Doja Cat, Lil Wayne, Anitta, Kelsea Ballerini and TOMORROW X TOGETHER are joining the roster of artists slated to perform at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards. The show will air live from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
That date happens to be Ballerini’s 30th birthday, which shows that the country star is a trouper.
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Doja Cat, whose “Paint the Town Red” has zoomed to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in just three weeks, had a big night at the VMAs two years ago. She hosted the show, performed two songs (“Been Like This” and “You Right”) and won two awards (best collaboration for “Kiss Me More” featuring SZA and best art direction for Saweetie’s “Best Friend,” on which she was featured). Doja has won one or more awards at the VMAs in each of the last three years. She is up for five awards this year: artist of the year; video of the year, best direction and best art direction for “Attention”; and best collaboration for “I Like You (A Happier Song),” her endearing hit collab with Post Malone. Doja’s first North American tour will kick off later this year with Ice Spice and Doechii.
Lil Wayne will perform “Kat Food,” his new single dropping Friday (Sept. 1). It will mark his first performance at the VMAs in more than a decade. Wayne was once a regular presence on the VMAs. In 2008, he performed in a spot that also featured Leona Lewis and T-Pain. In 2011, he closed the show with “How to Love” and “John.” In 2012, he performed in a spot with 2 Chainz. Wayne is nominated for best hip-hop for “Kant Nobody,” a collab with Swizz Beatz and DMX. He’s won twice in that category, for “Lollipop” (2008) and Drake’s “HYFR,” on which he was featured (2012). Lil Wayne, a five-time Grammy winner, ranked No. 7 on Billboard and VIBE‘s 2023 list of 50 Greatest Rappers of All Time.
Anitta will return to the MTV stage, where she will perform a medley of hits from her latest EP Funk Generation: A Favela Love Story. Anitta also performed a medley on last year’s show, which included “Envolver,” “Bola Rebola” and “Vai Malandra.” Last year, Anitta won best Latin for “Envolver,” becoming the first Brazilian artist to take home an MTV Moon Person. Anitta is nominated in that same category this year for “Funk Rave.”
Ballerini, who is making her VMAs debut performance, will perform a song off the expanded version of her EP Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, now cleverly subtitled (For Good). Ballerini just wrapped three legs of her headlining tour and three fan screenings for the EP’s short film, which she wrote and co-directed.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER will premiere a new single and also team with Anitta for what MTV says will make them the first K-pop band to perform a genre-blending collaboration on the show. TXT hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for the first time in February with their EP The Name Chapter: Temptation. The group is vying for two awards – best K-pop and PUSH performance of the year, both for “Sugar Rush Ride.” Their third studio album The Name Chapter: Freefall, is slated for October release.
These five new performers join the previously announced Demi Lovato, Karol G, Måneskin and Stray Kids. In addition, Shakira will receive the Video Vanguard Award, and will perform live on the VMAs for the first time since 2006.
Six of the first 10 artists announced as performers on this year’s show are from outside the U.S., which dramatizes how the music scene has become more global in recent years. Shakira and Karol G are both from Colombia; Stray Kids and TOMORROW X TOGETHER are both from South Korea; Anitta is from Brazil; Måneskin is from Italy.
This is a far more international cast than the inaugural VMAs in 1984, where there were five American performers (Madonna, Huey Lewis & the News, Tina Turner, ZZ Top and Ray Parker Jr.) and two Brits (Rod Stewart and David Bowie, the latter represented by a pre-taped performance from London).
Anitta and Måneskin were both Grammy-nominated for best new artist at the 65th annual Grammy Awards in February. Ballerini and Doja Cat were nominated in that category in earlier years.
Taylor Swift is the leader in this year’s nominations with eight nods, followed by SZA with six; Doja Cat, Kim Petras, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Olivia Rodrigo and Sam Smith, with five each; and BLACKPINK, Diddy and Shakira, with four each. Of these acts, Doja Cat and Shakira are the only ones that have been announced as performers on the show, though MTV says that more performers are still to be announced.
MTV has yet to announce the host of this year’s show or the recipient of the Global Icon award. Last year’s show was co-hosted by LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj and Jack Harlow. The Global Icon award went to Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Fans voting at vote.mtv.com closes Friday (Aug. 1) in 15 gender-neutral categories, including video of the year; voting for best new artist will remain active into the show. Nominations for social categories including group of the year and song of summer will be announced later.
Bruce Gillmer and Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic are executive producers of the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards. Barb Bialkowski is co-executive producer. Alicia Portugal and Jackie Barba serve as executives in charge of production. Wendy Plaut is executive in charge of celebrity talent. Lisa Lauricella is music talent executive.
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