Madonna, Miley Cyrus & More Artists Snubbed By The 2019 VMAs
Yesterday (July 23) MTV unveiled the nominations for the 2019 VMAs. This year’s show – which takes place August 26 – is shaping up to be particularly star-studded. Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift lead the field of nominees with 10 nods a piece. Following the incredible success of WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? and its accompanying singles, Billie Eilish trails closely with nine. Breakout hitmaker Lil Nas X is next up with eight to his name. Others in the running include Jonas Brothers, BTS, Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. It’s an impressive list. However, like every year, there are a couple glaring omissions.
Chief amongst those is Madonna. The Queen Of Pop is responsible for some of the VMAs most iconic moments. Not only that, but she released six videos this year in support of Madame X. Of those “God Control,” a powerful and shocking demand for gun reform, is the clear highlight. It will go down as one of the most unforgettable releases of the year, but it wasn’t nominated for a single award. Surely, it should have at least been up for Video For Good if not Video Of The Year. To be fair, the Jonas Åkerlund-directed opus may have come a little late to be recognized. It dropped at the very end of last month. But if so that doesn’t excuse the equally offensive snub of “Medellín.”
Speaking of people who have contributed to VMAs history, where the hell is Miley Cyrus? “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart,” her Ashley O. video “On A Roll” and “Mother’s Daughter” are all blockbusters that deserved some love. And it is puzzling to say the least that last year’s Video Vanguard Award recipient Jennifer Lopez didn’t make any of the categories. Her extravagant and visually stunning “Medicine” should at least be up for Best Pop. She didn’t slay last year’s performance to be totally forgotten. Cardi B had just as big of an impact on the 2018 VMAs. She went into the show with 12 nominations to her name and left with multiple wins.
This year she’s up for four between “Money,” “Taki Taki” and “Please Me.” But where is “Press”? Also, “Money” should be represented beyond just Best Hip Hop. Furthermore, you cannot talk about the hip hop category without realizing that Iggy Azalea got done dirty. “Sally Walker” and “Started” are some of her best videos ever, yet she is nowhere to be found. It’s been a massive year for women in the genre, so it would be nice to see them more recognized in general. For instance, Megan Thee Stallion and City Girls should have made the list.
It is great to see Normani’s gorgeous “Waves” getting some love in the Best R&B category. But the breakout solo star likely needed more. The intergalactic masterpiece should be up for a couple of technical categories. That’s not even considering her sleek Sam Smith collab “Dancing With A Stranger.” That could have at least netted her a shot at Best Choreography. And the VMAs totally overlooked her and Camila’s fellow Fifth Harmony alum Lauren Jauregui. Her sultry “More Than That” deserves better. On the topic of artists who got some but needed more nominations, that brings me to BTS.
The K-Pop superstars are represented in the newly created Best K-Pop section, Best Collaboration and two other categories. But their streaming giant “Boy With Luv” missed out on a well-deserved Video Of The Year nod. If nothing else, they should be up for Best Pop. Same for BLACKPINK’s “Kill This Love.” That is an already jam-packed category. But there are a couple other glaring absences. For instance, where is Katy Perry’s “Never Really Over”? I’d also like to see MNEK’s vibrant “Girlfriend,” Tove Lo’s innovative “Glad He’s Gone,” Bebe Rexha’s bold “Last Hurrah” or Charli XCX and Troye Sivan’s nostalgic “1999” in the mix.
Pink – another Vanguard Award winner – should have gotten a handful of nods for “Walk Me Home,” too. Katy missed out on a couple other categories. Her Zedd collab “365” easily deserved a Best Collaboration or Best Dance nod. Speaking of Best Collaboration, Anitta and Becky G’s cheeky “Banana” says hello. Frankly, both hitmakers are renowned for their mega-popular videos. So where are they? They could have also shown up in Best Latin. There, Bad Bunny is in the running with his Drake collab “MIA,” but it would have been nice to see MTV show some love to his even more striking “Caro.”
I’ve already mentioned the VMAs second new category – Video For Good. However, there are a couple other videos that should have made that list. For starters, Shawn and Khalid’s inspiring “Youth.” Then there’s Kacey Musgraves’s “Rainbow” and Marshmello and CHVRCHES’s “Here With Me.” Let’s close out with a couple other videos from artists that are already nominated. Strangely, Billie’s nightmarish “bury a friend” has been overlooked in favor of “bad guy.” Also, in focusing almost exclusively on Ari’s chart-toppers “thank u, next” and “7 rings,” MTV missed out on some other deserving videos including “breathin” and “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored.” What else do you think the VMAs overlooked this year?