MTV IN THE SPOTLIGHT TONIGHT

Full list of Video Music Award nominees below

Katy Perry hosts the MTV VMA 2017
Katy Perry hosts the MTV VMA 2017

Tonight MTV throws their party of the year as the Video Music Awards comes live from the LA Forum hosted by Katy Perry and I’ll tell you the set is stunning. The feeling inside the LA Forum is like a rock show mixed with the coolest dance club that never happened yet. The list of awards is long and impressive, and tonight the youthful market turns to what many feel is ‘their award show’. Of course the VMA awards are also where Madona kissed Brittany, Miley grinded Thicke and Kanye upstaged Taylor. So tonight all are on the look out for the meme making defining unscripted moment. It is also MTV’s spotlight moment to show the youthful audience of the world why they feel they are still relevant.

MTV, notably famous for bringing the world music videos in the 1980s with “VJ’s” crueing up the next three minute clip and changing the way music was marketed and stars established, has endured through a culture where their current viewers weren’t born when the channel was changing the world.

Taking their spotlight moment seriously and clearly responding to the political climate in the country which is become more divisive, for the first year the show will be eliminating gendered categories. The former ‘Best Female Video’ and ‘Best Male Video’ categories have been combined to form ‘Artist of the Year’. They are also making their award gender neutral. Originally called the ‘Moon Man’ and modeled after the first iconic MTV logo, this year will their award is called the ‘Moon Person” by the network. Executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic, being sensitive to the fact that their network helps to formulate, support and affect young minds. MTV President, Chris McCarthy, was quoted as saying: "Why should it be a man? It could be a man, it could be a woman, it could be transgender, it could be nonconformist."

Capturing a ratings audience of 9.8M last year and 62M live stream hits, The Video Music Awards is now a cultural staple and was the top trending event last year on its performance night. It came to life as a response to what some felt was the Grammy’s establishment oriented restrictions around new and publicly celebrated talent.

It’s been called the ‘super bowl’ for kids – and has a youthful pull the Grammy’s doesn’t. It also has a ‘People’s Choice Award’ feel as votes are tabulated by their viewers. Famous for meme making moments, The list of nominees is a who’s who of successful as well as up and coming music stars and bands, and the show tonight sets some new records in size and scope.

Ric Lipson of Stufish Entertainment Architects set designer of VMA 2017
Ric Lipson of Stufish Entertainment Architects set designer of VMA 2017

I stood with set designer Ric Lipson, from architecture firm Stufish in London, who build stages for Roger Waters, Rolling Stones, Muse and Lady Gaga among others, inside the LA Forum during the lighting check as thousands of strobed lights cascaded an avalanche of dazzling programmed bursts across the venue in time to the booming pre-records. Looking around I felt like I was in Guardians of the Galaxy battle to save music for the universe.

Place cards hold the spots for the stars before they file in.
Place cards hold the spots for the stars before they file in.

“We wanted to build a landscape, public terraces, dance floors, mosh pit and performance stages, to create an experience for the viewer at home and the viewer in the room. We built lounge areas for the stars, wanted a luxurious feel, we have multiple stages, we’re making a multiple level rave really, there’s 10,000 feet of neon lines, 22 cameras, it’s a huge show. It’s the heaviest ever been loaded into the LA Forum, three hundred and forty thousand pounds. And we have the most hang points of any show. (Their U2 stage had 180 hang points, this show has 560)”

Last year the VMA’s were in NYC at Madison Square Garden. Nice to have them back in Los Angeles where MTV promises to rock the house tonight.

Video mania has faded from its heyday and DVD albums have gone the way of the iPod. But even as on line platforms, mobile streaming and dropped singles rule the day, what has not changed is that MTV’s youthful market still wants fun, live music and special performances. Tonight is the network’s grandest of them all. The world’s youth turns to view the Video Music Awards as the stars line up to attend easily rivaling the Grammy’s roster, which was always the plan.

