Swift and SZA Lead the Charge: 2023 MTV VMAs Nominations

MTV VMAs 2023, SZA, Taylor Swift
MTV VMAs 2023 | Shutterstock

MTV VMAs Nomination Race: Swift and SZA Steal the Spotlight

The 2023 MTV VMAs (Video Music Awards) has rolled out the red carpet for its nominees, and Taylor Swift and SZA are sprinting ahead with eight and six nods, respectively. They’re both in the running for Video of the Year, with Swift’s “Anti-Hero” and SZA’s “Kill Bill.” Hot on their heels are Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Olivia Rodrigo, and the dynamic duo of Sam Smith and Kim Petras, each snagging five nominations. Mark your calendars for September 12 at Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center, where the stars will shine. Watch the official videos for “Anti Hero” and “Kill Bill.” Full list of nominees below.

Fresh Faces: 35 First-Time MTV VMAs Nominees

Among the glittering galaxy of stars, 35 artists are making their debut as nominees. The newcomers include Boygenius, GloRilla, Ice Spice, PinkPantheress, Flo Milli, Reneé Rapp, and Peso Pluma. The 2023 VMAs also welcome familiar faces like Lana Del Rey, Bad Bunny, Shakira, Janelle Monae, Paramore, Blackpink, Adele, Rosalía, Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Diddy, Karol G, Tomorrow X Together, and Metallica.

Queen Bey’s Solo Nomination

Beyoncé, the Artist of the Year nominee, stands out this year. Despite not releasing any music videos for her album Renaissance, she’s still in the running for the top artist award.

MTV VMAs Categories and Nominees

The full list of nominations is as follows:

Best Hip-Hop:

  • Diddy ft. Bryson Tiller, Ashanti, Yung Miami – “Gotta Move On”
  • DJ Khaled ft. Drake & Lil Baby – “STAYING ALIVE” (not a Bee Gees cover)
  • GloRilla & Cardi B – “Tomorrow 2”
  • Lil Uzi Vert – “Just Wanna Rock”
  • Lil Wayne ft. Swizz Beatz & DMX – “Kant Nobody” (but they sure can rap)
  • Metro Boomin ft. Future – “Superhero” (Heroes and Villains)
  • Nicki Minaj – “Super Freaky Girl”

Best Cinematography:

For those who appreciate the art of looking good on camera:

  • Adele – “I Drink Wine” (responsibly, of course)
  • Ed Sheeran – “Eyes Closed” (not while filming, we hope)
  • Janelle Monae – “Lipstick Lover”
  • Kendrick Lamar – “Count Me Out”
  • Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”
  • Olivia Rodrigo – “Vampire”
  • Taylor Swift – “Anti-Hero”

Watch Janelle’s NSFW video here.

And explore her latest album, The Age of Pleasure.

Best Rock:

For those about to rock, we salute these nominees:

  • Foo Fighters – “The Teacher” (class is in session)
  • Linkin Park – “Lost (Original Version)” (not to be confused with the remix)
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Tippa My Tongue” (try saying that five times fast)
  • Måneskin – “The Loneliest” (but not at the VMAs)
  • Metallica – “Lux Æterna” (no translation needed)
  • Muse – “You Make Me Feel Like It’s Halloween” (spooky!)

Best K-Pop:

Get your glow sticks ready for:

  • Aespa – “Girls”
  • Blackpink – “Pink Venom” (not as dangerous as it sounds)
  • Fiffty Fifty – “Cupid” (love is in the air)
  • Seventeen – “Super” (because “great” just wasn’t enough)
  • Stray Kids – “S-Class” (not a Mercedes model)
  • Tomorrow X Together – “Sugar Rush Ride” (buckle up!)

Explore K-Pop’s hottest act in The Ultimate Guide to BLACKPINK: A Comprehensive Look at K-Pop’s Reigning Queens.

Best New Artist:

Fresh faces that are fresher than your morning coffee:

  • GloRilla
  • Ice Spice (not a new Starbucks flavor)
  • Kaliii
  • Peso Pluma
  • PinkPantheress
  • Reneé Rapp

Best Alternative:

For those who march to the beat of a different drum:

  • Blink-182 – Edging
  • Boygenius – The Film (not coming to a theater near you)
  • Fall Out Boy – Hold Me Like a Grudge (but don’t hold this nomination against them)
  • Lana Del Rey ft. Jon Batiste – Candy Necklace (zero calories)
  • Paramore – This Is Why
  • Thirty Seconds To Mars – Stuck (but not in a rut)

Best R&B:

Smooth like butter, these nominees are:

  • Alicia Keys ft. Lucky Daye – Stay (or leave and listen to Alicia’s best songs)
  • Chlöe ft. Chris Brown – How Does It Feel
  • Metro Boomin ft. The Weeknd, 21 Savage, Diddy – Creepin’ (Remix)
  • SZA – Shirt (one size fits all)
  • Toosii – Favorite Song (could be yours too)
  • Yung Bleu & Nicki Minaj – Love In The Way (but not in the way of this nomination)

… And the list goes on, with categories like Video of the Year, Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Push Performance of the Year, Best Collaboration, Best Pop, Best Latin, Best Afrobeats, Video for Good, Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, Best Choreography, and Best Editing. See the full list.

Stay tuned for a night filled with surprises, music, and maybe even a dance-off between the Best Choreography nominees (we can only hope). The 2023 MTV VMAs are shaping up to be a night to remember or at least a night to tweet about.

Read more music news from Mix 105.1. 

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