MTV VMAs to feature Cardi B, J. Lo and Aretha tribute
By MESFIN FEKADU, AP Music Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Cardi B will make her first public appearance as a mom at the MTV Video Music Awards, and it might be worth it: She could be the night’s big winner.
The rapper is the top contender with 10 nominations. She will open Monday’s show, which kicks off at 9 p.m. EDT from Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Cardi B, who gave birth to Kulture Kiari Cephus last month, is up for video of the year with “Finesse,” her collaboration with Bruno Mars. The song’s video, inspired by the 1990s sketch comedy series “In Living Color,” is also nominated for four other honors.
For the top prize, Cardi B and Mars will compete with Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” Drake’s “God’s Plan,” Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “Apes–t,” Camila Cabello’s “Havana” and Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry.”
Most of the top nominees — including Drake, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Mars and Gambino — won’t attend the VMAs.
Grande, who released a new album last week, is set to perform. Other performers include Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, Shawn Mendes, the Backstreet Boys, Post Malone, Panic! At the Disco, Logic and Ryan Tedder. Jennifer Lopez, who will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award for lifetime achievement, will also hit the stage.
MTV also plans on honoring Aretha Franklin, who died last week from pancreatic cancer at age 76.
As for nominees, Beyonce and Jay-Z follow Cardi B with eight bids for “Apesh–t,” filmed at the Louvre museum in Paris. Gambino’s “This Is America,” which tackles racism and gun violence, earned him seven nominations, while Drake, who gave away $1 million dollars to Miami residents in his “God’s Plan” clip, scored seven nods.
Mars, who has six nominations, is up for artist of the year alongside Cardi B, Drake, Post Malone, Cabello and Grande.
Taylor Swift was shut out of the major categories but did nab three nominations for technical awards: Her No. 1 hit, “Look What You Made Me Do,” is up for best art direction, best visual effects and best editing.
Cardi B’s other nominations include best new artist, best hip-hop video for “Bartier Cardi” and best Latin video for “Dinero” with Lopez and DJ Khaled.
Others nominated for multiple VMAs include SZA, Ed Sheeran, Janelle Monae, Khalid, Alessia Cara and Dua Lipa.
Avicii, who died in April, is nominated for best dance and best visual effects for “Lonely Together,” which features Rita Ora.