This year, MTV has decided to shake things up by abolishing gender-specific categories — meaning that artist of the year will now be shared with musicians across all genders. The move comes on the heels of MTV’s decision to replace the former best actor and best actress categories with non-gendered best actor in a movie and best actor in a show at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
Here’s everything you need to know about those big changes, and a whole lot more.
Perry joins the ranks of fellow chart-toppers who have hosted the fête, including Miley Cyrus (2015), Jack Black (2006), Diddy (2005), Eddie Murphy (1985) and Bette Midler (1984). Last year, comedians Keegan Michael Key, Jordan Peele and “social media” hosted the show.
Of course, hosting means Perry also gets a chance to sing (and she’s reportedly planning a space-themed performance, so get ready).
But she won’t be the night’s only musical act. Kendrick Lamar, Miley Cyrus, Ed Sheeran, Fifth Harmony, Lorde,the Weeknd, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and Shawn Mendes are just a few of the names in the VMAs’ star-studded lineup.
They’ll be joined by Demi Lovato, Logic, Khalid, Julia Michaels, Post Malone, Cardi B of “Bodak Yellow,” and legendary rocker Rod Stewart — the latter who will team up with DNCE for a cover of his 1978 track “Do You Think I’m Sexy.”
What About the Nominees?
P!nk may be the only star guaranteed to walk away with a moonperson this year, but there’s a good bet Kendrick Lamar should prep a thank you speech or two.
Fans were given their change to vote for their favorites in all categories by visiting www.vma.mtv.com. Only one category remains open now though — best new artist (presented by Taco Bell®). Nominees there? Khalid, Kodak Black, SZA, Young M.A, Julia Michaels and Noah Cyrus.
As for the inaugural best fight against the system award, that will either go to Cara (“Scars to Your Beautiful”), Logic ft. Damian Lemar Hudson (“Black SpiderMan”), The Hamilton Mixtape (“Immigrants…We Get the Job Done),” Big Sean (“Light”), Taboo ft. Shailene Woodley (“Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL”) or John Legend (“Surefire”).
Will Taylor Swift be there?
“She has been on the show many times and [has] performed with a new album coming, but not this time,” executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic tells PEOPLE. “I definitely wish she was coming on and performing.”
Is there a pre-show?
Yes. Red carpet arrivals begin airing on MTV at 6:15 p.m. EST, with a live pre-show hosted by rapper Lil Yachty and MTV’s Charlamagne Tha God, Terrence J and Gaby Wilson. There will be performances too, from Bleachers, Khalid and Cardi B straight from the red carpet.
Online, fans can live-stream the pre-show on MTV.com site starting at 7 p.m.