MTV VMAs 2016: The low-down

Charlotte Maxwell

Charlotte Maxwell is a Vada Magazine staff writer.

Latest posts by Charlotte Maxwell (see all)

Yes it’s that time of year again and this year’s MTV VMA nominees have been announced. Vada is just as excited as you are. So let’s work our way through the nominations list and muse on the many music maestros up for gongs this year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfMlFxrMb18

Beyonce is leading the way with 11 nominations. Queen B will certainly be taking several crowns home on Saturday 28 August when the VMA winners are announced at the celebration in Madison Square Gardens. Visual album Lemonade has led nations for video of the year, best pop video, best female video, best cinematography… the list goes on. Ladies, it’s time to get in formation for Bey’s crowning.

British singer Adele isn’t too far behind with 7 nominations. When she dropped “Hello”, the Lionel Richie jokes died almost as soon as they started, with the soulful songstress showing us her third album 25 was one to watch.

But let’s see who else is in the running.

Video of the Year

Adele – “Hello”
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Justin Bieber – “Sorry”
Kanye West – “Famous”

I don’t know about you, but I’m already in formation, so it may be a little bit too late for me to say sorry. Everyone in this list has been in the public eye this year – everything from the Kimye spat with Taylor and Drake shaving off his beard – we have seen it all. We’ve laughed, cried and sipped lemonade. (Have I mentioned Lemonade enough yet?)

Best Female Video

Adele – “Hello”
Beyoncé – “Hold Up”
Sia – “Cheap Thrills”
Ariana Grande – “Into You”
Rihanna ft. Drake – “Work” (short version)

You’ll notice as we work our way through this list, Beyonce and Adele appear a lot. But Rihanna’s “Work” has certainly been giving people joy at all hours of the day but especially on a night out. Sia teamed up with Sean Paul, which was unexpected, but of course they both made it work incredibly well. Ariana did a range with Lipsy, Adele’s said hello a thousand times and Beyonce took some inspiration from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It’s anybody’s game, really. Work, work, work, work, work!

Best Male Video

Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Bryson Tiller – “Don’t”
Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna – “This Is What You Came For”
Kanye West – “Famous”
The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”

So Kanye and Calvin Harris now have more than one thing in common, but can either of them take the award. Maybe not when Drake is showing himself again with everyone’s favourite banger that inspired too many disgracefully fabulous Christmas jumpers (I know when those sleigh bells ring…). Or will The Weeknd be the dark house and snatch the award so quickly that no one will be able to feel their face.

Best Collaboration

Beyoncé ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Freedom”
Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign – “Work from Home”
Ariana Grande ft. Lil Wayne – “Let Me Love You”
Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna – “This Is What You Came For”
Rihanna ft. Drake – “Work” (short version)

So Rihanna already has a 40% chance of winning this award (probably closer to the 50%+ mark, as everybody loves RiRi). The question is will Drake be joining her or Calvin? However, given that dream team Beyonce and Kendrick are also in the running, this could be a very close call.

Best Hip Hop Video

Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Desiigner – “Panda”
Bryson Tiller – “Don’t”
Chance The Rapper – “Angels”
2 Chainz – “Watch Out”

I think we’ve reached the stage where Drake needs to be taking something home with him and everybody did love that uncle inspired dance of his. However, Chance the Rapper could certainly be in with a shot here.

Best Pop Video

Adele – “Hello”
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Justin Bieber – “Sorry”
Alessia Cara – “Wild Things”
Ariana Grande – “Into You”

Adele, Beyonce and Beibs are all lined up once again. Whilst we’re all still sipping on lemonade, Beibs may just snatch this and he likely wouldn’t apologise.

Best Rock Video

All Time Low – “Missing You”
Coldplay – “Adventure of a Lifetime”
Fall Out Boy ft. Demi Lovato – “Irresistible”
twenty one pilots – “Heathens”
Panic! At the Disco – “Victorious”

This is possibly one of the most open playing fields of the lot. Coldplay might sound like whiny muzak to us, but the critics like them, and Twenty One Pilots are growing in our estimations by the minute. However, my 14-year old self would tell me that Fall Out Boy or All Time Low should obviously be winning in this situation. Decisions, decisions. Guess we’ll see what happens on the night.

