MTV announced the nominations for the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards on Wednesday, July 23, where pop queens Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande lead the pack with 10 nominations apiece.
Close behind are rising stars Billie Eilish and Lil Nax X with 9 and 8 nominations respectively. The openly gay rapper scored nominations in song of the year, best hip hop and video of the year for “Old Town Road” which just tied for the longest running number one single in Billboard Hot 100 history on Monday, July 22.
“OTR” will compete against Taylor’s “You Need to Calm Down” in the Video of the Year category. “YNTCD” featured a plethora of LGBTQ personalities including the cast of Queer Eye, RuPaul, and Todrick Hall to name a few. Many saw the track as an anthem for gay pride while certain members of our community weren’t really buying what she was selling.
A notable snub was Sam Smith and Normani‘s massive smash “Dancing With a Stranger,” which received zero nominations. Their song was one of the biggest collaborations of the year and would’ve been an easy choice for that particular category. They lost out in favor others like Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper‘s “Shallow” and Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber‘s “I Don’t Care.”
Several gay favorites scored at least one nod on Wednesday. Lizzo, whose star power has been on an astronomical rise for the past couple of years, earned herself nods in the Best New and Push Artist of the Year categories.
Shawn Mendes, another artist we love for a variety of reasons, earned a nod for Artist of the Year and plenty for his duet with girlfriend Camila Cabello on their song “Señorita.”
The favorite going into VMA night looks to be Ariana, 26, given the tremendous success of her single “thank u, next.” Her number one track scored nods in all the big categories including Video and Song of the Year.
Check out a full list of nominations here. The 2019 VMAs, hosted by Sebastian Maniscalco, will air live from the Prudential Center in New Jersey on Monday, Aug. 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV