Blinding Lights And Chromatica Dreams: Get To Know Your VMA Artist Of The Year Nominees

This year, the North Carolina rapper continued his incredible streak of features by appearing on a staggering 11 — and also found time to release seven of his own singles, including team-ups with Drake, Camila Cabello, and more. He dropped his third album in 13 months, Blame It on Baby, in April, and saw his Roddy Ricch collab “Rockstar” hit No. 1. That tune has spent 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 as of this writing, which speaks to the kind of longevity DaBaby has cultivated in such a short amount of time. At this year’s VMAs, he’s also nominated for Best Hip-Hop and Best Choreography, and his Cabello collaboration, “My Oh My,” also landed one for Best Cinematography. He’ll bring the full expanse of his power to the stage, too, as one of the night’s performers. The man never sleeps.

Yungblud Wants His New Album To Be Like An Episode Of Euphoria

In the two years since Yungblud‘s debut album, 21st Century Liability, dropped, the wild-haired, punk-infused artist born Dominic Harrison has made a point to turn his live shows into full-bodied community spectacles where everyone is a participant. There’s sweat, screaming, and, above all else, the collective release of a group going through something together.

But even as 2020 has made those kinds of experiences impossible, Yungblud has looked to recapture that spirit and distill the intense energy into his second LP. Ahead of the 2020 VMAs, where Dom is nominated (dominated?) for PUSH Best New Artist, the newly 23-year-old Yungblud tells MTV News correspondent Dometi Pongo that this new venture is almost here.

In fact, it’s coming in the fall, he tells us, and he says it’s inspired by the kinds of raucous but real coming-of-age tales you’d find on Skins. Or HBO’s Euphoria. Or Netflix’s Sex Education.

“It’s this coming-of-age record — that don’t mean growing up. You can come of age at 74. You can be like, ah man, I figured out what I am for the first time,” he said. “But it legitimately explores the ideas of identity, of sexuality, of equality, of depression, of anxiety, of life, of love, of heartbreak, of everything. Me and my fan base, we’re coming of age together. I want to do it side by side.”

Part of that community, of course, happened at the Yungblud shows. “It’s about the stories that they told me. I’m outside of shows every kind of night — well, I was — and I just heard the most incredible stories from the most incredible people. I wanted this album to be representation for the misrepresented.”

Yungblud also made a point to praise his “Lemonade” collaborator Denzel Curry. Last year, Curry made quite the statement with an intense, highly captivating cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade.” It caught Dom’s eye and, as he explains, was the catalyst for asking Curry to spit a verse on “Lemonade” and help bring its paranoid, twisted carnival sonic aesthetic to life.

“I’ve always loved him. My passion for him really cemented when he did the Rage cover, ’cause obviously I do rock music,” he said. “I had this record — this idea of society putting so much pressure in our brain and just wanting to explode. And if anybody knows my shows, my shows go absolutely crazy. … I want to find an artist who is just like that, who is an activist, who talks about equality and the world we want to be a part of. And I was like, it’s gotta be Denzel Curry, man.”

“I sent him and idea, and he just snapped on that verse,” Yungblud continued. “It sounds old school, that verse. It sounds like N.W.A or something.”

Yungblud’s sophomore album is due out in the fall, and though we don’t know the title just yet, Dom gave us a helpful clue: “The name I’ve already talked about, so in some of my interviews, if you’re smart enough, you might figure out what the name is.”

The 2020 VMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, August 30 across MTV’s linear and digital platforms, as well as with several outdoor performances around New York City. Find everything you need to know at vma.mtv.com.

Chloe x Halle, Jack Harlow, Machine Gun Kelly, And More Are Your VMA Pre-Show Performers

The 2020 VMAs are only six days away, and the party’s already begun. That’s because Chloe x Halle, Jack Harlow, Lewis Capaldi, Tate McRae, and Machine Gun Kelly featuring Travis Barker and Blackbear will be your pre-show performers when the fun kicks off on Sunday, August 30 at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT.

And that’s not all: MTV’s Nessa Diab and Jamila Mustafa will host the 90-minute pre-show event, featuring performances, celebrity interviews, and coast-to-coast coverage of your faves, courtesy of special correspondents Kevan Kenney and Travis Mills.

