All you need to know about the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards

Taylor Swift. Picture: Instagram

Taylor Swift. Picture: Instagram

Published Sep 12, 2023


Awards season is here, and musicians are getting ready for the 40th edition of the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony set to take place at the the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on September 12 at 8pm (September 13 at 2am CAT).

Cardi B, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Demi Lovato, Lil Wayne, Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J, Douge E. Fresh, aka “Human Beatbox”, and Saweetie are just a few popular artists who will set the stage alight.

Doja Cat. Picture: Supplied

This year, Taylor Swift leads the pack with eight nominations and “All The Stars” hitmaker, SZA, follows close behind with six.

Both artists have also been recognised in the Video of the Year category for “Anti-Hero” and “Kill Bill”, respectively.

Girl-group BLACKPINK, Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Olivia Rodrigo, Kim Petras and Sam Smith are tied with five nominations each, and Beyoncé, Diddy, Drake, Ice Spice, Karol G, Metro Boomin, Shakira and boy-band TOMORROW X TOGETHER have four each.

2023 also marks the first time in history that only females are nominated in the Artist of the Year category.

Beyoncé, Doja Cat, Karol G, Nicki Minaj, Shakira and Taylor Swift will compete for the coveted title and silver-wear.

Swift currently has 14 VMAs to her name, placing her behind Beyoncé, who has 28 (including two with Destiny’s Child), Madonna, who has 20 awards, and Lady Gaga, who has 19.

Swift also has the chance of becoming the most awarded artist in VMA history, should she win at least six out of eight of her categories.

Aside from racking up nominations herself, Minaj returns for the second consecutive year to announce the show’s star-studded line-up of performers, presenters and winners, and will stun fans with a world premiere performance of her newest single, “Last Time I Saw You”.

Another highlight to watch out for is the legendary music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, who will be accepting the prestigious Global Icon Award, and will be performing live for the first time since 2005.

Sean “Diddy” Combs. Picture: Supplied

Diddy is also nominated for four other awards, two for Best Collaboration, as well as Best Rap and Best R&B.

“Waka Waka” hitmaker Shakira will receive MTV’s coveted Video Vanguard Award, marking it the first time the award has been given to a South American artist. She will also perform live on the MTV stage for the first time since 2006.

Bruce Gillmer, president of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events, Paramount, said, “Shakira is a true global force who continues to inspire and influence the masses with her unique musical prowess.

“She's a trailblazer for women around the world and one of the first artists to lead the globalization of Latin music.”

South African viewers can watch the MTV VMAs on Wednesday, September 13, at 2am on MTV (DStv channel 130) and MTV Base (DStv channel 322), with scheduled repeats throughout the day.