The 2018 MTV VMAs: Who to Watch For and Who You Definitely Won’t See at the Awards This Year

Cardi B on Saturday Night Live

Cardi B on Saturday Night Live | NBC

The annual MTV Video Music Awards are a time for Hollywood’s fiercest, most fabulous artists to show off their music’s story as well as perform for nearly 10 million viewers. The nominee list indicates which artists are on the rise, such as Cardi B, as well as which established singers have had a successful year (here’s to you, Carter family). While we have no doubt Cardi B will be a frequent face on our small screens, fans are questioning which of their beloved artists will skip the festivities.

This has been a huge year for music and music videos. The 2018 carousel of eye-opening artistic endeavors included “This is America,” Beyonce and Jay-Z’s joint album The Carters, and a Cardi B takeover (the rapper tops the nominee list at 10 VMA nominations). It’s also been a whirlwind year for some of our favorite artists’ personal lives which fans are eager to see play out on the VMA carpet and at the show.

We’ll be seeing a few newly engaged favorites

This year was a successful one for a few artists in both their careers and love lives. Ariana Grande is up for five awards including Video of the Year and Artist of the Year. She also recently got engaged to her boyfriend of a few months, Pete Davidson, a Saturday Night Live cast member.

It was a big year for celebrity engagements all around. Nick Jonas proposed to Priyanka Chopra, Justin Bieber put a ring on Hailey Baldwin’s finger (despite recent rumors he’d gone back to Selena Gomez), and Chance the Rapper proposed to his longtime girlfriend Kirsten Corley.

We’re hopeful the Carters will make an appearance

Beyonce and Jay Z in music video

Beyonce and Jay Z’s “Apeshit” is nominated for Video of the Year. | Beyoncé via Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BkGcRUGFoAl/?hl=en&taken-by=beyonce

Beyonce and Jay-Z are famous for their touching family moment with daughter Blue Ivy at the 2014 VMA’s, and fans are hopeful they’ll make an appearance with all three of their kids in tow this year. However, the Carters have been busy traveling for their OTR II tour, a flawless two-hour web of choreography that interlaces their biggest hits both individually and as a couple while telling their 19-year love story.

Seems like a good enough reason to miss the award show, though fans will certainly be disappointed if they skip out. Who else will wear a bejeweled bodysuit while shutting down rumors of family unrest? The couple plays the New Era Field in Buffalo on August 18 and the Williams-Bryce Stadium in South Carolina on August 21, so a VMA appearance is still a possibility.

We doubt Taylor Swift will show

Taylor Swift at the VMAs

Taylor Swift performs at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2014 in Inglewood, California. | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Two pop stars are unlikely VMA attendees but for two very different reasons. Taylor Swift is currently touring her sixth studio album, Reputation, while Demi Lovato is currently recovering from a drug overdose and taking time for her personal health.

While Swift has yet to address the situation, her fans are outraged over her perceived VMA snub. Her record-breaking 2017 studio album Reputation spawned four highly-successful music videos that garnered hundreds of millions of views, yet she isn’t nominated for a single major category.

Despite some of Swift’s major pop culture moments at the VMAs (Kanye’s “excuse me” interruption leads them all) she hasn’t attended the award show since 2015. Fans speculated she may leave her media blackout dungeon in 2017 while her alleged rival, Katy Perry, hosted, but Swift remained out-of-sight. She wasn’t out-of-mind, however, and debuted her “Look What You Made Me Do” music video, the first off of Reputation.

While the video was nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, and Best Editing, it didn’t receive nominations for the major awards that indicate an artist’s influence and pop culture relevance. Swift has remained silent on the matter, but if she doesn’t show at the awards, we’d attribute it more to her busy schedule and Reputation tour than any “Bad Blood” with the nominations committee.

Demi Lovato is unlikely to attend

Unlike Swift, Lovato is nominated for televised awards including Best Pop for her chart-topper “Sorry Not Sorry” and her collaboration on “Échame La Culpa” with Luis Fonsi.

Lovato was hospitalized in late July for an alleged drug overdose. Just weeks before, the pop singer had released a single “Sober” detailing a recent relapse after six years of sobriety. Sources revealed that Lovato was moving directly from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility, so it’s highly unlikely she’ll be on hand to accept the award and will instead have someone accept on her behalf if she wins.

Catch the Video Music Awards on MTV on August 20, 2018.

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