This year’s show will also honor Everyday Heroes: Frontline Medical Workers, highlighting the best performances given in 2020 by doctors, nurses, and other responders and workers on the front lines. Nominees include:

Dr. Elvis Francois and Dr. William Robinson – “Imagine”
Dr. Nate Wood – “Lean On Me”
Jefferson University Hospital’s Swab Squad – “Level Up”
Jason “Tik Tok Doc” Campbell
Lori Marie Key – “Amazing Grace”

And we’re not even close to finished. All summer, the field of PUSH Best New Artists nominees has been narrowing thanks to fan voting — now, the top three finalists include Doja Cat, Lewis Capaldi and Yungblud. Fans can cast their ballot by direct messaging @VMAs on Twitter until Friday, August 28.

Also, for the next 48 hours, fans can vote for 10 artists in the Best Group category by swiping up on MTV’s Instagram story. The noms include 5 Seconds of Summer, The 1975, Blackpink, BTS, Chloe x Halle, CNCO, Little Mix, Monsta X, Now United, and Twenty One Pilots.

Additionally, beginning on Wednesday, August 26, voting will open for the coveted Song of the Summer category. You can cast a ballot for your faves via bracket-style voting on MTV’s Instagram story. The nominees include:

BLACKPINK: “How You Like That”
Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion: “WAP”
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch: “Rockstar”
DJ Khaled ft. Drake: “Popstar”
Doja Cat: “Say So”
Dua Lipa: “Break My Heart”
Harry Styles: “Watermelon Sugar”
Jack Harlow: “Whats Poppin”
Lil Baby ft. 42 Dugg: “We Paid”
Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé: “Savage (Remix)”
Miley Cyrus: “Midnight Sky”
Pop Smoke ft. 50 Cent & Roddy Ricch: “The Woo”
SAINt JHN: “Roses”
Saweetie: “Tap In”
Taylor Swift: “cardigan”
The Weeknd: “Blinding Lights”

This year’s VMAs show promises to be a blockbuster. As part of the main show, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande will unveil their powerful collab “Rain on Me” for its first TV performance, while BTS aim to bring the flames with the TV debut of new single “Dynamite.” The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus, Doja Cat, DaBaby, Maluma, CNCO, and Black Eyed Peas will also take the stage.

Gaga and Grande also lead the nominations field with nine each. Billie Eilish and The Weeknd follow close behind with six apiece. Keke Palmer will host the show.

See the full list of nominees, and vote for your faves across 15 gender-neutral categories right now, at vma.mtv.com.

The 2020 VMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, August 30 across MTV’s linear and digital platforms, as well as with several outdoor performances around New York City. Find everything you need to know at vma.mtv.com.

Travis Scott’s ‘The Plan’ Is A Bass-Rattling Tenet Trip

“The plan won’t accomplish anything,” goes a 1999 song from Built to Spill, “if it’s not implemented.”

In 2020, when virtually all long-term plans have been upended due to a dangerously changed world, director Christopher Nolan has made more than a few attempts to stick to his own framework. The release of his 11th film, Tenet, was delayed three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and while a recent survey of United States moviegoers reveals most people would be totally cool to watch it at home, Tenet will finally be released in theaters in the U.S. on September 3.

Whether or not that actually happens doesn’t seem to matter today (August 22), anyway, since Travis Scott has unveiled a plan of his own: a low-end banger called “The Plan,” a track he wrote for Nolan’s film that gathers its power from a deep, cavernous bass rumble.

Scott teased it earlier this week on Instagram, as well as in a recent GQ cover story, where he gave short synopsis of what to expect from the mysterious film itself. “I can’t even explain it,” he said. “You literally just have to watch it. It’s very fire.”

For “The Plan,” Scott and Ludwig Göransson, who also helmed the music for Black Panther and has long been a trusted collaborator of Donald Glover, team up for an Auto-Tune-heavy, cinematic howl that feels like the right kind of soundtrack for the mindfuck mental puzzle Tenet appears to be.

Göransson told GQ that Scott’s ability to connect with art is more like a multi-pronged attack: “The way that he connects with art is not in a singular form. He has so many tentacles, and they’re all electric. So when we talk about feeling, [whether that’s] listening to a song or talking about a movie, he can visualize things in so many different fields. So it’s a very special ability. It’s like his own magic power.”

Scott is currently working on releasing more new music with Kid Cudi as part of their duo they call The Scotts, first unveiled in a virtual Fortnite concert earlier this year. As you wait for that project to drop, check out “The Plan” above.

Even as Tenet‘s rollout remains as befuddling as the film itself is sure to be, Scott’s plan has been implemented. You have to appreciate the craft.

