot” by 21 Savage featuring J. Cole, getting one of its two noms in this top category — against the better-represented “Bad Guy” by Eilish, “thank u, next” by Grande, “Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers, “Old Town Road (Remix)” by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, and “You Need to Calm Down” by Swift.

The artist of the year category has both Swift and Lil Nas X missing from the six nominees. Up for that are Cardi B, Eilish, Grande, Halsey, the Jonases and Mendes.

Best new artist is a race between Ava Max, Eilish, H.E.R., Lil Nas X, Lizzo and Rosalia. Although Lizzo has been a critical and popular favorite this year, she’s not as favored among MTV’s voters, as the only other award she’s up for is “Push artist of the year.”

MTV’s deemphasis on rock is clear from the contenders for best rock video. The nominees are the 1975, Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, Lenny Kravitz, Panic! at the Disco and twenty one pilots — and not one of these six nominees is up for any other category. (That’s unless you count Panic! singer Brendan Urie being named for appearing on Taylor Swift’s “ME!,” which got three nominations, including best collaboration.)

Two new categories are being introduced this year: best K-pop and “Video for Good.” The former category allows for one of Halsey’s nominations, for a collaboration with BTS.

At the VMAs, unlike the Grammys and many other awards shows, the artists are considered nominees even on technical awards, so that a trophy for editing or cinematography also goes to the performer — hence the high nomination counts for artists like Swift, Grande and Eilish.

A complete list of nominees follows.

 

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

21 Savage ft. J. Cole –  “a lot” – Epic Records

Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records

Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records

Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records

Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records

 

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Cardi B – Atlantic Records

Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records

Ariana Grande – Republic Records

Halsey – Astralwerks/Capitol Records

Jonas Brothers – Republic Records

Shawn Mendes– Island Records

 

SONG OF THE YEAR

Drake – “In My Feelings” – Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records

Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records

Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow” – Interscope Records

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records

Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records

 

BEST NEW ARTIST, presented by Taco Bell®

Ava Max – Atlantic Records

Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records

H.E.R. – MBK/RCA Records

Lil Nas X – Columbia Records

Lizzo – Atlantic Records

ROSALÍA – Columbia Records

 

BEST COLLABORATION

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow” – Interscope Records

Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records

Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records

Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – “I Don’t Care” – Atlantic Records

BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records

 

PUSH ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Bazzi – Atlantic Records

CNCO – RCA Records

Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records

H.E.R. – MBK/RCA Records

Lauv – LAUV/AWAL

Lizzo – Atlantic Records

 

BEST POP

5 Seconds of Summer – “Easier” – Interscope Records

Cardi B & Bruno Mars – “Please Me” – Atlantic Records

Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records

Khalid – “Talk” – Right Hand Music Group/RCA Records

Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records

Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records

Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records

 

BEST HIP HOP

2 Chainz ft. Ariana Grande – “Rule the World” – 2 Chainz Ps/Def Jam

21 Savage ft. J. Cole –  “a lot” – Epic Records

Cardi B – “Money” – Atlantic Records

DJ Khaled ft. Nipsey Hussle & John Legend – “Higher” – We The Best/Epic Records

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records

Travis Scott ft. Drake – “SICKO MODE” – Epic Records/Grand Hustle/Cactus Jack

 

BEST R&B

Anderson .Paak ft. Smokey Robinson – “Make It Better” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music

Childish Gambino – “Feels Like Summer” – RCA Records

H.E.R. ft. Bryson Tiller – “Could’ve Been” – MBK/RCA Records

Alicia Keys – “Raise A Man” – RCA Records

Ella Mai – “Trip” – 10 Summers/Interscope Records

Normani ft. 6lack – “Waves” – Keep Cool/RCA Records

 

BEST K-POP

BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records

BLACKPINK – “Kill This Love” – YG Entertainment/Interscope Records

Monsta X ft. French Montana – “Who Do You Love” – Epic Records

TOMORROW X TOGETHER – “Cat & Dog” – Republic Records

NCT 127 – “Regular” – SM Entertainment

EXO – “Tempo” – SM Entertainment

 

