VMAs Announce First Best Alternative Nominees In 22 Years

MTV is having its annual Video Music Awards show next month, and it’s set to be the first awards show that’ll air live since the pandemic started. The show is going to broadcast from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, with performances around various New York locations and social-distancing measures in place. It’ll be weird! But it always is.

Today, MTV unveiled this year’s nominees, and there’s a pretty hilarious curveball in there: MTV is bringing back the Best Alternative category for the first time in 22 years. The last time there was a Best Alternative VMA, Green Day won it for “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life),” beating out a field that included Radiohead, the Verve, Garbage, and Ben Folds Five. (Green Day are actually up for an award this year, too, but it’s Best Rock, not Best Alternative.)

This time around, it’s a little harder to figure out what qualifies as Alternative, and the nominees are all over the place: the 1975, All Time Low, FINNEAS, Lana Del Rey, Machine Gun Kelly, and twenty one pilots. I would love to see the Slack conversations that led to this string of decisions.

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande have the most nominations this year, with each of them getting nine. Their collaboration “Rain On Me” is up for seven awards. There’s also a Best Quarantine Performance award this year, and I am delighted to report that Post Malone’s Nirvana tribute is nominated. Here’s the full list of nominees, via Entertainment Weekly:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Billie Eilish – “everything i wanted”
Eminem – “Godzilla” (Feat. Juice WRLD)
Future – “Life Is Good” (Feat. Drake)
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me”
Taylor Swift – “The Man”
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights”

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

DaBaby
Justin Bieber
Lady Gaga
Megan Thee Stallion
Post Malone
The Weeknd

SONG OF THE YEAR

Billie Eilish – “everything i wanted”
Doja Cat – “Say So”
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande
Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage”
Post Malone – “Circles”
Roddy Ricch – “The Box”

BEST COLLABORATION

Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber – “Stuck with U”
Black Eyed Peas – “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life)” (Feat. J Balvin)
Ed Sheeran – “Beautiful People” (Feat. Khalid)
Future – “Life Is Good” (Feat. Drake)
Karol G – “Tusa” (Feat. Nicki Minaj)
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me”

PUSH BEST NEW ARTIST

Doja Cat
Jack Harlow
Lewis Capaldi
Roddy Ricch
Tate McRae
YUNGBLUD

BEST POP

BTS – “On”
Halsey – “You should be sad”
Jonas Brothers – “What a Man Gotta Do”
Justin Bieber – “Intentions” (Feat. Quavo)
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me”
Taylor Swift – “Lover”

BEST HIP-HOP

DaBaby – “BOP”
Eminem – “Godzilla” (Feat. Juice WRLD)
Future – “Life Is Good” (Feat. Drake)
Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage”
Roddy Ricch – “The Box”
Travis Scott – “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM”

BEST ROCK

blink-182 – “Happy Days”
Coldplay – “Orphans”
Evanescence – “Wasted On You”
Fall Out Boy – “Dear Future Self (Hands Up)” (Feat. Wyclef Jean)
Green Day – “Oh Yeah!”
The Killers – “Caution”

BEST ALTERNATIVE

The 1975 – “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)”
All Time Low – “Some Kind Of Disaster”
FINNEAS – “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night”
Lana Del Rey – “Doin’ Time”
Machine Gun Kelly – “Bloody Valentine”
twenty one pilots – “Level of Concern”

BEST LATIN

Anuel AA – “China” (Feat. Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, Karol G, & J Balvin)
Bad Bunny – “Yo Perreo Sola”
Black Eyed Peas – “MAMACITA” (Feat. Ozuna & J. Rey Soul)
J Balvin – “Amarillo”
Karol G – “Tusa” (Feat. Nicki Minaj)
Maluma – “Qué Pena” (Feat. J Balvin)

BEST R&B

Alicia Keys – “Underdog”
Chloe x Halle – “Do It”
H.E.R. – “Slide” (Feat. YG)
Khalid – “Eleven” (Feat. Summer Walker)
Lizzo – “Cuz I Love You”
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights”

BEST K-POP

(G)I-DLE – “Oh My God”
BTS – “On”
EXO – “Obsession”
Monsta X – “SOMEONE’S SOMEONE”
Tomorrow X Together – “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)”
Red Velvet – “Psycho”

VIDEO FOR GOOD

Anderson .Paak – “Lockdown”
Billie Eilish – “all the good girls go to hell”
Demi Lovato – “I Love Me”
H.E.R. – ”I Can’t Breathe”
Lil Baby – “The Bigger Picture”
Taylor Swift – “The Man”

BEST MUSIC VIDEO FROM HOME

5 Seconds of Summer – “Wildflower”
Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber – “Stuck with U”
blink-182 – “Happy Days”
Drake – “Toosie Slide”
John Legend – “Bigger Love”
twenty one pilots – “Level of Concern”

BEST QUARANTINE PERFORMANCE

Chloe & Halle – “Do It” from MTV’s Prom-athon
CNCO – Unplugged At Home
DJ D-Nice – Club MTV presents #DanceTogether
John Legend – #togetherathome Concert Series
Lady Gaga – “Smile” from One World: Together At Home
Post Malone – Nirvana Tribute

BEST DIRECTION

Billie Eilish – “xanny” (Billie Eilish)
Doja Cat – “Say So” (Hannah Lux Davis)
Dua Lipa – “Don’t Start Now” (Nabil)
Harry Styles – “Adore You” (Dave Meyers)
Taylor Swift – “The Man” (Taylor Swift)
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” (Anton Tammi)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

5 Seconds of Summer – “Old Me” (Kieran Fowler)
Camila Cabello – “My Oh My” (Feat. DaBaby) (Dave Meyers)
Billie Eilish – “all the good girls go to hell” (Christopher Probst)
Katy Perry – “Harleys In Hawaii” (Arnau Valls)
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” (Thomas Kloss)
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” (Oliver Millar)

BEST ART DIRECTION

A$AP Rocky – “Babushka Boi” (A$AP Rocky & Nadia Lee Cohen)
Dua Lipa – “Physical” (Anna Colomé Nogu)
Harry Styles – “Adore You” (Laura Ellis Cricks)
Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter” (Christian Stone)
Selena Gomez – “Boyfriend” (Tatiana Van Sauter)
Taylor Swift – “Lover” (Ethan Tobman)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Billie Eilish – “all the good girls go to hell” (Drive Studios)
Demi Lovato – “I Love Me” (Hoody FX)
Dua Lipa – “Physical” (EIGHTY4)
Harry Styles – “Adore You” (Mathematic)
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” (Ingenuity Studios)
Travis Scott – “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” (ARTJAIL, SCISSOR FILMS, & FRENDER)

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

BTS – “On” (Son Sung Deuk, Lee Ga Hun, & Lee Byung Eun)
CNCO & Natti Natasha – “Honey Boo” (Kyle Hanagami)
DaBaby – “BOP” (Dani Leigh & Cherry)
Dua Lipa – “Physical” (Charm La’Donna)
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” (Richy Jackson)
Normani – “Motivation” (Sean Bankhead)

BEST EDITING

Halsey – “Graveyard” (Emilie Aubry, Janne Vartia, & Tim Montana)
James Blake – “Can’t Believe the Way We Flow” (Frank Lebon)
Lizzo – “Good As Hell”(Russell Santos & Sofia Kerpan)
Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter” (Alexandre Moors & Nuno Xico)
ROSALÍA – “A Palé” – (Andre Jones)
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” (Janne Vartia & Tim Montana)