NEW YORK — Justin Bieber leads this year’s list of nominees at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards, followed closely by Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish, BTS, Doja Cat, Drake, Giveon, Lil Nas X and first-time nominee Olivia Rodrigo.
Bieber has seven nods, including video of the year and best direction for “POPSTAR,” artist of the year, best cinematography for “Holy” and best pop song, best editing and best collaboration for “Peaches.”
Megan Thee Stallion is right behind with six nominations, mostly from her hit song “WAP,” triggering nods for video of the year, artist of the year, best collaboration and best hip-hop song. She also was nominated for a second time in the best hip-hop song category for her work on Lil Baby's “On Me (The Remix).”
Eilish, BTS, Doja Cat, Drake, Giveon, Lil Nas X and Rodrigo each have five nominations. Bieber and Megan Thee Stallion will compete with Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift for artist of the year.
The video of the year category is filled by “WAP" by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion; “POPSTAR” by DJ Khaled featuring Drake and Bieber; “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat featuring SZA; Ed Sheeran's “Bad Habits”; Lil Nas X's “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”; and The Weeknd's “Save Your Tears.”
“WAP” is also up for song of the year, alongside “Mood” by 24kGoldn featuring iann dior; “Leave The Door Open” by Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak and Silk Sonic; “Dynamite” by BTS; Dua Lipa's “Levitating” and Rodrigo's “drivers license.”
The 2021 VMAs will return to New York City, airing from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sept. 12. The show will simulcast across CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land, VH1 and The CW Network.
The best new artist nominees are: 24kGoldn, Giveon, The Kid LAROI, Olivia Rodrigo, Polo G and Saweetie. Best rock song nominees are Evanescence's “Use My Voice,” Foo Fighters' “Shame Shame,” John Mayer's “Last Train Home,” The Killers' “My Own Soul’s Warning,” Kings Of Leon's “The Bandit” and Lenny Kravitz's “Raise Vibration.”