The MTV Video Music Awards were held this week in Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Heading the show was the ‘Say So’ American rapper, Doja Cat. The show gave the idea of a physical, vaccinated and socially-distanced audience another try after last year’s event missed out on this due to the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 at the time.
This year’s VMAs took place a day after the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks - which prompted the organiser, MTV, to honour such an important date in recent history.
Now, let’s cut to the chase and see who went home with an award 😄
Video of the Year
All of these awards are important however, the music video which sees a particular EP from what usually is a complete album take its own tangent as it hopes to go to number 1 of the hit charts is undoubtedly a very important factor for artists and record labels alike.
As Cardi B battles her ‘WAP’ video together with DJ Khaled’s ‘POPSTAR’, Doja Cat’s ‘Kiss Me More’, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Bad Habits’ and The Weeknd’s ‘Save Your Tears’, it was only Lil Nas X who took the trophy for ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’.
Artist of the Year
In this category, there were 6 contestants aiming to be lucky enough for the winning title: Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, Justin Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion, Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift.
The artist who got the award was Justin Bieber who to his delight has been successful throughout his career with loads of number ones throughout his 14 year career - yeah it’s been that long!
Song of the Year
We had a tough one here, however Olivia Rodrigo was the most preferred one with her EP “drivers license”.
Others in the running for this year’s Song of the Year VMA title were 24kGoldn with ‘Mood’, Bruno Mars and ‘Leave The Door Open’, BTS with ‘Dynamite’, Cardi B’s ‘WAP’, and Dua Lipa’s ‘Levitating’.
Best New Artist
We all like discovering new music and the voice behind it - or at least that is my assumption - and this year’s VMAs celebrated the newcomers which were 24kGoldn, Giveon, The Kid LAROI, Olivia Rodrigo, Polo G, and Saweetie. Olivia Rodrigo took this category.
Push Performance of the Year
Pushing themselves through this category (see what I did there?), were Wallows, Ashnikko, SAINt JHN, 24kGoldn, JC Stewart, Latto, Madison Beer, The Kid LAROI, Olivia Rodrigo, girl in red, Fousheé, jxdn, which were the featured in MTV’s PUSH from September 2020 till August 2021, respectively.
This initiative picks and, as the name suggests, pushes new artists to the spotlight by featuring them, according to MTV’s official website, in “exclusive performances, interviews and personalized content”.
May 2021 seemed to be the preferred one, and thus taking home this award was none other than Olivia Rodrigo with “drivers license”.
Artists often collaborate together on their various projects, and this category awards the most favourable out of the nominated ones.
In the running for this title were 24kGoldn with iann dior and ‘Mood’, Cardi B with Megan Thee Stallion and ‘WAP’, Doja Cat with SZA and ‘Kiss Me More’, Drake with Lil Durk and ‘Laugh Now Cry Later’, Justin Bieber with Daniel Caesar, Giveon and ‘Peaches’, and Miley Cyrus with Dua Lipa and ‘Prisoner’.
The 2021 VMAs host, Doja Cat, took the trophy for this category together with SZA.
Group of the Year
While the idea of girl and boy bands might have been dwindling again in its popularity after the boom in the beginning of the previous decade, we still have some very successful and popular ones producing some of the best contemporary hit music.
Nominees in this category were Blackpink, BTS, CNCO, Foo Fighters, Jonas Brothers, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars together with Anderson .Paak and Silk Sonic, and Twenty One Pilots.
It was 7-piece, South Korean K-Pop boy band BTS who took this title during the 2021 VMAs.
What do Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Harry Styles, Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Shawn Mendes, and Taylor Swift have in common you ask?
Well, they were all testing their luck to win the Best Pop award. And if you ‘got your peaches out in Georgia’ (apparently a US state renowned for its production of peaches - who knew?), you would know that Justin Bieber together with Daniel Caesar and Giveon were the award winners for this category.
Hip-Hop changed so much as did all the other genres along the time, and while early 2000s hip-hop included artists such as Missy Elliot, 50 Cent, Nelly, T.I., Kanye West, some 2 decades later we find Cardi B, Drake, Lil Baby, Moneybagg Yo, Polo G, and Travis Scott in the lead up to be crowned for their Best Hip Hop production.
It was Travis Scott to take it home with “FRANCHISE”, which saw Young Thug and M.I.A. (not to be confused with Malta International Airport) alongside him on this track.
In this category we have some well-known and established names including Evanescence with ‘Use My Voice’, Foo Fighters and ‘Shame Shame’, John Mayer’s ‘Last Train Home’, The Killers and ‘My Own Soul’s Warning’, Kings Of Leon with ‘The Bandit’, and Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Raise Vibration’.
The winning choice was John Mayer’s ‘Last Train Home’ to be named Best Rock production at the MTV 2021 VMAs.
If you are not the stereotypical person who listens to whatever is on the radio, but prefers lesser known music, then this category is for you! Bleachers, Glass Animals, Imagine Dragons, Machine Gun Kelly, Twenty One Pilots, and WILLOW were all in the running for this category with Machine Gun Kelly’s ‘My Ex’s Best Friend’ winning this award.