The 2017 MTV VMA Nominees are:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”

Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”

Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful”

DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts”

The Weeknd – “Reminder”

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Bruno Mars

Kendrick Lamar

Ed Sheeran

Ariana Grande

The Weeknd

Lorde

BEST NEW ARTIST (Presented by Taco Bell®)

Khalid

Kodak Black

SZA

Young M.A

Julia Michaels

Noah Cyrus

BEST COLLABORATION

Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez – “We Don’t Talk Anymore”

DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts”

D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli”

The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – “Closer”

Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean – “Feels”

Zayn & Taylor Swift – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)”

BEST POP

Shawn Mendes – “Treat You Better”

Ed Sheeran – “Shape Of You”

Harry Styles – “Sign Of The Times”

Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – “Down”

Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm”

Miley Cyrus – “Malibu”

BEST HIP HOP

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”

Big Sean – “Bounce Back”

Chance the Rapper – “Same Drugs”

D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli”

Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert – “Bad & Boujee”

DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne – “I’m The One”

BEST DANCE

Zedd and Alessia Cara – “Stay”

Kygo x Selena Gomez – “It Ain’t Me”

Calvin Harris – “My Way”

Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber and MØ – “Cold Water”

Afrojack ft. Ty Dolla $ign – “Gone”

BEST ROCK

Coldplay – “A Head Full Of Dreams”

Fall Out Boy – “Young And Menace”

Twenty One Pilots – “Heavydirtysoul”

Green Day – “Bang Bang”

Foo Fighters – “Run”

BEST FIGHT AGAINST THE SYSTEM

Logic ft. Damian Lemar Hudson – “Black SpiderMan”

The Hamilton Mixtape – “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)”

Big Sean – “Light”

Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful”

Taboo ft. Shailene Woodley – “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL”

John Legend – “Surefire”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (Cinematographer: Scott Cunningham)

Imagine Dragons – “Thunder” (Cinematographer: Matthew Wise)

Ed Sheeran – “Castle On The Hill” (Cinematographer: Steve Annis)

DJ Shadow ft. Run The Jewels – “Nobody Speak” (Cinematographer: David Procter)

Halsey – “Now Or Never” (Cinematographer: Kristof Brandl)

BEST DIRECTION

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (Directors: Dave Meyers, The Little Homies)

Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Director: Mathew Cullen)

Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Directors: Cameron Duddy, Bruno Mars)

Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Director: Aaron A)

The Weeknd – “Reminder” (Director: Glenn Michael)

BEST ART DIRECTION

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (Production Designer: Spencer Graves)

Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Production Designer: Alex Delgado)

Katy Perry ft. Migos – “Bon Appetit” (Production Designer: Natalie Groce)

DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Production Designer: Damian Fyffe)

The Weeknd – “Reminder” (Production Designers: Lamar C Taylor, Christo Anesti)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (Company: Timber/Lead: Jonah Hall)

A Tribe Called Quest – “Dis Generation” (Company: Bemo/Lead: Brandon Hirzel)

KYLE ft. Lil Yachty – “iSpy” (Company: Gloria FX/Leads: Max Colt & Tomash Kuzmytskyi)

Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Company: MIRADA)

Harry Styles – “Sign Of The Times” (Company: ONE MORE/Lead: Cédric Nivoliez)

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Kanye West – “Fade” (Choreographers: Teyana Taylor & Guapo)

Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj – “Side To Side” (Choreographers: Brian & Scott Nicholson)

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (Choreographer: Dave Meyers)

Sia – “The Greatest” (Choreographer: Ryan Heffington)

Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – “Down” (Choreographer: Sean Bankhead)

BEST EDITING

Future – “Mask Off” (Editor: Vinnie Hobbs of VHPost)

Young Thug – “Wyclef Jean” (Editors: Ryan Staake, Eric Degliomini)

Lorde – “Green Light” (Editor: Nate Gross of Exile Edit)

The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – “Closer” (Editor: Jennifer Kennedy)

The Weeknd – “Reminder” (Editor: Red Barbaza)

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