VMAs: Kendrick Lamar Tops Nominations as MTV Continues to Eliminate Gendered Categories

11:00 AM 7/25/2017

by Hilary Lewis

The best female and male video categories have been combined into one artist of the year award.

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

MTV is continuing to eliminate gender-specific awards categories with its 2017 VMA nominations.

The cable network, which previously combined performers of both genders in categories for its rebranded Movie & TV Awards, has replaced the best female and best male video awards with one artist of the year prize.

MTV has also added one of the new Movie & TV Awards categories to the VMAs, recognizing, in the best fight against the system category, videos that inspire viewers to fight injustice.

"Great acting is great acting, no matter what the gender or non-gender," MTV, VH1 and Logo general manager Amy Doyle told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year of the Movie & TV Awards eliminating gender-based distinctions for its acting awards. She said the impetus for that change was the MTV audience "uniformly rejecting obsolete labels and embracing fluidity."

"It really was a cultural statement," Doyle added of the Movie & TV Awards change. "And it really is reflective about the audience's views and when you look at the culture as a whole, you had a man against a woman running for president [last year]. It just felt like a dated construct for a category."

Kendrick Lamar scored the most VMA nominations, with eight mentions for his video "Humble." Katy Perry and The Weeknd landed the second-most noms with five each.

In a first, the VMA nominations were revealed Tuesday on Instagram Live via a group of stars from the social-media platform, including Bretman Rock, Ariel Martin (Baby Ariel), DC Young Fly, Andrea Russet, Chantel Jeffries, Ricky Dillon, StassiBaby, Jay Versace and Nate Garner.

Fans can vote for the winners in eight categories, including artist and video of the year and best collaboration, at vma.mtv.com.

In the best new artist category, fans can vote via Twitter bot by direct messaging MTV starting Aug. 18, with the top two artists revealed during the VMA preshow, airing at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, Aug. 27. Those two finalists will compete in a live Twitter hashtag vote with the winner announced during the main telecast. Nominees for the socially voted category, best song of the summer, were announced on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

The winner in that category will be revealed during the live VMA preshow.

The 2017 MTV VMAs will air live from The Forum in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, Aug. 27.

Read on for the full list of nominees.  

  • Video of the Year

    Kendrick Lamar
    Kendrick Lamar
    Scott Dudelson/Getty Images
    Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)

    Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Atlantic Records)

    Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Def Jam)

    DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Epic Records/We The Best)

    The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records)

  • Artist of the Year

    Getty Images

    Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)

    Kendrick Lamar (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)

    Ed Sheeran (Atlantic Records)

    Ariana Grande (Republic Records)

    The Weeknd (XO/Republic Records)

    Lorde (Republic Records)

  • Best New Artist


    Khalid (RCA Records)

    Kodak Black (Atlantic Records)

    SZA (TDE/RCA Records)

    Young M.A (3D)

    Julia Michaels (Republic Records)

    Noah Cyrus (Records)

  • Best Collaboration

    Rihanna in "Wild Thoughts" Video
    Rihanna in "Wild Thoughts" Video
    Courtesy of DJKhaledVEVO
    Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez – “We Don’t Talk Anymore” (Atlantic Records)

    DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Epic Records/We The Best)

    D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli” (Atlantic Records)

    The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – “Closer” (Disruptor Records/Columbia Records)

    Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean – “Feels” (Columbia Records)

    Zayn & Taylor Swift – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)” (Republic Records)

  • Best Pop Video

    Harry Styles
    Harry Styles
    Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

    Shawn Mendes – “Treat You Better” (Island Records)

    Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You” (Asylum/Atlantic Records)

    Harry Styles – “Sign Of The Times” (Columbia Records)

    Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – “Down” (Syco Music/Epic Records)

    Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Capitol Records)

    Miley Cyrus – “Malibu” (RCA Records)

  • Best Hip Hop Video

    Chance the Rapper
    Chance the Rapper
    Getty Images
    Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)

    Big Sean – “Bounce Back” (Def Jam)

    Chance the Rapper – “Same Drugs” (Chance the Rapper LLC)

    D.R.A.M. ft. Lil Yachty – “Broccoli” (Atlantic Records)

    Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert – “Bad & Boujee” (300 Entertainment)

    DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne – “I’m The One” (Epic Records/We The Best)

  • Best Dance Video

    Alessia Cara
    Alessia Cara
    David Livingston/Getty Images

    Zedd and Alessia Cara – “Stay” (Interscope)

    Kygo x Selena Gomez – “It Ain’t Me” (Ultra/Interscope)

