LOS ANGELES – Pop star Justin Bieber and rapper Megan Thee Stallion scored the most nominations for this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, organizers said on Wednesday ahead of next month’s ceremony that will welcome back fans as part of a live audience.
Canadian singer Bieber received seven nods, including artist of the year, best pop song for “Peaches,” and video of the year for “Popstar,” his collaboration with DJ Khaled and Drake.
He will compete for artist of the year with Megan Thee Stallion, who landed six nominations including one for “WAP,” the racy video with rapper Cardi B.
Other contenders for the year’s best artist are Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, newcomer Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift.
Video of the year nominees include Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More,” Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits,” Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and The Weeknd’s “Save Your Tears.”
Billie Eilish, BTS, Doja Cat, Drake, Giveon, Lil Nas X and first-time nominee Rodrigo earned five nominations each.
Last year, the VMAs were filmed without a live audience and with most of the performances recorded in advance because of health guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s ceremony will take place Sept. 12 at the Barclays Center in New York. Winners are chosen by fans who vote online.
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