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Awards shows were once the epitome of all things Hollywood. Glamorous ball gowns and men in fresh suits, the best new singer or actor celebrated, the greats all in attendance. But how the mighty have fallen.

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Editor’s Note: Reggaeton rapper gave a special remote MTV Video Music Awards performance of “Tití Me Preguntó” at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Sunday - moments after winning artist of the year at the 2022 VMAs.

If you weren’t watching the 2022 Video Music Awards last Sunday, I gotta ask what the hell were you doing?

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MUSIC

The BTS ARMY's Allegations of Racism Are Misguided

Can someone remind the fandom that the VMA's have always been problematic?

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Fans of the K-pop septet BTS –known collectively as ARMY– have always had to vie for legitimacy. While the boy bands meteoric rise in the west has perplexed the general public, the "ARMY" has lived up to its name, taking to social media to launch a full-blown assault on the masses.

The fandom unifies against anyone – and I mean anyone – that may imply the slightest ill will or dislike towards the group, and even those with little social media clout are guaranteed a sudden influx of activity at a remote mention of the group. "I wrote [a] tweet, and then ARMY came," wrote The Atlantic. "People were like, 'Yeah, it's great, love it with us!'"

However, after MTV recently announced its nominations for the VMAs, members of ARMY deemed MTV racist. Aside from allegedly snubbing BTS for "Best Video," this year's award show will introduce a new category for "Best K-pop." As one die hard fan wrote, "For anyone confused as to why it's racist, they made the kpop category to limit bts and rob them from other awards."


ARMY has been monumental in BTS's global outreach and success, and they've fought tooth and nail to make the group distinguishable among mainstream circles. The fight is mostly warranted, as critics have continuously tried to dismiss the group. One writer at The New York Times said that "she wanted to 'gag' after learning some people saw both Madonna and 'a K-pop band of 20-somethings' as 'legendary,'" and an Australian news host was forced to apologize after making xenophobic comments towards the group. "It's common to see critics make snide comments about BTS because of their youth or their boy-band status," wrote The Atlantic. Variety published a take that The Jonas Brothers return was "just in time to show the BTSes of the world how it's really done."

With ARMY's pride and joy attacked from all angles, of course, they took issue with the recent MTV VMA nominations.

The allegations are valid, but frankly a bit late and obvious. From Miley Cyrus saying "my real mammy" in a backstage skit to Rebel Wilson openly mocking police brutality as she announced the nominations for "Best Hip-Hop Video," accusations of racism have forever plagued the VMA's. Nicki Minaj derided the awards as racist in 2015 after she was snubbed for "Video of the Year" for her work on "Anaconda," yet racked up nominations in Hip-Hop related categories. MIA similarly slammed the award show in 2016, accusing the VMAs of "racism, sexism, classism, and elitism" after her video for "Borders" – wherein she portrays the struggle of refugees – was exempt from nomination for "Best Video."


ARMY's fierce condemnation of the VMAs and sudden realization about the award show's racial biases portray a fandom focused solely on their beloved boys, rather than on achieving equal representation in media. The accusations are especially problematic considering the BTS fandom has regularly struggled to quell racism within their own ranks.

As powerful as ARMY is, the fandom has been historically quick to cancel and deride anyone that stands in their way. Last month, they deemed comedian Alex Williamson a "xenophobe" for introducing the group on his show as "the biggest band you've never heard of" and for expressing his surprise at the group's BBMA wins, because "only one" of them spoke English. While the latter joke may have been in poor taste, the statement about BTS' reach was technically accurate, and to deem him an outright racist for his remarks seemed like a massive leap. Still, ARMY demanded that Williamson be fired.

ARMY's expeditious sentencing of their foes makes their calls to "cancel" the VMAs seem hollow. It is also worth noting that many members still plan on participating in the show. "I love how we armys multitask," tweeted @BTS_0utsold. "I mean, we will drag @vma's by their racist, raggedy wigs but still vote for our boys BTS because they deserve every award and we'd love to give it to them." While ARMY is overall well-intentioned, fans seem to want to have their cake and eat it, too. Their calls to action aren't rooted in a socially conscious agenda or higher cause; they just love BTS and will attack anyone who speaks less than highly of them. In doing so, they often validate the very criticisms they try to overcome.

Even if the fandom's critiques of the VMAs are well-founded, the all-out assault on the VMAs seems misplaced, especially considering that the program barely pulls in viewers these days. Instead, ARMY's "ethos of inclusion" seems to only apply when the fandom's attention is directed towards BTS themselves.

