Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga in Rain On Me
Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga in Rain On Me Image Credit: YouTube screengrab

Step aside, election coverage and daily news briefings: The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards and their signature Moon Person will be taking over your social media this August 30 — and will surely bring the millennial take on the pressing issues of the day.

Here’s what you need to know.

What time is the show and on what channels?

MTV VMAs Image Credit: AP

The partially virtual show, which celebrates the best music videos of the year, will air live on MTV on 11 other ViacomCBS owned cable networks.

The show was originally set to air live from Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, but those plans were scrapped earlier this month because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Several outdoor performances will be held around New York with limited or no audience, adhering to all state and city guidelines, MTV said.

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“The VMAs will highlight the boroughs in an exciting show and return to Barclays Centre in 2021,” the network said. “MTV will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, state and local officials, the medical community, and key stakeholders to ensure the safety of all involved.”

While the VMAs will air on their flagship cable network, the ceremony will also be simulcast across parent company ViacomCBS’ 11 other brands, making up for the dearth of live-entertainment programming these days. So don’t be surprised when the VMAs show up on BET, BET Her, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nick at Nite, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land, VH1 and the CW.

The pre-show will be hosted by Nessa and Jamila Mustafa. It will feature performances from Chloe x Halle, Jack Harlow, Lewis Capaldi, Tate McRae and Machine Gun Kelly featuring Travis Barker and blackbear.

Who is hosting?

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Keke Palmer Image Credit: NYT

Recording artist, and self-proclaimed “millennial diva” Keke Palmer will host the main event. She’s been teasing the emcee gig all week with memorable get-ups paying homage to VMAs past.

Who is nominated?

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Taylor Swift Image Credit: AP

Pop phenoms Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga with nine nods apiece — including a video-of-the-year nomination for their hit dance collaboration, ‘Rain on Me’.

Other nominees across 15 categories include Billie Eilish, the Weeknd, Taylor Swift, Chloe x Halle, Drake, Dua Lipa, J Balvin, Justin Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, BTS, Harry Styles, Roddy Ricch, Post Malone, Future, Karol G and Doja Cat.

These are the nominees in the three marquee categories:

Video of the year

The Weeknd
The Weeknd Image Credit: Supplied

Billie Eilish — ‘everything i wanted’; Eminem ft. Juice WRLD — ‘Godzilla’; Future ft. Drake — ‘Life Is Good’; Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande — ‘Rain on Me’; Taylor Swift — ‘The Man’; The Weeknd — ‘Blinding Lights’

Artist of the year

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Meghan Thee Stallion Image Credit: AP

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

Song of the year

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Billie Eilish Image Credit: GN Archives

Billie Eilish — ‘everything i wanted’; Doja Cat — ‘Say So’; Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande — ‘Rain on Me’; Megan Thee Stallion — ‘Savage’; Post Malone — ‘Circles’; Roddy Ricch — ‘The Box’

Are there any new awards this year?

Given this year’s unusual performance circumstances, new awards categories have been added to recognise live sets and music videos filmed at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The show will also honour health care workers in a special segment, “Everyday Heroes: Frontline Medical Workers,” to “celebrate the best performances by first responders — doctors, nurses, and other frontline medical workers — who kept everyone going with their impromptu and off-the-cuff performances,” MTV said.

Who’s performing?

Image Credit: Supplied

Grande, Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas, BTS, CNCO, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Maluma, Roddy Ricch, Miley Cyrus and the Weeknd are set to take the stage.

Grande and Gaga will perform their duet ‘Rain on Me’, and the latter is expected to bring her new ‘Chromatica’ album to life, marking the first televised performance of her latest release.

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Miley Cyrus Image Credit: Shutterstovk

K-Pop phenom BTS will be performing on the show for the first time with the TV debut of its all-English new single, ‘Dynamite’.

Cyrus, of 2013 VMA infamy, is set to debut her new single, ‘Midnight Sky’.

Who’s presenting?

TAB 200829 Bebe Rexha-1598695661891
Bebe Rexha Image Credit: Shutterstock

‘Hamilton’ star Anthony Ramos’ Musician Bebe Rexha; Supermodel Bella Hadid; Actress Drew Barrymore; Actor Jaden Smith; Actress Joey King; Singer and TV personality Kelly Clarkson; Musician Machine Gun Kelly; Musician Madison Beer; Designer Nicole Richie; Actress Sofia Carson; Musician Travis Barker