- The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards nominations were announced Thursday.
- Harry Styles, Halsey, Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa, and BTS were all snubbed in major categories, despite releasing some of the past year’s biggest albums and best videos.
- Artists like Normani and Miley Cyrus also delivered extraordinary visuals, yet still only received technical nominations.
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Nominations for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards were announced Thursday afternoon.
Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga led the pack with nine nods apiece, largely thanks to their smash collaboration “Rain On Me,” while Billie Eilish and The Weeknd followed with six each.
However, other beloved artists with headline-making visuals were snubbed in major categories.
Keep reading to see Insider’s picks for the 7 biggest snubs, in no particular order.
Dua Lipa should have been nominated for artist of the year.
Dua Lipa did not serve three perfect music videos and a near-perfect pop album to not get nominated for artist of the year.
In terms of visuals, Lipa has been remarkably consistent.“Don’t Start Now,”“Physical,” and “Break My Heart” deserved more recognition from the VMAs – particularly “Physical,” which was thematically rich, visually stunning, and flawlessly styled.
“Don’t Start Now” also seemed like a natural fit for song of the year.
Instead, Lipa only received four nominations in strictly technical categories: best direction for “Don’t Start Now,” and best art direction, visual effects, and choreography for “Physical.”
Harry Styles only received three nominations, and none in major categories.
Like Lipa, Harry Styles released one of the most well crafted and relevant albums of the past year, but saw no such recognition from MTV.
Styles only received three nominations, all in technical categories: best direction, art direction, and visual effects for “Adore You.”
His comeback single, “Lights Up,” was similarly ignored, despite generating heaps of praise when it was released in October.
Insider even named “Lights Up” the No. 1 best music video of 2019.
Normani’s “Motivation” deserved more than one nomination.
Normani’s nomination for best choreography was well deserved, but nearly one year after its release, the “Motivation” music video still lives in my mind rent-free.
“Motivation,” Normani’s debut solo single, is the perfect example of a great song that’s catchy and fun on its own, but made truly iconic by its video – the very phenomenon you’d think the VMAs would want to celebrate.
Indeed, “Motivation” sparked a passionate frenzy when it dropped, and Normani even performed a masterful stage version at the 2019 VMAs.
It should have at least been honoured in the best pop category.
Selena Gomez’s “Lose You to Love Me” should have been nominated for video of the year.
The understated music video for “Lose You to Love Me” quickly became a cultural touchstone, as it underscored the song’s emotional tone and empowering theme. It was gracefully subtle, raw, and cathartic.
“Lose You to Love Me” did not receive one measly nomination, however.
Instead, Gomez’s most recent single, “Boyfriend,” was nominated for best art direction.
One has to wonder whether everyone who works at MTV got amnesia at the same time and completely forgot “Lose You to Love Me” exists. It’s the only reasonable explanation.
Halsey received just two nominations, even though every video from her “Manic” era has been stunning.
Halsey has released one of the year’s best albums and multiple music videos to match.
Each single from “Manic” has been gifted its own unique treatment, ranging from the whimsical wonder of “Graveyard” to the chaotic hoedown of “You Should Be Sad,” which also paid tribute to her female idols.
Even slower, less radio-friendly songs like “Clementine” and “Finally // Beautiful Stranger” were tenderly, painstakingly translated into visuals, proving that Halsey is one of the most detail-oriented multimedia artists working today.
Given all this, Halsey’s batch of two nominations – for best pop (“You Should Be Sad”) and best editing (“Graveyard”) – feels woefully inadequate.
“Mother’s Daughter” by Miley Cyrus was only nominated in technical categories, despite its powerful premise and gorgeous execution.
Insider previously ranked “Mother’s Daughter” as the runner-up on our list of 2019’s best music videos.
It’s extremely difficult to make a music video that’s at once political, artistic, visually dazzling, seductive, scary, and totally inclusive. Think: “Wrecking Ball,” but make it ultra-feminist.
Cyrus pulled it off, but “Mother’s Daughter” only received two nominations in technical categories: best art direction and best editing.
It’s possible that, given the video’s age, it lost favour with the VMAs voting committee – but “Slide Away,”Cyrus’ more recent visual triumph, didn’t get any love at all.
Once again, BTS was snubbed for video, artist, and song of the year.
BTS continues to be the biggest band in the world, with some of music’s most talented performers.
And yet, BTS was locked out of the three major categories.
Instead, just one BTS song (“On”) was nominated for best pop, best choreography, and best K-pop – a highly criticised category that many feel unfairly “others” K-pop stars and creates a barrier on the road to greater recognition.