Greyson Chance’s Victory Bell, Tomberlin’s ‘Wasted’ Dream, And More Songs We Love

Say what you want about Jordin Sparks’s bouncy new single “Red Sangria,” but she made some points when she said, “I’m still on your playlist / You can’t breathe with no air / Yeah, you been suffocated.” Sparks may shout out her 2008 hit “No Air,” but the American Idol days are more than 13 years behind her, and her first solo release in five years is teeming with confidence and fun. “Red Sangria” is as delicious as its boozy namesake, with choral shout-backs and verses mixed with a shot of self-love. The video, which features Grown-ish’s Francia Raisa, is a kick-back dance-party that matches the song in saccharine celebration. —Carson Mlnarik

Maluma’s New Album Papi Juancho Is Here, Complete With A Neon-Vision Video

Surprise! Maluma‘s got a brand-new album, and at 22 tracks long, it’s an all-you-can-hear buffet, courtesy of Papi Juancho. The new LP takes its title from Maluma’s Colombian nickname, a figure that also serves as his alter ego. And musically, Papi Juancho runs the gamut from silken Latin trap&B to bustling reggaeton and chiming escapist jaunts to Hawaii, Madrid, and more.

Papi Juancho‘s long journey features plenty of guests along for the ride, leaning heavy on artists that have inspired him throughout his career. The list includes Zion, Randy, Yandel, Lenny Tavarez, Justin Quiles, Myke Towers, Ñengo Flow, Jory Boy, Ñejo & Dálmata, and Darell. But this is still Maluma’s show, and his charismatic croon carries carries breezy cuts like “Perdón” as well as raunchier, trill-heavy romps like “Booty.”

The drop of Papi Juancho was a surprise, prompting fans to celebrate on social media. It also came with a highly stylized new visual for “Parce” that finds Maluma, swallowed inside a motorcycle jacket and bathed in pastel light inside a nightclub. The entire scene is a neon dream, including one sequence that finds our hero completely ensconced in nighttime neon lights.

Papi Juancho arrives just in time for Maluma to hit the 2020 VMAs stage, on which he’ll perform during the show on August 30. He joins fellow superstars Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, BTS, The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus, DaBaby, Doja Cat, CNCO, and Black Eyed Peas. Maluma’s collaboration with J Balvin, “Qué Pena,” is also up for Best Latin.

Listen to Papi Juancho below, and watch Maluma celebrate the drop above.

The 2020 VMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, August 30 across MTV’s linear and digital platforms, as well as with several outdoor performances around New York City. Find everything you need to know at vma.mtv.com.

BTS Detonate Their ‘Dynamite’ For An Infectiously Catchy Disco Dream

The wait is over. At long last, BTS‘s new single “Dynamite” is here, complete with a stylishly pastel-infused video. And as you’d expect, as of this writing, the visual already has upwards of 50 million views on YouTube alone — and counting.

That feels right for BTS, one of the biggest musical forces on the planet, who load “Dynamite,” their first all-English single, with towers of falsetto hooks and a winning disco rhythm. The funky influence, by the way, is made explicit thanks to a wonderful dance sequence outside an actual discotheque that finds Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook all in period-appropriate, flared-out, ’70s attire. Groovy.

The song itself is a blockbuster, not because it’s overstuffed with ideas but because it’s light and airy and, crucially, feels like summer. That aesthetic shines through in the crisp, California-dreaming visual, which finds each member getting his own chance to bust a move, eat a doughnut, or both. And then, just when you think you know what kind of song “Dynamite” is, there’s a key change! It’s triumphant.

The party will continue on August 30 at the 2020 VMAs, when BTS bring the song to life with its debut TV performance. They’ll join other superstars like Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, DaBaby, Maluma, CNCO, and Black Eyed Peas, who are all taking the stage. Keke Palmer will host the show.

The 2020 VMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, August 30 across MTV’s linear and digital platforms, as well as with several outdoor performances around New York City. Find everything you need to know at vma.mtv.com.

Listen To Twice’s Energetic English Take On ‘More & More’

Global pop sensation Twice has come a long way since they emerged on the Korean reality audition program, Sixteen. Their 2019 world tour included sold-out shows in Los Angeles and Newark, the emotional experience captured in the YouTube Originals documentary series, Twice: Seize the Light.

Since the nine-member girl group debuted in 2015, their trajectory has seemed unstoppable, and their mini-album, “More & More” brought a light to fans, lovingly known as Once, when it released earlier this year amidst the coronavirus pandemic. And on Friday (August 21), the group ascended further with an English remake of the collection’s title track, “More & More.”

