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Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande lead the nominations ahead of MTV VMAs

Pop titans Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande lead the way in nominations ahead of MTV’S Video Music Awards (Matt Crossick/PA)
Pop titans Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande lead the way in nominations ahead of MTV’S Video Music Awards (Matt Crossick/PA)

Pop titans Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande lead the way in nominations ahead of MTV’S Video Music Awards.

The annual ceremony, established in 1984 as a more youth-focused alternative to the Grammys, is taking place in New Jersey, over the river from its spiritual home in New York.

It has earned a reputation for playing host to controversial moments, including Kanye West’s infamous on-stage confrontation with Swift, rather than who walks away with a Moon Person trophy.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is tied with Ariana Grande for most nominations ahead of the MTV VMAs (Greg Allen/PA)

Swift, fresh off the release of her much-anticipated album Lover, is level with Grande on 10 nominations, with both artists up for the coveted video of the year, as well as song of the year and best pop.

Next up are two newcomers. Billie Eilish, 17, earned nine nominations while rapper Lil Nas X, fuelled by his chart-topping hit Old Town Road, has eight nods.

Both will go head-to-head in the best new artist category. Other nominees include Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Shawn Mendes and Halsey.

In the honorary categories, hip hop star Missy Elliott is this year’s Michael Jackson video vanguard award recipient while American fashion designer Marc Jacobs will receive the first-ever MTV fashion trailblazer award.

Performers on the night include Swift, for her first major televised performance since Lover’s release, while rumoured couple Cabello and Mendes are also taking to the stage for their number one hit Senorita.

Other performers include Lizzo, Big Sean, H.E.R., Normani and Bad Bunny.

Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco will host the 36th annual VMAs, which will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Monday.

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