But regardless, thanks to the ARMY's vocal support, BTS is now one of the most decorated pop groups of all time. While it may hurt to see BTS so easily dismissed by the mainstream, the haters don't lessen the group's massive accomplishments, which are more meaningful than any VMA award could be. Instead of picking a fight with every and any person who remotely disses or minimizes the group–which just promotes more criticism of BTS from outsiders– why not just let the boys' accomplishments speak for themselves? Eventually, the rest of the world will be forced to listen.

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2018 MTV VMAs – Hits, Misses, and So Much More

A Recap of the Big Night – The Big Winners, Fun (and fails) with Fashion, and Memorable Musical Moments

Last night, the stars came out to sing, schmooze, and see and be seen.

The VMAs are always entertaining, from the outfits to the on stage performances. With J. Lo receiving the night's highest honor, taking home the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, Madonna giving an "it's all about me" speech to "honor" the recently departed Aretha Franklin, and plenty performances to wow the crowd, the show, while not the most outrageous we've seen, was VMAs-ish enough to hold its own.

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With presenters including The Backstreet Boys, Kevin Hart, Millie Bobby Brown, and Tiffany Haddish, performances by Nicki Minaj, Shawn Mendez, a well-deserved lengthy one by Jennifer Lopez, and others, and lots of fun and flair throughout the night, the show went along smoothly, yet not spectacularly, as some reviews have mused. Still, who could resist seeing some of the year's biggest and best stars come together to celebrate and collaborate, making the awards night a bright spot for what would have otherwise been a blah Monday night.

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MUSIC

And the Video Vanguard Award Goes To… J. Lo, Naturally

The MTV Video Music Awards to Honor Jennifer Lopez August 20th

Jennifer Lopez must be the luckiest lady on the planet.

She is talented, beautiful (possibly ageless), rich, and smart, a mom of seemingly well-adjusted celeb kids, and dating one of the most desirable dudes in America. That would be "A-Rod" if you live under a rock. Just when you thought the triple-threat had it all, the kind folks at MTV felt she needed another feather in her (designer) cap.

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So, later this month during the 2018 MTV VMAs, the very special Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award will be presented to Lopez, giving her prime time props of epic proportions thanks to her "contributions to the world of music videos." As MTV shared, "The Bronx native will be accepting her award and performing some of her greatest hits live!" Surely Mr. Rodriguez will be right there in the front row cheering on his main squeeze, and fans worldwide will be in frenzy when the always-amazing J. Lo does her thing for the live audience and those tuning in from their living rooms. And by the way, Lopez has not performed live at the VMAs since 2001, as per Time. She must have been waiting for just the right moment to hit the stage again, making '18 the pinnacle of her perfection.

Looking fresh in 2000www.popsugar.com/latina

The first Vanguard awards were given out at the first VMAs in '84. To honor the incomparable Michael Jackson, the award was renamed in '91. While we remember the artists who've claimed this coveted award, note that is also sometimes given to music video directors and creators who are behind the lens, making magic to go along with the music.

For a little MTV music history, the first awards were given to David Bowie, The Beatles, and Richard Lester (he was a director for short films for the Beatles). Skip to '86 when Madonna accepted the honor along with filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczyński. '88's star was the award's now-namesake, Michael Jackson, followed by George Michael in '89. Janet Jackson was '90's gal, joining her beloved bro with the honor. Jump to 2011 when pop princess Britney Spears was the wildly popular winner. Her ex, Justin Timberlake snapped it up two years later. Kim K.'s hubby, Kanye West stole the show in '15…too bad Taylor Swift wasn't inclined to steal his thunder. '16 saw Rihanna, '17, P!nk, and this year, J. Lo will take home the shiny statue. A deserving bunch with another hit-maker to add to the impressive list.

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Lopez's latest song, "Dinero" is up for some awards too - "Best Collaboration" and "Best Latin Video." Even if she doesn't snag the prize for those, she still walks away the night's biggest winner. Something tells us Michael Jackson is smiling down on her from above.

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August 20 is the big day. Admittedly, it's my birthday, but for the rest of the world, or at least for music lovers who are interested, the 20th marks the MTV Video Music Awards which will be held at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. The show is always full of entertaining acts, stunning costumes and red carpet ensembles, and a gathering of the best in the biz, many of whom are in attendance not only to watch their peers perform but to possibly snatch up an award to make the summer of '18 even more special.

