It’s no secret the MTV Video Music Awards are in love with their own bombastic sense of drama.
The 2015 VMAs will air Sunday at 9 p.m. on MTV, with a pre-show beginning at 8 p.m. Held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the show will air live on the East Coast, with a three-hour delay on the West Coast.
This year the VMAs are nodding to their most talked about moments from years past — Miley Cyrus’ twerk-heavy performance with Robin Thicke from 2013 and Kanye West’s 2009 onstage interruption of Taylor Swift — by putting the stars center stage.
Cyrus will host this year’s show, a move she announced in July with the Instagram proclamation: “MTV won’t let me perform / so I’m hosting this year’s VMAs.” The “Bangerz” pop star also made headlines last year for ceding her acceptance speech for “Video of the Year” to speak on youth homelessness, so the field is open for Cyrus to surprise us again this year.
West will be honored with the 2015 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which celebrates an artist’s impact on the visual medium. West has been nominated for more than 30 VMAs over his career, and odds are he’ll also be performing Sunday night given that the award’s previous two recipients (Beyonce and Justin Timberlake) were given ample stage time.
The video of the year competition remains fierce with Kendrick Lamar locking in two chances for his featured turn on Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and his own uplifting video for “Alright.” Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” Beyoncé's “7/11" and the Mark Ronson-Bruno Mars collaboration “Uptown Funk” are also nominated for the night’s biggest award.
FULL COVERAGE: 2015 MTV Video Music Awards
The best new artist award will go to one of the following: Fetty Wap, James Bay, George Ezra, FKA twigs or Vance Joy.
Performances on Sunday’s telecast will also include an opening number by thrice-nominated Nicki Minaj — who claimed the VMAs snubbed her by leaving “Anaconda” out of the running for video of the year — as well as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who will perform the newly released single from their upcoming sophomore album.
Other big-name performers include a return of Justin Bieber, best male video nominee the Weeknd and a collaboration of A$AP Rocky and Twenty One Pilots.