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Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Bieber top 2021 VMA nominations. See who else landed nods

A split image of a man wearing a checkered green and white shirt and a woman wearing a sparkly black dress
Justin Bieber, left, and Megan Thee Stallion lead this year’s Video Music Award nominees.
(Emma McIntyre / Getty Images; Charles Sykes / Invision/AP)

MTV is closing out hot girl summer 2021 with plenty of Video Music Award nominations for rap sensation Megan Thee Stallion and pop musician Justin Bieber.

Bieber leads the nominations with seven, while Megan Thee Stallion racked up six, according to MTV’s announcement Wednesday morning.

Bieber received nominations for video of the year (“Popstar”); artist of the year; pop song (“Peaches”); collaboration (“Peaches”); direction (“Popstar”); cinematography (“Holy”); and editing (“Peaches”).

Megan Thee Stallion scored nods for video of the year (“WAP”); artist of the year; song of the year (“WAP”); collaboration (“WAP”); and two for hip-hop song (“WAP” and the remix of “On Me”).

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Multiple nominee Megan Thee Stallion is the first female hip-hop artist to win best new artist since Lauryn Hill in 1999.

Other top contenders include Billie Eilish, BTS, Doja Cat, Drake, Giveon, Lil Nas X and 2021 breakout star Olivia Rodrigo — all of whom landed five nods apiece.

In the running for the coveted video of the year prize are DJ Khaled and Drake (“Popstar,” starring Bieber); Doja Cat and SZA (“Kiss Me More”); Ed Sheeran (“Bad Habits”); Lil Nas X (“Montero”); The Weeknd (“Save Your Tears”); and Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion for their sex-positive summer anthem, “WAP.”

Among the nominees for artist of the year are Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, Taylor Swift and Rodrigo — who recently catapulted onto the music scene with her viral hit single “Drivers License,” which became the first song of 2021 to surpass a billion streams on Spotify as of this week, according to Billboard.

Olivia Rodrigo’s swooning power ballad ‘Drivers License’ is the latest in a rich tradition of teenage melodrama in pop music, from the Shangri-Las to Taylor Swift.

A first-time VMA nominee, singer-songwriter Rodrigo is also up for song of the year (“Drivers License”), Push performance of the year (“Drivers License”), pop song (“Good 4 U”) and best new artist.

Ahead of his highly anticipated debut album, rapper and singer Lil Nas X earned all five of his nominations for “Montero (Call Me by Your Name”), the sexy smash that nearly broke the internet in March upon its buzzy release.

The 2021 VMAs will take place Sept. 12 at New York City’s Barclays Center and will be broadcast on MTV at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.

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A black-and-white image of a woman with long, dark hair
Olivia Rodrigo scored five VMA nominations Wednesday.
(MTV Push)

Here are the nominees in the top categories. (To view the full list of nominations and vote for your favorite artists, go to the MTV website.)

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

  • Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
  • DJ Khaled ft. Drake – “Popstar” (starring Justin Bieber)
  • Doja Cat ft. SZA – “Kiss Me More”
  • Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits”
  • Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”
  • The Weeknd – “Save Your Tears”

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • Ariana Grande
  • Doja Cat
  • Justin Bieber
  • Megan Thee Stallion
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Taylor Swift

SONG OF THE YEAR

  • 24kGoldn ft. iann dior – “Mood”
  • Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”
  • BTS – “Dynamite”
  • Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
  • Dua Lipa – “Levitating”
  • Olivia Rodrigo – “Drivers License”

BEST NEW ARTIST

  • 24kGoldn
  • Giveon
  • The Kid Laroi
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Polo G
  • Saweetie

BEST COLLABORATION

  • 24kGoldn ft. iann dior – “Mood”
  • Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
  • Doja Cat ft. SZA – “Kiss Me More”
  • Drake ft. Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later”
  • Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches”
  • Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa – “Prisoner”

BEST POP

  • Ariana Grande – “Positions”
  • Billie Eilish – “Therefore I Am”
  • BTS – “Butter”
  • Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness”
  • Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches”
  • Olivia Rodrigo – “Good 4 U”
  • Shawn Mendes – “Wonder”
  • Taylor Swift – “Willow”

BEST HIP-HOP

  • Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
  • Drake ft. Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later”
  • Lil Baby ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “On Me (remix)”
  • Moneybagg Yo – “Said Sum”
  • Polo G – “Rapstar”
  • Travis Scott ft. Young Thug and M.I.A. – “Franchise”

BEST ROCK

  • Evanescence – “Use My Voice”
  • Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame”
  • John Mayer – “Last Train Home”
  • The Killers – “My Own Soul’s Warning”
  • Kings of Leon – “The Bandit”
  • Lenny Kravitz – “Raise Vibration”

BEST ALTERNATIVE

  • Bleachers – “Stop Making This Hurt”
  • Glass Animals – “Heat Waves”
  • Imagine Dragons – “Follow You”
  • Machine Gun Kelly ft. blackbear – “My Ex’s Best Friend”
  • Twenty One Pilots – “Shy Away”
  • Willow ft. Travis Barker – “Transparent Soul”

BEST LATIN

  • Bad Bunny x Jhay Cortez – “Dákiti”
  • Billie Eilish & Rosalía – “Lo Vas a Olvidar”
  • Black Eyed Peas and Shakira – “Girl Like Me”
  • J. Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy – “Un Día (One Day)”
  • Karol G – “Bichota”
  • Maluma – “Hawái”

BEST R&B

  • Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, Saint Jhn, WizKid – “Brown Skin Girl”
  • Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”
  • Chris Brown and Young Thug – “Go Crazy”
  • Giveon – “Heartbreak Anniversary”
  • H.E.R. ft. Chris Brown – “Come Through”
  • SZA – “Good Days”

BEST K-POP

  • (G)I-DLE – “Dumdi Dumdi”
  • Blackpink and Selena Gomez – “Ice Cream”
  • BTS – “Butter”
  • Monsta X – “Gambler”
  • Seventeen – “Ready to Love”
  • Twice – “Alcohol-Free”

VIDEO FOR GOOD

  • Billie Eilish – “Your Power”
  • Demi Lovato – “Dancing With the Devil”
  • H.E.R. – “Fight for You”
  • Kane Brown – “Worldwide Beautiful”
  • Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”
  • Pharrell Williams ft. Jay-Z – “Entrepreneur”

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