2021 VMAs!!

VMAs History, 2021 results

Olivia Kumar, Sandscript Author

The MTV Video Music Awards (sometimes abbreviated as the VMAs) is an award show presented by the channel MTV to honor the best music videos. Originally created, the annual MTV Video Music Awards ceremony has often been called the “Super Bowl” for the youth;” the VMA ceremony has the ability to draw millions of youth from teens to 20-somethings each year. 

Let’s start with some of the VMA’s history. By the start of  2001, the VMAs became a well known award. The statue given to winners, an astronaut on the moon, which is one of the earliest representations of MTV, was called the “moonman”. However, in 2017, Chris McCarthy, the president of MTV, stated that the statue would be called a “Moon Person” from then on. The statue was created by Manhattan Design — who also designed the original MTV logo — based it on the 1981 “Top of the Hour” animation created by Fred Seibert, produced by Alan Goodman, and produced by Buzz Potamkin at Buzzco Associates. The statue is now made by the New York firm Society Awards. Since the 2006 award ceremony, viewers have been able to vote for their favorite videos in all general categories by visiting MTV’s website.

The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards were given on September 12, 2021, at a live event at the Barclays Center Brooklyn, New York, and hosted by the one and only Doja Cat, who was also one of the performers at the event, and had additionally been nominated multiple times.

This year’s “Video of the Yearnominees included, The Weekend, Doja Cat, and SZA, Ed Sheeran and the eventual winner, Lil Nas X.  Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” had great  special effects right down to the fangs he wore and had amazing video quality.  The Weekend’s “Save your Tears” music video was very dark and mysterious but still lacked the ‘wow’ factor that could help to grab attention. “Kiss me More” by Doja Cat and SZA had a cool space theme but it wasn’t super creative as it’s main color was pink. “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” had fantastic video quality and the special effects were very well done. The song also had an incredibly creative theme and made use of a super colorful palette with cool lights that grabbed my attention right away. With all this in mind Lil Nas X undoubtedly deserved the win. 

The next category is “Artist of the Year”. There were four nominees for the “Artist of the Year” award but the winner was Justin Bieber. Ariana Grande has been producing music for a while. When many people think of pop music she’s sure to pop into plenty of minds, some of her most loved songs are “POV” “,” Into You” and “Save your Tears” all of these songs are great to sing along with and easily get stuck in my head. Another singer most people know and love is pop singer Taylor Swift. Most people know at least a handful of her songs and she definitely would have deserved to win this award.  While many people know who Taylor Swift is, a newer artist, Olivia Rodrigo, has been 2020 and 2021’s most popular singer amongst many teens, mainly due to her huge hit, “Drivers License,” which many teens relate to. Olivia was the youngest nominee at VMAs this year and her talent at her age is incredible. While Olivia Rodrigo’s music has lyrics many can relate to, Justin Bieber’s songs lack the parts that people, myself included can relate to. All of Justin’s songs sound very similar making his music very repetitive and boring to listen to. Personally, I believe that any of the other nominees should have won this award instead.  

Song of the Year ” nominees are 24kGoldn and Iann Dior, Silk Sonic, BTS and the winner Olivia Rodrigo. The song “Mood” by 24kGoldn jumped in popularity as it made its way to Tiktok earlier in the year. This song has a catchy tune and will definitely be on my playlists. Another song that is playlist worthy is  Silk Sonic’s “Leave The Door Open”. The song has a smooth r&b feel and is perfect for when you want to relax and tap your foot along to a song. Additionally, “Dynamite” by BTS is a great song to jam out to because it has a fun beat and catchy melody. Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers license” won “Song of the Year ” for 2021.This track has a catchy tune that can be hard not to hum when the song is playing. 

There were two “Best New Artist” nominees this year. 24kGoldn’s new song “Mood” got them nominated for many categories of the VMAs this year and has pushed them to “Best New Artist” nominee. The winner, Olivia Rodrigo’s talent, new songs, and her record Sour got her recognized as the “Best New Artist” of the 2021 VMAs. 

Two duos have been nominated for “Best Collaboration” . Justin Bieber and Daniel Caesar. These two partnered up to release “Peaches” which has become a favorite amongst many people because of its catchy tune that makes it easy to sing along. The winning duo is Doja Cat and SZA. These women are an iconic duo and their song “Kiss Me More” displays that. The song made its way to TikTok earlier this year and has taken off in popularity since then. All in all Doja Cat and SZA definitely deserved that win.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

The “Best Pop ” nominees include Ariana Grande – “Positions”, Billie Eilish – “Therefore I Am”, BTS – “Butter”, Taylor Swift – “Willow” and the winner, Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches”. Ariana Grande’s “Positions” has a great beat, fantastic melody and the lyrics are easy to sing along to, making it perfect for playing in moments when you are bored. “Therefore I am” by Billie Eilish has creepy undertones in the bassline and a catchy melody. I will definitely be adding this song to my playlist. In addition, BTS’s “Butter” is super upbeat and catchy, you will definitely catch me dancing to this song. While BTS’s song is very upbeat and good for dancing to, “Willow” by Taylor Swift is a nice song for long car rides with its recognizable melody and lyrics that can be easily learned. While all of these tracks are fantastic, Justin Bieber and Daniel Caesar’s “Peaches” won “Best Pop” song. “Peaches” has a  catchy tune but lacks some of the relatable content in the song. 

There were four “Best Alternative” nominees selected this year. Glass Animal’s “Heat Waves” is easily one of my favorites because of its strong beat and catchy tune it’s also featured in the Netflix show “Never Have I Ever” . The downside of this song, however, is that it is extremely repetitive. Another artist, Imagine Dragons was nominated as well, their song “Follow You” has appeared on TikTok many times and is super catchy. The song also has a well constructed harmony that really pulls the song together. In addition Machine Gun Kelly and Blackbear’s “My Ex’s Best Friend” won the “Best Alternative” award. This track has a great beat and is super catchy. The song also has a great chorus that many listeners can easily learn.

The two “Best Cinematography” award nominees were neck and neck this year. The first nominee, and winner, is Beyonce, Blue Ivy, JHN, and WizKid’s “Brown Skin Girl”. The Cinematography for this video was done by Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, Santiago Gonzalez and Ryan Helfant. The music video featured shots of a pretty but minimalistic house and a beautiful outdoor field. There were many beautiful details in this video and the imaging was clear and very crisp. The second nominee, Billie Eilish’s  “Therefore I Am,” had cinematography for the song’s video done by Rob Witt. The music video featured mostly a mall with Billie dancing inside. The video itself was clear but also a little plain as there were no fun colors used, and the mall was empty aside from Billie. Overall the win for this award was well deserved. 

The “Song of the Summer” award had five nominees, the first of which, “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish, has a super strong beat and lyrics that many people are likely to relate to. The song is great to play when you’re bored. In addition Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” has an upbeat tune and easily memorable lyrics. Another artist that was nominated was Olivia Rodrigo, without a doubt her most popular song is “Good 4 You”. The song definitely requires a strong voice and Olivia nailed it. The track also has lyrics that plenty of people can relate to. BTS’s “Butter” was the winner for the “Song of the Summer” and I can’t say I’m surprised. This track is great for curing boredom and makes me want to dance. With this in mind BTS definitely deserved the win. 

The 2021 VMAs were a huge hit. A number of the nominees were well chosen and incredibly talented. After all that information, I believe the VMAs are a fun award show ceremony that I would take the time to go see.