Lil Nas X, Doja Cat and more take home awards at 2021 MTV VMAs
Photo: Getty
Lil Nas X, Doja Cat and more take home awards at 2021 MTV VMAs
See the complete list of winners here.

After being broadcast remotely last year, the MTV Video Music Awards made a triumphant return to an in-person audience last night (Sept. 12) at the Brooklyn Barclays Center. The evening boasted captivating performances by Chlöe, Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow, Normani, Busta Rhymes and more, with hosting by Doja Cat.

Lil Nas, who performed his and Harlow’s hit “Industry Baby” with a Beyoncé-esque marching band entrance, made out well throughout the night. The 22-year-old won the Video of the Year Award for his “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” music video. The headline-dominating visual also nabbed him awards for Best Direction and Best Visual Effects.

Hostess Doja Cat also left the ceremony with a few awards. The pop star won Best Collaboration for her song with SZA, “Kiss Me More,” as well as Best Art Direction for her hit with Saweetie, “Best Friend.”

Fans felt Megan Thee Stallion was possibly the most-snubbed artist of the night, taking home zero of the seven awards she was nominated for. Meanwhile, Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars’ Silk Sonic kept up its winning streak, taking home the Best R&B Award for their song, “Leave the Door Open.” The video for the duo’s debut track also won the award for Best Editing.

Unfortunately, there were two artists who didn’t appear during the ceremony. As reported by REVOLT, Nicki Minaj announced she would no longer be performing at the event during a Twitter Q&A session on Thursday (Sept. 9). “I just pulled out,” she tweeted at the time, adding, “I’ll explain why another day.”

Kanye West was also expected to hit up the VMAs stage, per a report from Page Six. However, the Donda creator’s alleged “secret last-minute” performance never materialized. See the full list of 2021 MTV VMAs nominees and winners below.

Video of the Year

Cardi B: “WAP” [ft. Megan Thee Stallion]

DJ Khaled / Drake: “POPSTAR” (Starring Justin Bieber)

Doja Cat: “Kiss Me More” [ft. SZA]

Ed Sheeran: “Bad Habits”

Lil Nas X: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” — WINNER

The Weeknd: “Save Your Tears”

Artist of the Year

Ariana Grande

Doja Cat

Justin Bieber — WINNER

Megan Thee Stallion

Olivia Rodrigo

Taylor Swift

Song of the Year

24kGoldn: “Mood” [ft. iann dior]

Silk Sonic: “Leave the Door Open”

BTS: “Dynamite”

Cardi B: “WAP” [ft. Megan Thee Stallion]

Dua Lipa: “Levitating”

Olivia Rodrigo: “drivers license” — WINNER

Best New Artist, Presented by Facebook




Olivia Rodrigo — WINNER

Polo G


Group of the Year




Foo Fighters

Jonas Brothers

Maroon 5

Bruno Mars / Anderson .Paak / Silk Sonic

Twenty One Pilots

PUSH Performance of the Year

September 2020: Wallows – “Are You Bored Yet?”

October 2020: Ashnikko – “Daisy”

November 2020: SAINt JHN – “Gorgeous”

December 2020: 24kGoldn – “Coco”

January 2021: JC Stewart – “Break My Heart”

February 2021: Latto – “Sex Lies”

March 2021: Madison Beer – “Selfish”

April 2021: The Kid LAROI – “WITHOUT YOU”

May 2021: Olivia Rodrigo – “drivers license” — WINNER

June 2021: girl in red – “Serotonin”

July 2021: Fousheé – “my slime”

August 2021: jxdn – “Think About Me”

Best Collaboration

24kGoldn: “Mood” [ft. iann dior]

Cardi B: “WAP” [ft. Megan Thee Stallion]

Doja Cat: “Kiss Me More” [ft. SZA] — WINNER

Drake: “Laugh Now Cry Later” [ft. Lil Durk]

Justin Bieber: “Peaches” [ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon]

Miley Cyrus: “Prisoner” [ft. Dua Lipa]

Best Pop

Ariana Grande: “positions”

Billie Eilish: “Therefore I Am”

BTS: “Butter”

Harry Styles: “Treat People With Kindness”

Justin Bieber: “Peaches” [ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon] — WINNER

Olivia Rodrigo: “good 4 u”

Shawn Mendes: “Wonder”

Taylor Swift: “willow”

