The 2020 VMAs are upon us! This Sunday, Aug. 30, the MTV Video Music Awards will return, kicking off awards show season in the pandemic. Like nearly all awards shows in the age of the coronavirus, MTV’s annual music video celebration is making adjustments in 2020. Fans can expect a night full of celebrity appearances and performances from major artists.
Where are the 2020 VMAs being held?
This year, the big night is being held in the Big Apple, and not inside the Barclays Center, which was the initial plan. According to MTV, the virtual event will “pay homage to the incredible resiliency of New York with several outdoor performances around the city.” And will adhere to “all state and city guidelines” amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
The VMA’s are are also set to honor the “everyday heroes” fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. As well as highlight the best viral musical performances given by doctors, nurses and other medical workers during the pre-show.
Who is hosting the big night?
“Hustlers” star Keke Palmer is set to host the 2020 MTV VMAs. Palmer will be the first woman of color to host the VMAs since former MTV VJ Downtown, Julie Brown co-hosted in 1986-87.
“It’s an opportunity for representation. Just knowing that someone who looks like me will get the opportunity to see me up there, will make it more possible for them to see it for themselves. I want to give it my best so I can let them know what’s possible for them, and they can obviously go beyond that,” Palmer said in an interview two days before the big night.
“This is the most different VMA Awards, entirely because of 2020 and what this year has been,” Palmer said. “It’s not shying away from all we’re overcoming and what we’re going to continue to overcome. But also reminding people that the whole point of music is to bring us together and have fun. To imagine us all watching one show for one night and engaging with one another, I think it’s a beautiful thing.”
As far as how the hosting will take place, the actress says, “It’ll be a lot of darting from stage to stage and showing the beautiful boroughs in New York,” Keke revealed. “There will be some consistent spots, but it will be a lot of traveling and movement throughout.”
Who’s leading the nominations pack?
Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, topped the 2020 tally of most nominated artists with nine nods each. Including a co-nomination in video of the year for “Rain on Me.” They are followed closely behind by Billie Eilish and The Weeknd who have six nominations each.
On Monday, MTV revealed the top three finalists for the PUSH Best New Artist, included, Doja Cat, Lewis Capaldi and YUNGBLUD.
Given this year’s unusual performance circumstances, new award categories have been added to recognize live sets and music videos filmed at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. MTV has added two new categories aimed at honoring music created during the pandemic, Best music video from home and Best quarantine performance. Additionally, after more than 20 years, the Best Alternative category is returning to the show.
Who all are to set to perform at the star-studded event?
Even with the extenuating circumstances, a number of major acts are set to bring down the house on Sunday night. Aside from Grande and Gaga, (who will bring Chromatica to life), the big night will also see performances from a number of big names. Including, Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Maluma, CNCO and more. K-pop sensations BTS will also give the television debut of their brand-new all-English single “Dynamite.”
The Black Eyed Peas will also make the TV debut performance of “Vida Loca.” The news may come as a shock to many but this marks their first-ever performance at the VMAs. “Looking back, I can’t believe Black Eyed Peas have never played the MTV Video Music Awards,” Will.i.am said in a statement. “To be on the top of the charts and on the MTV VMA big stage is a blessing.”
In a slight shakeup to the lineup of performers, Roddy Ricch and J Balvin who were originally scheduled to perform, had to drop out following complications from the pandemic.
A star-studded pre-show, hosted by Nessa and Jamila Mustafa, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. It will feature performances from Chloe x Halle, Jack Harlow, Lewis Capaldi, Tate McRae, Machine Gun Kelly, Travis Barker and Blackbear.
Who’s Presenting the Awards?
Big celebrities are set to present the infamous VMA awards, Moonpersons. Namely actors Drew Barrymore, Anthony Ramos, Joey King and Sofia Carson. As well as musicians, Bebe Rexha, Jaden Smith, Kelly Clarkson, Machine Gun Kelly, Madison Beer and Travis Barker. Also joining the list of presenters are Bella Hadid and Nicole Richie.
Celebrities traveling to perform at the VMAs will not be subjected to the statewide mandatory 14-day quarantine imposed on travelers coming from areas with high rates of COVID-19.
“Similar to professional athletes, the VMA cast and crew are required to adhere to strict procedures. Which include quarantining when not working, wearing masks and appropriate social distancing, and rigorous testing during their stay,” New York’s Department of Health said in a statement.
When and Where Can I Watch The VMAs?
The 2020 VMAs airs live on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 8 p.m. ET. With a pre-show, hosted by Nessa Diab and Jamila Mustafa, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on MTV. According to reports, Rebroadcasts of the 1999, 2000 and 2019 shows will also be shown.
This year’s main show will simulcast across 11 ViacomCBS brands. Namely, BET, BET Her, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nick at Nite, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land, VH1. As well as The CW, making it available to an expanded broadcast audience for the first time.