The clickiest and most outrageous night in music, aka the VMAs, are just around the corner. Can you believe it's been nearly a year since Madonna's puzzling Aretha Franklin tribute delivered in an indigenous headdress, J. Lo stole the show, and Pete and Ari made their red carpet debut? Big Dick Energy had only just become a thing for god's sake.

The year felt long, but it was also a transformational one, and the VMAs are making updates to reflect those changes.

This year, for the first time ever, the VMAs will nominate and award an artist for "Best K-Pop." It's only fitting for a year of mass K-pop hysteria, in which BLACKPINK won Coachella (becoming the first female K-pop group ever to play the fest) and broke a world record for YouTube streaming for "Kill This Love. BTS (who is up for four awards) literally released three No. one albums one after another, got their first Grammy nom, and made their SNL debut. Plus, a tsunami of breakout acts like Holland, Monsta X, TXT, Red Velvet, Tiffany Young, KARD went global and collaborating with a K-pop artists became a rite of passage for US stars. "Kill This Love," BTS and Halsey's "Boy With Luv," and Monsta X and French Montana's "Why Do You Love," are among the inaugural nominees for the category.

On top of giving K-pop it's due, this year the VMAs will recognize the deluge of socially conscious pop being released since 45 took office, with a new category called "Video for Good." This category will recognize songs like Halsey's "Nightmare" which spoke to female rage, Lil Dicky's "Earth" which one could say, addressed climate change, and of course, Taylor Swift's self-proclaimed allyship anthem "You Need To Calm Down."

Related | The ABC's of K-Pop

The VMAs are changing a few things up, but still staunchly loyal to the reigning queens. They're also really into the Lover era. With only two singles out, Taylor Swift scored a total of ten nominations, tying Ariana Grande as the top-nominated performer. They're up against each other for the night's biggest category, Video of The Year. "You Need To Calm Down" and "Thank U, Next," will compete against "Bad Guy" and "Old Town Road" from first-time nominees and the year's biggest break-outs, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X. Billie and Lil Nas lead the nominations Taylor and Ari, with nine and eight respectively. Notably absent were any nominations for Madonna's Madame X.

Halsey, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, and Cardi B also cleaned up. Cardi was the top-nominated artist last year, and in a non-album year, she's still up for four awards, for "Please Me," "Money" and her feature on DJ Snake's "Taki Taki."

No one could predicted this time last year, that we'd be congratulating the Jonas Brothers, who used to take home bouquets of trophies at the Teen Choice and Nickelodeon Kids Choice awards, on four nominations for their Happiness Begins work, including Video of the Year for "Sucker."

Heralding Latin pop's mainstream ascendance, J. Balvin and Rosalía rightfully home four and three noms each. The mainstream-centric show also gave respect to indie experimentalists like H.E.R, Solange and FKA Twigs. They're each nominated for three awards, and if Twigs' fantastical "Cellophane" doesn't snag Best Choreography at very lest, we'll riot.

Finally, Lizzo has gotten that Best New Artist nomination that's been coming to her.

It's all going down on August 26th at the Prudential Center. Read the full list of nominations, below.

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

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

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

Photo via Getty

Subscribe to Get More

You May Also Like