Rema performs during Rema Rave and Roses North American Tour II at Tabernacle on July 26, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Rema performs during Rema Rave and Roses North American Tour II at Tabernacle on July 26, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage.

MTV VMAs Elevate the Stage With Debut of Afrobeats Category

MTV has unveiled the VMAs 2023 nominations, revealing the debut of a best Afrobeats category and all-female artist of the year nominations.

In anticipation of the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards, the curtain has been lifted on the comprehensive roster of nominations for the MTV VMAs 2023. This year's nominations showcase a remarkable surge of femme power, as female and non-binary artists stand tall with the most noteworthy acknowledgments.

Leading the charge is none other than Taylor Swift. Right on her heels, SZA secures the second-highest number of nominations, amassing an impressive six nods for her exceptional contributions, particularly for tracks "Kill Bill" and "Shirt" from her sophomore album SOS. Following closely behind, with an equal tally of five nominations each, are a formidable lineup comprising Doja Cat, Kim Petras, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Olivia Rodrigo, and Sam Smith. Notably, both Doja Cat and Rodrigo's meteoric rise to the upper echelons of contenders is magnified by the fact that their nominated videos hit the airwaves a mere two months before the awards gala.

The preceding year saw a surge of 26 debut nominees gracing the MTV VMAs stage. Demonstrating their unrelenting growth, this year's installment surges even further, boasting a record-breaking count of 35 first-time nominees. Among these shining newcomers are luminaries like Ayra Starr, Ice Spice, Saucy Santana, Reneé Rapp, GloRilla, Yung Miami, Boygenius, Kim Petras, Peso Pluma, Metro Boomin, PinkPantheress, and Toosii, with Nigerian sensation Rema taking center stage. Rema's megahit track "Calm Down," a stunning collaboration with Selena Gomez, propels him into contention for the Song of the Year and Collaboration of the Year accolades.

In a groundbreaking move, the VMAs are introducing the "Best Afrobeats" category, spotlighting the flourishing genre of Afrobeat music. The inaugural list celebrates luminaries such as Ayra Starr, Burna Boy, Davido, Fireboy DML & Asake, Libianca, Rema, and Wizkid.

The arena of participation is wide open as voting commences across 15 gender-neutral categories, encompassing the highly coveted titles of "Video of the Year" and "Artist of the Year." Enthusiastic fans can flex their voting muscle until the appointed date of Friday, September 1st. Meanwhile, the "Best New Artist" category remains up for contention right up to the eve of the show, providing an exclusive window for fans to rally behind their favored emerging talents.

See the full list here.

Best Afrobeats

Ayra Starr - “Rush”
Burna Boy - “It’s Plenty”
Davido ft. Musa Keys - “Unavailable”
Fireboy DML & Asake - ”Bandana”
Libianca - “People”
Rema & Selena Gomez - “Calm Down”
Wizkid ft. Ayra Starr - “2 Sugar”

Video of the Year

Doja Cat - “Attention”
Miley Cyrus - “Flowers”
Nicki Minaj - “Super Freaky Girl”
Olivia Rodrigo - “Vampire”
Sam Smith & Kim Petras - “Unholy”
SZA - “Kill Bill”
Taylor Swift - “Anti-Hero”

Artist of the Year

Doja Cat
Karol G
Nicki Minaj
Taylor Swift

Song of the Year

Miley Cyrus - “Flowers”
Olivia Rodrigo - “Vampire”
Rema & Selena Gomez - “Calm Down”
Sam Smith & Kim Petras - “Unholy”
Steve Lacy - “Bad Habit”
SZA - “Kill Bill”
Taylor Swift - “Anti-Hero”

Best New Artist

Ice Spice
Peso Pluma
Reneé Rapp