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The 2020 VMAs: The 5 Biggest Surprises, Good & Bad

Biggest VMAs surprises

The 2020 Video Music Awards (VMAs) nominations have arrived. And, as fans of the nominees bask in the glory of recognition, there’s nothing left to do but dive into the intricacies of this year’s upcoming award show. Every award season brings with it a slew of “how were they left out?” and “oh wow, they were nominated?” tags with it. And, while some of these questions are purely for internet table talk, sometimes, the nominee lists truly are shocking.

Here are 5 of the biggest surprises from this year’s MTV VMAs Nominee List. 

1. Dua Lipa Lands Zero Nominations

In what is the most shocking result from this year’s nominee list, pop megastar Dua Lipa landed 0 nominations. Dua’s album, “Future Nostalgia” has arguably had the biggest impact on the pop music landscape since its release.

Just recently, the release crossed 2 billion online streams ever since its release in March. To add to that, Dua Lipa has, in the last two weeks, become the only female artist in Spotify history to notch four songs with more than 1 billion streams each. She was also recently shortlisted for the Mercury Prize – a prize that celebrates the best British albums in music, across genres.

Yet, the singer makes no appearance on this year’s VMAs nominee list. With all the criteria in place – eligible release date, chart rankings and massive video views on her recent music videos, her absence from the list is shocking to say the least. She is, however, nominated for three technical awards. ‘Don’t Start Now’ was nominated for Best Direction. While ‘Physical‘ was nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, and Best Choreography.

2. BTS Lands Pop Music Recognition 

In a pleasant turn of events, South Korean boy group, BTS, has landed a non K-Pop, pop music nomination. Their track ‘ON’, a Korean language song, sits right up there with all English artists like Halsey (‘You should be sad’), Justin Bieber (‘Intentions’), Taylor Swift (‘Lover’) and more in the “Best Pop” category.

This nod is an important one considering how BTS’ impact goes farther than just K-Pop. For years, the seven member group’s achievements have been shelved into the ‘K-Pop’ category at Western music award shows. Their two other nominations include “Best K-Pop” and “Best Choreography”.

Now, while the “Best Pop” nomination is important to acknowledge, the BTS ARMY has pointed out how, still, the group has been left out of all the major music categories despite their stellar record-breaking numbers. BTS currently holds the record for the highest selling album in 2020, crossing 4 million copies sold.

Well, at least this year’s VMAs music nomination proves that the new world needs to be a multicultural and inclusive one.

3. Selena Gomez Receives Only 1 (Technical) Nod

In another shocking snub on this year’s VMAs nominations, Selena Gomez received only 1 technical award nomination (Best Director, ‘Boyfriend’). Fans are unsurprisingly puzzled by the singer’s absence on the nominees list.

Gomez had one of the most successful pop releases of 2020. She broke massive records with the vulnerable pop ballad, ‘Lose You To Love Me’, and offered up a fresh sound with her smash hit single, ‘Rare’. The singles from this album are some of her longest reigning chart hits. Further, “Rare” also saw Gomez taking the lead on production for the first time in her career, making the release that much more significant.

The album was a pop hit and Selena was deemed a renewed pop star. And so, once again, with all the eligibility criteria in place and the undeniable impact her album had on the charts, the snub is confusing.

4. Rookie K-Pop Groups Get Recognised

Rookie K-Pop groups, TXT and (G)I-DLE received nominations in the “Best K-Pop” category, sitting comfortably with heavyweights like BTS, Red Velvet and EXO. For a freshly debuted group to be recognised internationally is a pretty big deal. And so, this VMAs nomination is a pleasant surprise for fans world over.

TXT is nominated with their track ‘9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)’, while (G)I-DLE gets a nod with ‘Oh My God’. Other nominees in the category include EXO with ‘Obsession’, Red Velvet with their track ‘Psycho’, BTS with ‘ON’ and MONSTA X with ‘Someone’s Someone’. 

5. Harry Styles Gets Snubbed

The former One Direction star has had one of the most successful album releases in recent times. The singer’s latest studio album, “Fine Line” took the music charts world over by storm. His lead singles, ‘Watermelon Sugar’ and ‘Adore You’ , continue to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, months after release.

In addition, Harry Styles experienced unprecedented chart success as a solo British male singer. As “Fine Line” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, it became his second consecutive album to do so. And, also marked the biggest debut week for a British artist. The album also had the third biggest sales week in 2019 (released on December 13th, 2019).

While Harry is up for three technical awards (‘Adore You’ for Best Director, Best Visual Effects, Best Art Director), his name is missing on any of the music nomination lists. And so, it’s only understandable that his fans are so puzzled. 

By: Ahalya Narayanan

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