BEST LATIN

Anuel AA, Karol G – “Secreto” – Universal Music Latino

Bad Bunny ft. Drake – “MIA” – OVO Sound/Warner Bros. Records

benny blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, J Balvin – “I Can’t Get Enough” – NEON16/Friends Keep Secrets/Interscope Records

Daddy Yankee ft. Snow – “Con Calma” – Universal Music Latin Entertainment

Maluma – “Mala Mía” – Sony Music US Latin

ROSALÍA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – “Con Altura” – Columbia Records

 

BEST DANCE

The Chainsmokers ft. Bebe Rexha – “Call You Mine” – Disruptor/Columbia Records

Clean Bandit ft. Demi Lovato – “Solo” – Big Beat/Atlantic Records

DJ Snake ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna & Cardi B – “Taki Taki” – DJ Snake Music Productions Ltd/Geffen

David Guetta, Bebe Rexha & J Balvin – “Say My Name” – Big Beat/Atlantic Records

Marshmello & Bastille – “Happier” – Capitol Records

Silk City & Dua Lipa – “Electricity” – Columbia Records

 

BEST ROCK

The 1975 – “Love It If We Made It” – Dirty Hit/Interscope Records

Fall Out Boy – “Bishops Knife Trick” – Island Records

Imagine Dragons – “Natural” – KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

Lenny Kravitz – “Low” – BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd.

Panic! At The Disco – “High Hopes” – Elektra Music Group

twenty one pilots – “My Blood” – Elektra Music Group

 

VIDEO FOR GOOD 

Halsey – “Nightmare” – Astralwerks/Capitol Records

The Killers – “Land of the Free” – Island

Jamie N Commons, Skylar Grey ft. Gallant – “Runaway Train” – Interscope Records

John Legend – “Preach” – Columbia Records

Lil Dicky – “Earth” – Dirty Burd, Inc./Commission/BMG

Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records

 

BEST DIRECTION

Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Directed by Dave Meyers

FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang

Ariana Grande – “thank you, next” – Republic Records – Directed by Hannah Lux Davis

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records – Directed by Calmatic

LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Directed by Dano Cerny

Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Directed by Drew Kirsch & Taylor Swift

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Billie Eilish – “when the party’s over” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Visual Effects by Ryan Ross, Andres Jaramillo

FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Visual Effects by Matt Chandler, Fabio Zaveti for Analog

Ariana Grande – “God is a Woman” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by Fabrice Lagayette, Kristina Prilukova & Rebecca Rice for Mathematic

DJ Khaled ft. SZA – “Just Us” – We The Best/Epic Records – Visual Effects by Sergii Mashevskyi

LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Visual Effects by Ethan Chancer

Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by Loris Paillier & Lucas Salton for BUF VFX

 

BEST EDITING

Anderson .Paak ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Tints” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music – Editing by Elias Talbot

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Record – Editing by Calmatic

Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Editing by Billie Eilish

Ariana Grande – “7 Rings” – Republic Records – Editing by Hannah Lux Davis & Taylor Walsh

Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Editing by Solange Knowles, Vinnie Hobbs, Jonathon Proctor

Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Editing by Jarrett Fijal

 

BEST ART DIRECTION

BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by JinSil Park, BoNa Kim (MU:E)

Ariana Grande – “7 Rings” – Republic Records – Art Direction by John Richoux

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by Itaru Dela Vegas

Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Art Direction by Tatiana Van Sauter

Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Art Direction by Brittany Porter

Kanye West and Lil’ Pump ft. Adele Givens – “I Love It” – Warner Records & Def Jam Music Group – Art Direction by Tino Schaedler

 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Choreography by Kelly Yvonne

ROSALÍA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – “Con Altura” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Charm La’Donna

LSD ft. Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Ryan Heffington

Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Choreography by Calvit Hodge, Sara Biv

Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Maya Taylor, Solange Knowles

BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Rie Hata

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Anderson .Paak ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Tints” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music – Cinematography by Elias Talbot

Billie Eilish – “hostage” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Cinematography by Pau Castejon

Ariana Grande – “thank you, next” – Republic Records – Cinematography by Christopher Probst

Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Cinematography by Scott Cunningham

Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Cinematography by Chayse Irvin, Ryan Marie Helfant, Justin Hamilton

Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records – Cinematography by Starr Whitesides

 

 

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