Latin music has been popular for more than people care to remember.
With many variations across the globe, the OG Latin style remains the most popular. Wishing to win this award were Bad Bunny’s ‘Dákiti’, Billie Eilish with ‘Lo Vas A Olvidar’, Black Eyed Peas and ‘GIRL LIKE ME’, J. Balvin’s ‘UN DIA (ONE DAY)’, Karol G’s ‘Bichota’, and Maluma with ‘Hawái’.
It was Billie Eilish to be the preferred choice for this award at this year’s event.
Leaving the door open to others was not an option for Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak and Silk Sonic as they took home the title of Best R&B with, yes, you guessed it, ‘Leave The Door Open’.
The trio were nominated together with Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Giveon, H.E.R., and SZA.
K-Pop, is a recent phenomenon which took the Western world’s music tendencies by storm. With (G)I-DLE, BLACKPINK, BTS, Monsta X, SEVENTEEN, and TWICE (caps lock was not a mistake, btw), it was yet again BTS to take this title with them with their EP ‘Butter’.
Video For Good
A category which awards the best music video with a strong message for the greater good of society.
Whilst, Demi Lovato’s ‘Dancing With The Devil’, H.E.R.’s ‘Fight For You’, Kane Brown’s ‘Worldwide Beautiful’, Lil Nas X’s ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’, and Pharell Williams’ ‘Entrepreneur’ were all in the running with their respective take-home message, it was in fact Billie Eilish’s ‘Your Power’ music video which was the most preferred this year.
What’s a music video without awesome directors?
Well, usually not a winning music video, but that aside, in this category we find, yet again Billie Eilish’s ‘Your Power’ music video, together with ‘DJ Khaled’s ‘POPSTAR’, Lil Nas X’s ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’, Taylor Swift’s ‘willow’, Travis Scott’s ‘Franchise’, and Tyler, The Creator ‘LUMBERJACK’.
These were directed by Billie Eilish, Julien Christian Lutz (Director X), Lil Nas X with Tanu Muino, Taylor Swift, Travis Scott, and Wolf Haley, respectively.
People called him by his name for this category as MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name), awards Montero (aka Lil Nas X), the title of Best Direction.
Well, what’s a music video witho---, err, okay I get it that joke is old now… Just the same as you’ll be if I had to list all the people involved in the cinematography Beyoncé’s winning video for ‘BROWN SKIN GIRL’ - but that seems to be the winning formula for Queen B.
Other nominees were Billie Eilish’s ‘Therefore I Am’, Foo Fighters’ ‘Shame Shame’, Justin Bieber’s ‘Holy’, Lady Gaga’s ‘911’, and Lorde’s ‘Solar Power’ videos for this title.
Best Art Direction
Artists are not just the ones who sing in front of the camera but also those behind it. As such we have what are referred to as Artistic Directors who usually take care of performances, actors and other logistics for the production.
In this category, we find Susan Linns and Gerard Santos for Beyoncé’s ‘ALREADY’, Alison Dominitz for Ed Sheeran’s ‘Bad Habits’, Tom Foden and Peter Andrus for Lady Gaga’s ‘911’, John Richoux for Lil Nas X’s ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name), Art Haynes for Saweetie’s ‘Best Friend’, and Ethan Toban together with Regina Fernandez for Taylor Swift’s ‘willow.
It was however Art Haynes who lead Saweetie’s ‘Best Friend’ artistic direction, ultimately bringing the Best Art Direction award home.
Best Visual Effects
Visual effects also play an important role. In this category it was Lil Nas X’s ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’ to bring home the glory, with Mathematic as the visual effects producer.
Alongside Lil Nas X there were Bella Poarch, Coldplay, Doja Cat, Glass Animals, and P!NK.
And one needs to move a bit to the groove, as such we have the best choreography category which was won by Harry Styles with his ‘Treat People With Kindness’ video.
Choreography was done by Paul Roberts - who in the past had worked with the Spice Girls, Sam Smith, and Robbie Williams to name a few.
The ex-One Direction singer was in the run together with Ariana Grande, BTS, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, and Marshmallow & Halsey.
We promise this is the last category in our list. The choreography is done, the lighting is on point, the actors were hired, and the video has been recorded…
So what's next?
We’re at the editing stage, and the following editors were all in it together to be crowned with the Best Editing award. Troy Charbonnet for Bruno Mars’ ‘Leave The Door Open’, Yong Seok Choi for BTS’ ‘Butter’, Noah Kendal for Drake’s ‘What’s Next’, Claudia Wass for Harry Styles’ ‘Treat People With Kindness’, Mark Mayr and Vinne Hobbs for Justin Bieber’s ‘Peaches’, and William Town for Miley Cyrus’ ‘Prisoner’.
The winner for this category went to Troy Charbonnet and ‘Leave the Door Open’.
Oof, that was one hell of a list, but we got through it all.
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