    Calvin Harris – “My Way” (Columbia Records)

    Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber and MØ – “Cold Water” (Mad Decent)

    Afrojack ft. Ty Dolla $ign – “Gone” (Wall Recordings/Latium/RCA Records)

  • Best Rock Video

    Green Day
    Green Day
    Getty Images
    Coldplay – “A Head Full of Dreams” (Parlophone/Atlantic Records)

    Fall Out Boy – “Young And Menace” (Island)

    Twenty One Pilots – “Heavydirtysoul” (Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic Records)

    Green Day – “Bang Bang” (Warner Bros. Records)

    Foo Fighters – “Run” (RCA Records)

  • Best Fight Against the System

    Big Sean
    Big Sean
    Kevin Mazur/WireImage
    Logic ft. Damian Lemar Hudson – “Black SpiderMan” (Def Jam)

    The Hamilton Mixtape – “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” (Atlantic Records)

    Big Sean – “Light” (Def Jam)

    Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Def Jam)

    Taboo ft. Shailene Woodley – “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL”

    John Legend – “Surefire” (Columbia Records)

  • Best Cinematography

    Peter Don/Courtesy of Vevo
    Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Scott Cunningham)

    Imagine Dragons – “Thunder” (KIDinaKORNER/Interscope) (Matthew Wise)

    Ed Sheeran – “Castle On The Hill” (Asylum/Atlantic Records) (Steve Annis)

    DJ Shadow ft. Run The Jewels – “Nobody Speak” (Mass Appeal Records LLC) (David Proctor)

    Halsey – “Now or Never” (Astralwerks/Capitol) (Kristof Brandl)

  • Best Direction

    Katy Perry
    Katy Perry
    Getty Images

    Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Dave Meyers & the little homies)

    Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Capitol Records) (Mathew Cullen)

    Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Atlantic Records) (Cameron Duddy & Bruno Mars)

    Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful” (Def Jam) (Aaron A)

    The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records) (Glenn Michael)

  • Best Art Direction

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Spencer Graves)

    Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Atlantic Records) (Alex Delgado)

    Katy Perry ft. Migos – “Bon Appetit” (Capitol Records) (Natalie Groce)

    DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” (Epic Records/We The Best) (Damian Fyffe)

    The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records) (Creative Director: Lamar C Taylor / Co-creative Director: Christo Anesti)

  • Best Visual Effects

    Kendrick Lamar
    Kendrick Lamar
    Austin Hargrave

    Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Company: Timber/Lead: Jonah Hall)

    A Tribe Called Quest – “Dis Generation” (Epic Records) (Company: Bemo/Lead: Brandon Hirzel)

    KYLE ft. Lil Yachty – “iSpy” (Atlantic Records) (Company: Gloria FX/Leads: Max Colt & Tomash Kuzmytskyi)

    Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm” (Capitol Records) (Company: MIRADA)

    Harry Styles – “Sign Of The Times” (Columbia Records) (Company: ONE MORE/Lead: Cédric Nivoliez)

  • Best Choreography

    Getty Images

    Kanye West – “Fade” (Def Jam) (Teyana Taylor, Guapo, Jae Blaze & Derek ‘Bentley’ Watkins)

    Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj – “Side To Side” (Republic Records) (Brian & Scott Nicholson)

    Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope) (Dave Meyers)

    Sia – “The Greatest” (Monkey Puzzle Records/RCA Records) (Ryan Heffington)

    Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – “Down” (Syco Music/Epic Records) (Sean Bankhead)

  • Best Editing

    The Chainsmokers with Halsey
    The Chainsmokers with Halsey
    Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    Future – “Mask Off” (Epic Records/Freebandz/A1) (Vinnie Hobbs of VHPost)

    Young Thug – “Wyclef Jean” (300 Entertainment/Atlantic Records) (Ryan Staake & Eric Degliomini)

    Lorde – “Green Light” (Republic Records) (Nate Gross of Exile Edit)

    The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – “Closer” (Disruptor Records/Columbia Records) (Jennifer Kennedy)

    The Weeknd – “Reminder” (XO/Republic Records) (Red Barbaza)

  • Best Song of the Summer

    Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber - "Despacito (Remix)”

    Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane - “Down”

    Camila Cabello ft. Quavo - "OMG"

    Ed Sheeran - "Shape of You"

    Demi Lovato - "Sorry Not Sorry"

    Shawn Mendes - "There's Nothing Holding Me Back”

    DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller - "Wild Thoughts”

    Lil Uzi Vert - "XO Tour Llif3”