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And speaking of special, for new mom Cardi B, this year just keeps getting better. She's in a happy relationship with hubby Offset, who she secretly wed last fall, and just gave birth to her first child on July 10th. For most people, that would be enough to call the past year a success, but Cardi B is on top of the world and her personal life is only part of what makes her shine. She is leading the nominations with a total of 10, beating out Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

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Surely Cardi B will take home something, perhaps not all 10 awards but the odds are in her favor to not go home empty handed. As for the rest of the noms? Check out who is in the running in their respective categories below. And you can chime in. As per ET, "Fans can vote in eight of the most popular categories via vma.mtv.com up until Friday, Aug. 10. Voting for the "Best New Artist" category will stay open until the live broadcast."

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

"No Tears Left to Cry"

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Ariana Grande – "No Tears Left to Cry"
Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – "Finesse (Remix)"
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – "Havana"
The Carters – "APES**T"
Childish Gambino – "This Is America"
Drake – "God's Plan"

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Bruno Mars

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Ariana Grande
Bruno Mars
Camila Cabello
Cardi B
Drake
Post Malone

SONG OF THE YEAR

"God's Plan"

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Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – "Finesse (Remix)"
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – "Havana"
Drake – "God's Plan"
Dua Lipa – "New Rules"
Ed Sheeran – "Perfect"
Post Malone ft. 21 Savage – "rockstar"

BEST NEW ARTIST (Presented by Taco Bell®)

Cardi B

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Bazzi
Cardi B
Chloe x Halle
Hayley Kiyoko
Lil Pump
Lil Uzi Vert

BEST COLLABORATION

The Carters – "APES**T"

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Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line – "Meant to Be"
Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – "Finesse (Remix)"
The Carters – "APES**T"
Jennifer Lopez ft. DJ Khaled & Cardi B – "Dinero"
Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid – "1-800-273-8255"
N.E.R.D & Rihanna – "Lemon"

PUSH ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Chloe x Halle

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JULY 2018 – Chloe x Halle
JUNE 2018 – Sigrid
MAY 2018 – Lil Xan
APRIL 2018 – Hayley Kiyoko
MARCH 2018 – Jessie Reyez
FEBRUARY 2018 – Tee Grizzley
JANUARY 2018 – Bishop Briggs
DECEMBER 2017 – Grace VanderWaal
NOVEMBER 2017 – Why Don't We
OCTOBER 2017 – PRETTYMUCH
SEPTEMBER 2017 – SZA
AUGUST 2017 – Kacy Hill
JULY 2017 – Khalid
JUNE 2017 – Kyle
MAY 2017 – Noah Cyrus

BEST POP

"Sorry Not Sorry"

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Ariana Grande – "No Tears Left to Cry"
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – "Havana"
Demi Lovato – "Sorry Not Sorry"
Ed Sheeran – "Perfect"
P!nk – "What About Us"
Shawn Mendes – "In My Blood"

BEST HIP HOP

"ATM"

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Cardi B ft. 21 Savage – "Bartier Cardi"
The Carters – "APES**T"
Drake – "God's Plan"
J. Cole – "ATM"
Migos ft. Drake – "Walk It Talk It"
Nicki Minaj – "Chun-Li"

BEST LATIN

"Dinero"

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Daddy Yankee – "Dura"
J Balvin, Willy William – "Mi Gente"
Jennifer Lopez ft. DJ Khaled & Cardi B – "Dinero"
Luis Fonsi, Demi Lovato – "Échame La Culpa"
Maluma – "Felices los 4"
Shakira ft. Maluma – "Chantaje"

BEST DANCE

"One Kiss"

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Avicii ft. Rita Ora – "Lonely Together"
Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – "One Kiss"
The Chainsmokers – "Everybody Hates Me"
David Guetta & Sia – "Flames"
Marshmello ft. Khalid – "Silence"
Zedd & Liam Payne – "Get Low (Street Video)"

BEST ROCK

"The Sky Is a Neighborhood"

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Fall Out Boy – "Champion"
Foo Fighters – "The Sky Is A Neighborhood"
Imagine Dragons – "Whatever It Takes"
Linkin Park – "One More Light"
Panic! At The Disco – "Say Amen (Saturday Night)"
Thirty Seconds to Mars – "Walk On Water"

VIDEO WITH A MESSAGE

"This Is America"

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Childish Gambino – "This Is America"
Dej Loaf and Leon Bridges – "Liberated"
Drake – 'God's Plan"
Janelle Monáe – "PYNK"
Jessie Reyez – "Gatekeeper"
Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid – "1-800-273-8255"

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