Best Electronic Video

Calvin Harris & Disciples – “How Deep is Your Love”
99 Souls ft. Destiny’s Child & Brandy – “The Girl is Mine”
Mike Posner – “I Took A Pill in Ibiza”
Afrojack – “SummerThing!”
The Chainsmokers ft. Daya – “Don’t Let Me Down”

Now we all love a summer hit from Calvin Harris and everyone likes a bit of Afrojack, but 99 Souls came out of nowhere this year and gave us 90s joy in a shiny 2016 package. Now that is an achievement.

Breakthrough Long Form Video

Florence + The Machine – The Odyssey
Beyoncé – Lemonade
Justin Bieber – PURPOSE: The Movement
Chris Brown – Royalty
Troye Sivan – Blue Neighbourhood Trilogy

Now whilst Florence’s voice is impeccable and Beibs dropped lots of tunes that we shouldn’t like but we end up liking them too much pretty quickly, this award can only really go to Lemonade. We all know this.

Best New Artist

Bryson Tiller
Desiigner
Zara Larsson
Lukas Graham
DNCE

Lots of musical styles and talents bouncing around in this category, but Zara Larsson’s decision to team up with the likes of David Guetta and Tinie Tempah may have certainly helped establish her on the new music map.

Professional Categories

Best Art Direction

Beyoncé – “Hold Up”
Fergie – “M.I.L.F. $”
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
David Bowie – “Blackstar”
Adele – “Hello”

Best Choreography

Beyoncé – “Formation”
Missy Elliott ft. Pharrell – “WTF (Where They From)”
Beyoncé – “Sorry”
FKA Twigs – “M3LL155X”
Florence + The Machine – “Delilah”

We are all still in Formation. The choreography for that video is beyond exceptional. However, shout out to FKA Twigs for delivering this absolute gem. Certainly some of the most interesting choreography from the past year.

Best Direction

Beyoncé – “Formation”
Coldplay – “Up&Up”
Adele – “Hello”
David Bowie – “Lazarus”
Tame Impala – “The Less I Know The Better”

Beyonce, Adele, Bowie: Place your bets. I suspect that Bowie will win one of the categories (if not this award, one of those that follows), as much to mark his legacy over the decades as to pay tribute to the late great White Prince.

Best Cinematography

Beyoncé – “Formation”
Adele – “Hello”
David Bowie – “Lazarus”
Alesso – “I Wanna Know”
Ariana Grande – “Into You”

As with the previous award, I am predicting the same three competitors. I’ll place a bet on Bey for this one, though. But, you never know, Ariana Grande may snatch the gong.

Best Editing

Beyoncé – “Formation”
Adele – “Hello”
Fergie – “M.I.L.F. $”
David Bowie – “Lazarus”
Ariana Grande – “Into You”

Our two favourite videos keep coming back for more. Adele’s “Hello” was certainly spectacularly edited…but so was “Formation”…and “Into You” and “Lazarus” weren’t far off. Or could ex-Black Eyed Pea lass Fergie be taking this one home?

Best Visual Effects

Coldplay – “Up&Up”
FKA Twigs – “M3LL155X”
Adele – “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”
The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”
Zayn – “PILLOWTALK”

And we’re down to the final award. This has to go to FKA Twigs (her video is also up for best choreography, scroll back up and have a watch) – the visuals in her video are something else. It’s classic FKA Twigs – unique, memorable and stunning. Who could be a competitior? Adele, Coldplay and The Weeknd could all pull it off. But ex 1D boy Zayn Malik may just be ahead of these three due to the force of fangirls all around the world.

So let’s sit back and wait to see what happens. The Beyhive will definitely be out in force, that’s for sure.

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