Taylor Swift to Debut Video for New Single at Katy Perry-Helmed VMAs
From Lady Gaga sporting a meat dress to Kanye West butting in on Taylor Swift, MTV’s Video Music Awards remain consistent water cooler fodder packed with elaborate performances and stirring microphone work. The event is so high up in the zeitgeist, celebrities have taken to using the show as a vehicle for making statements and for reinvention. It was at the 2013 VMA’s, after all, where Miley Cyrus and twerking became forever linked, allowing her to confidently shed her prior Disney persona entirely. This year’s newest revelation and sure-to-be main attraction sees the return of musical megastar Taylor Swift, who will be debuting the video for her new “Look What You Made Me Do” single that released late Thursday night, an even more stirring move considering rival Katy Perry will be saddled with hosting duties.
Like the music videos the show celebrates, theatrics play just as big a part in the production as the music, and it’s that emphasis on pageantry and celebrity that keep the VMAs afloat in the pop culture lexicon. With superstar songstress Perry performing in addition to helming the broadcast and so many stellar artists, albums, songs and videos vying for a newly titled Moon Person, 2017 is sure to be another strong year, and Aug. 27 is shaping up to be one unforgettable evening at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
Swift’s return to prominence has shaken up every corner of the entertainment community, and with good reason. The superstar has been pretty quiet since last year’s Snapchat scandal between herself and Kim Kardashian. Swift’s persona seems to have taken another dramatic step forward if her recent slithery social media posts are anything to go by, donning snake-related garb. Swift’s video premiere Sunday night has already become this year’s VMAs most buzzed about highlight to add to the veritable who’s who of today’s hottest artists that will be taking the stage, including Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, Shawn Mendes, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, 30 Seconds to Mars, Khalid, Logic, Julia Michaels, Fifth Harmony, Post Malone and Kyle.
For the first time ever, MTV is doing away with the gender-specific categories, with the Best Female and Male Video categories merging into Artist of the Year. The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Bruno Mars and Ariana Grande all look to walk away with the Moon Person to conquer them all.
Just because Perry gets to hone her hosting chops doesn’t mean she’s missing out on the lunar action this year. Quite contrary, at five nominations, Perry finds herself second only to the hulking eight nods Lamar netted for “Humble,” including Artist of the Year, Best Hip Hop, Best Video, Best Cinematography, Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects and Best Choreography. Joining “Humble” in the Video of the Year category are Bruno Mars for “24K Magic,” Alessia Cara for “Scars to Your Beautiful,” DJ Khaled with Bryson Tiller and Rihanna for “Wild Thoughts,” and The Weeknd for “Reminder.”
The Best New Artist category packs quite the punch this year also, with Khalid, Kodak Black, SZA, Young M.A, Julia Michaels and Noah Cyrus all trying to get their foot in the door. On the Best Collaboration front, Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez received a nod for “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” Khaled and co. once again scored with “Wild Thoughts,” D.R.A.M and Lil Yachty find themselves in the green with “Broccoli,” the Chainsmokers and Halsey closed the deal with “Closer,” Calvin Harris hit the jackpot alongside Katy Perry, Pharrell and Big Sean with “Feels,” and Zayn and Taylor Swift claim their spot with “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.”
Best pop has venerable acts lining up for the coveted Moonman, including Shawn Mendes for “Treat You Better,” Ed Sheeran for “Shape of You,” Harry Styles for “Sign of the Times,” Fifth Harmony and Gucci Mane for “Down,” Katy Perry and Skip Marley for “Chained to the Rhythm” and Miley Cyrus with “Malibu.” Notably this is Miley’s sole nod this year, making her even with sister Noah — at least as far as 2017 is concerned.
In the bass-heavy realm of hip-hop, all manner of heavy hitters are poised for the prize. Along with Lamar’s “Humble,” Big Sean’s “Bounce Back,” Chance the Rapper’s “Same Drugs,” D.R.A.M and Lil Yachty for “Broccoli” (their second nomination this year), Migos and Lil Uzi Vert for “Bad and Boujee” and DJ Khaled for the star-studded “I’m the One.”
For those who brave the floor, Best Dance also put up a bevy of strong outings, including Zedd and Alessia Cara’s “Stay,” Kygo and Selena Gomez’s “It Ain’t Me,” Calvin Harris’ “My Way,” Major Lazer with Justin Bieber and Mo for “Cold Water” and Afrojack and Ty Dolla $ign’s “Gone.” Best Rock has its own slew of impressive contenders, including Fall Out Boy’s “Young and Menace,” Coldplay’s “A Head Full of Dreams,” 21 Pilots’ “Heavydirtysoul,” Green Day’s “Bang Bang” and Foo Fighters’ “Run.”
Another particularly special category, Best Fight Against the System, highlights particularly poignant commentaries on the current establishment. Those nods go to Logic for “Black SpiderMan,” “Immigrants: (We Get the Job Done)” from the Hamilton Mixtape, “Light” from Big Sean, Alessia Cara’s “Scars To Your Beautiful,” Taboo and Shailene Woodley’s “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL” and John Legend’s “Surefire.”