The 2019 MTV VMAs kick off tonight, airing live on the East Coast from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The show will air at 8 PM ET/PT across MTV’s sister Viacom networks including MTV2, VH1, BET, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo TV, Paramount Network and TV Land.
MTV.com and the MTV app will also host the show. Both platforms require authentication. Last year’s show boasted a Viacom-record 141.6 million streams as befitting the VMAs’ target demo.
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Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco is hosting this year’s annual ode to pop, which will award Moon Men in 20 competitive categories. The show will open with a performance from Taylor Swift, whose latest album Lover just hit shelves.
Other performers set: Miley Cyrus, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Jonas Brothers, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Normani, Ozuna, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Rosalía, H.E.R., Big Sean and A$AP Ferg. The show will close with a collaboration performance by Queen Latifah, Naughty by Nature, Redman, Fetty Wap and Wyclef Jean — all New Jersey natives.
Missy Elliott will receive the Video Vanguard Award.
Presenters during the ceremony will include Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris from the U.S. Women’s World Cup-winning U.S. team; Bebe Rexha; Billy Ray Cyrus; French Montana; Hailee Steinfeld; Ice-T; John Travolta; Jonathan Van Ness; Keke Palmer; Lenny Kravitz; Lindsey Vonn; Megan Thee Stallion; New Jersey Devils star P.K. Subban; Rick Ross; Salt-N-Pepa; and NFL wide receiver-turned-ESPN analyst Victor Cruz.
This year’s preshow, which starts an hour before the main telecast, will feature live performances from Ava Max, CNCO and Megan Thee Stallion. Terrence J and Nessa is hosting the red carpet, with Zara Larsson as special correspondent.
New this year is the MTV VMA Stan Cam on Twitter, designed to let fans take control of their viewing experience. Using a series of short-form streams, MTV will ask fans to decide which stars they’d like to watch, follow backstage, go behind-the-scenes and poll on a live reaction cam during the show’s biggest moments.
As for the show itself, Ariana Grande and Swift lead the pack with 10 nominations apiece including Video of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop. Other top contenders include first-time VMA nominees Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, who will face off in the Best New Artist category, the only category to stay open until the beginning of the show.