Lorde, Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, and Ed Sheeran join Kendrick and the Weeknd as Artist of the Year nominees. But just as notable as the names up for awards this year is what those awards are named - in particular the VMAs' newly rebranded social awareness category. The "Best Female Video" and "Best Male Video" categories have been removed as MTV is working on these standards.
Harry Styles's Sign of the Times is also up for two awards, while Coldplay, Calvin Harris and former One Directioner Zayn Malik are also nominated. This year's nominees are Julia Michaels, Khalid, Kodak Black, Noah Cyrus, SZA and Young M.A. Previous winners who've gone on to success in the industry include DNCE, Fetty Wap and Fifth Harmony.
Lamar's "Humble" is up for every technical award except Best Editing, putting it way ahead of the pack.
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Canadian rapper K'naan was part of the track Immigrants (We get the job done) on The Hamilton Mixtape.
There's still room for change in the VMAs, however. There are a few women nominated for Editing and Art Direction. " Katy Perry and the Weeknd are tied at second with five nominations each". That said, the fact that Lamar is leading the major categories as well helps to promote and recognize diversity.
In the age of President Donald Trump and the fierce backlash he has generated among cultural leaders, MTV also announced a new category of "Best Fight Against the System" to recognize activist music.