“#VMAs 2020: How to watch and livestream MTV’s biggest night”
The 35th annual music video awards telecast on Sunday, Aug. 30 will offer some much-needed escape, as the coronavirus continues to halt life and — and live music — as we know it.
While it won’t be the typical award-show experience spectacle we’re used to, music’s hottest stars will be in attendance, whether hitting an NYC stage for a top-secret performance or appearing virtually from their homes.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 VMAs, from how to watch it to the many changes it went through to become the first major awards show of the socially distanced COVID-19 era.
What time and channel?
The show will begin Sunday, Aug. 30 at 8/7c on MTV. A pre-show, beginning at 6:30 EST, will air exclusively on MTV. The network also announced that it will be available to an expanded broadcast audience across 11 ViacomCBS brands, including The CW and PIX11.
Can I watch a livestream?
In addition to airing on MTV, the show can also be livestreamed on MTV.com as well as the network’s app and TV streaming services including Hulu Live, Philo, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, Sling TV and YouTube TV.
Where are the VMAs being held?
The show was originally slated to be held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, but was moved to several outdoor venues to adhere to city and state coronavirus safety protocols. The show will “pay homage to the incredible resiliency of New York with several outdoor performances around the city with limited or no audience,” MTV said in a statement.
Exact locations have not been released, but MTV said performances will happen at “various iconic locations throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island, to honor the spirit and resilience of New York.”
Where can I vote?
Fans can vote until Aug. 23 at VMA.MTV.com for most categories except the best new artist category, which can be voted on through Aug. 29.
Who is performing?
Get ready to rock out. This year’s performances include Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, BTS, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, CNCO, Maluma, Roddy Ricch and J Balvin.
Who is the host?
Keke Palmer will be the emcee for the virtual show. The “Hustlers” actress-singer, 26, posted a hilarious video asking True Jackson — a nod to her TeenNick show that aired from 2008 to 2011 — for fashion advice ahead of “summer’s biggest stage with the world’s biggest artists.”
“I need a look that says: Snack! Sticky! Thick,” she joked.
Is there a red carpet?
Speaking of fashion, since the show is virtual, don’t expect the typical red-carpet arrivals. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be some seriously stylish moments. Expect to see the usual fare of wild outfits during performances — maybe even with face masks to match — and at-home quarantine fashion.
Who is nominated?
Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande received the most nominations, with nine each — seven of which are for their collaboration, “Rain on Me,” including video of the year. They’re followed by Billie Eilish and The Weeknd, who earned six nods, Taylor Swift with five nominations and Justin Bieber with four. Read the full list of nominations here.
This year, the VMAs have introduced two new categories, best music video from home and best quarantine performance, and will bring back the best alternative category for the first time in more than 20 years.
Are there presenters?
MTV has yet to announce if anyone will hand out Moon Person awards.
Is there a special award this year?
No recipient has been announced for the 2020 video vanguard award, previously called the Michael Jackson video vanguard award. It has gone to artists such as Missy Elliott (2019), Jennifer Lopez (2018), P!nk (2017), Rihanna (2016), Kanye West (2015), Beyoncé (2014), Justin Timberlake (2013), Britney Spears (2011), Janet Jackson (1990), Michael Jackson (1988) and Madonna (1986).
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