The energetic song is premised on a clapping beat, as the girls sing and rap lyrics about falling in love, craving it, and deserving it: “I know I want it / I don’t wanna hide pretending I don’t want it / ‘Cause I deserve it.”

“With ‘More & More,’ we wanted to express how people fall in love and the desire to love that certain someone more and more — a completely new concept for us to write about,” Twice told MTV News over email. Listen to the song below, the group’s first in English but, they hint in a release, certainly not the last.

DaBaby And Black Eyed Peas Will Bring The Heat Performing At The 2020 VMAs

August 30 will officially be a night full of rock stars and ritmo. Both DaBaby and Black Eyed Peas will take the stage to perform at the 2020 VMAs.

DaBaby is up for four awards this year, including Artist of the Year, while his “Bop” visual nabbed a Best Hip-Hop nod, and his infectious Camila Cabello team-up “My Oh My” is up for both Best Cinematography and Best Choreography. Meanwhile, Will.I.Am and crew’s “Ritmo (Bad Boys For Life)” earned a nom in the Best Collaboration category, thanks to its synergy with guest J Balvin, and their Ozuna and J. Rey Soul-featuring tune “Mamacita” is up for Best Latin.

This year will mark the first time Black Eyed Peas have performed at the VMAs since doing early hit “Where Is the Love?” at the 2003 show. This will be DaBaby’s first time on the awards-show stage.

DaBaby and Black Eyed Peas join a superstar performer lineup for this year’s awards show. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande will bring their dance anthem “Rain on Me” to life with a powerful performance, while global phenoms BTS are set to mark the TV debut of their explosive new single “Dynamite.” The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus, Doja Cat, Maluma, and CNCO will also take the stage.

Gaga and Grande lead the 2020 nominations field with nine each. Billie Eilish and The Weeknd follow close behind with six apiece. Keke Palmer will host the show. See the full list of nominees, and vote for your faves across 15 gender-neutral categories right now, at vma.mtv.com.

The 2020 VMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, August 30 across MTV’s linear and digital platforms, as well as with several outdoor performances around New York City. Find everything you need to know at vma.mtv.com.

Keke Palmer Celebrates True Jackson’s Influence On An Entire Generation

Earlier this month, when Keke Palmer announced she’d be hosting the 2020 VMAs, she recruited her beloved Nickelodeon character True Jackson for the occasion, recording a video call between the two where they celebrate Palmer’s new gig and make plans to glam her up appropriately for the occasion. It was a nice resurrection for True, even in an era marked by reboots, where no character stays retired for too long.

But Palmer tells MTV News the moment had added significance for a generation of fans who grew up viewing young mogul True as a role model. “As I’ve gotten older, I didn’t realize how much of an influence that character had on young Black women, young millennials, young kids, just everybody, because it’s like, yo, this is a young person living their dream,” she said.

“People have been talking about wanting a reboot, and then it was trending on TikTok, the theme song, and so when I heard I was going to be hosting, I said, if we’re going to announce it everybody, let’s use something that feels as close to home for me as it does to them. Let’s have True celebrate Keke on this new gig.”

What’s perhaps even more inspiring than True’s legacy is how, since the show ended in 2011, Palmer has diversified her own career with a wide range of creative projects. She’s continued to act in shows like Scream and brought humor and earnestness to a key role in 2019’s Hustlers. 2020, meanwhile, has seen a panoply of explorational music ranging from the fizz of “Snack” to the dreamy R&B of Rick Ross collab “Virgo Tendencies.”

Following her creativity, she said, is essential to building a lasting body of work. “I just want to encourage people to say, like, hey, whether you’re that new fresh face that somebody’s looking for, or whether you fell into it, or it’s accidental, or whatever — working hard for it, that counts, too. Keep working hard, because hard work does pay off.”

“If the opportunity’s not there for me,” she continued, “I’ll create it for myself.”

Palmer’s creativity will shine through when she hosts the star-packed VMAs this year. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande are set to bring their dance anthem “Rain on Me” to life with a powerful performance, while global phenoms BTS will mark the TV debut of their explosive new single “Dynamite.” The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus, Doja Cat, Maluma, and CNCO will also take the stage.

Gaga and Grande lead the 2020 nominations field with nine each. Billie Eilish and The Weeknd follow close behind with six apiece. See the full list of nominees, and vote for your faves across 15 gender-neutral categories right now, at vma.mtv.com.

The 2020 VMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, August 30 across MTV’s linear and digital platforms, as well as with several outdoor performances around New York City. Find everything you need to know at vma.mtv.com.