Hip hop stars lead MTV VMA nominations

Peter Sblendorio
New York Daily News

Hip hop is on top of the MTV Video Music Awards nominations.

Rappers Jack Harlow, Kendrick Lamar and Lil Nas X tied for the most nods at next month’s awards show in Newark with seven apiece, while superstar singers Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Olivia Rodrigo are also up for top honors.

The nominations, which were announced Tuesday, include a joint nod for Harlow and Lil Nas X in the night’s biggest category, video of the year, for their chart-topping collaboration, “Industry Baby.”

Harlow, 24, and Lil Nas X, 23, are both nominated separately for artist of the year as well.

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Other contenders for video of the year include Swift’s 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” Rodrigo’s “brutal,” Sheeran’s “Shivers” and Doja Cat’s “Woman.” Drake’s “Way 2 Sexy” and Harry Styles’ “As It Was” are also nominated in the coveted category.

This year’s VMAs, which take place Aug. 28, mark the show’s first appearance at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, since 2019. It will be the fifth consecutive year that the ceremony has taken place in New York or New Jersey, with the 2021 show held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

There will be plenty of opportunities for big-name stars to take home Moon Person trophies this year, with Doja Cat and Styles nominated in six categories, and Swift, Sheeran, Drake, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish and The Weekend each finalists for five awards.

Drake, Sheeran and Styles are all up for artist of the year, as is Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, who has been Spotify’s most-streamed performer two years in a row. Lizzo, whose upbeat hit “About Damn Time” reached the top of the singles chart this week, is nominated for artist of the year as well.

“About Damn Time” is up for song of the year at the VMAs, as are Doja Cat’s “Woman,” Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever,” Adele’s “Easy On Me,” Elton John and Lipa’s “Cold Heart” and The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber’s “Stay.”

Lamar’s nominations include “N95″ for best hip-hop video and “The Heart Part 5″ for video for good, a category recognizing social impact.

A number of high-profile artists received their first-ever VMAs nominations this year, including Latin music stars Karol G and Becky G, whose collaboration “Mamiii” is up for best Latin video. Also nominated in that category is first-time nominee Anitta for her song “Envolver.”

Six-time Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves earned the first two VMAs nominations of her career, meanwhile, while breakout “Boyfriend” singer Dove Cameron received her first as well.

Lil Nas X visits the SiriusXM Studios on Sept. 14, 2021, in New York City. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM/TNS)

Fan voting opened online Tuesday for next month’s ceremony, which will air live on MTV and its sister networks such as VH1, Comedy Central, BET and Nickelodeon.

Organizers announced the Prudential Center as the VMAs venue in April, with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy calling the show’s return an honor.

“Our state has a proud history of supporting the arts and is always seeking opportunities to partner with the entertainment industry to promote economic development and cultural appreciation,” Murphy said at the time.

“On behalf of New Jersey, we welcome VMA performers and attendees alike to our great state.”