Best Hip-Hop

Cardi B: “WAP” [ft. Megan Thee Stallion]

Drake: “Laugh Now Cry Later” [ft. Lil Durk]

Lil Baby: “On Me (Remix)” [ft. Megan Thee Stallion]

Moneybagg Yo: “Said Sum”


Travis Scott: “FRANCHISE” [ft. Young Thug & M.I.A.] — WINNER

Best Rock

Evanescence: “Use My Voice”

Foo Fighters: “Shame Shame”

John Mayer: “Last Train Home” — WINNER

The Killers: “My Own Soul’s Warning”

Kings of Leon: “The Bandit”

Lenny Kravitz: “Raise Vibration”

Best Alternative

Bleachers: “Stop Making This Hurt”

Glass Animals: “Heat Waves”

Imagine Dragons: “Follow You”

Machine Gun Kelly: “my ex’s best friend” [ft. blackbear] — WINNER

twenty one pilots: “Shy Away”

WILLOW: “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” [ft. Travis Barker]

Best Latin

Bad Bunny / Jhay Cortez: “Dákiti”

Billie Eilish / Rosalía: “Lo Vas A Olvidar” — WINNER

Black Eyed Peas / Shakira: “GIRL LIKE ME”

J Balvin / Dua Lipa / Bad Bunny / Tainy: “UN DIA (ONE DAY)”

Karol G: “Bichota”

Maluma: “Hawái”

Best R&B

Beyoncé / Blue Ivy / SAINt JHN / WizKid: “BROWN SKIN GIRL”

Silk Sonic: “Leave the Door Open” — WINNER

Chris Brown / Young Thug: “Go Crazy”


H.E.R.: “Come Through” [ft. Chris Brown]

SZA: “Good Days”

Best K-Pop


BLACKPINK / Selena Gomez: “Ice Cream”

BTS: “Butter” — WINNER

Monsta X: “Gambler”

SEVENTEEN: “Ready to love”

TWICE: “Alcohol-Free”

Song of Summer

Billie Eilish: “Happier Than Ever”

WINNER: BTS: “Butter”

Camila Cabello: “Don’t Go Yet”

DJ Khaled: “Every Chance I Get” [ft. Lil Baby and Lil Durk]

Doja Cat: “Need to Know”

Dua Lipa: “Levitating”

Ed Sheeran: “Bad Habits”

Giveon: “Heartbreak Anniversary”

Justin Bieber: “Peaches” [ft. Daniel Caesar and Giveon]

The Kid Laroi / Justin Bieber: “Stay”

Lil Nas X / Jack Harlow: “Industry Baby”

Lizzo: “Rumors” [ft. Cardi B]

Megan Thee Stallion: “Thot Shit”

Normani: “Wild Side” [ft. Cardi B]

Olivia Rodrigo: “Good 4 U”

Shawn Mendes / Tainy: “Summer of Love”

Video for Good

Billie Eilish: “Your Power” — WINNER

Demi Lovato: “Dancing With the Devil”

H.E.R.: “Fight for You”

Kane Brown: “Worldwide Beautiful”

Lil Nas X: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”

Pharrell Williams: “Entrepreneur” [ft. JAY-Z]

Best Direction

Billie Eilish: “Your Power” (dir. Billie Eilish)

DJ Khaled ft. Drake: “POPSTAR” (dir. Director X)

Lil Nas X: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” (dir. Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino) — WINNER

Taylor Swift: “willow” (dir. Taylor Swift)

Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A: “Franchise” (dir. Travis Scott)

Tyler, the Creator – “LUMBERJACK” (dir. Wolf Haley)

Best Cinematography

Beyoncé / Blue Ivy / SAINt JHN / WizKid: “BROWN SKIN GIRL” (cinematography: Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, MOHAMMAED ATTA AHMED, Santiago Gonzalez, Ryan Helfant) — WINNER

Billie Eilish: “Therefore I Am” (cinematography: Rob Witt)

Foo Fighters: “Shame Shame” (cinematography: Santiago Gonzalez)

Justin Bieber ft. Chance The Rapper: “Holy” (cinematography: Elias Talbot)

Lady Gaga: “911” (cinematography: Jeff Cronenweth)

Lorde: “Solar Power” (cinematography: Andrew Stroud)

Best Art Direction

Beyoncé / Shatta Wale / Major Lazer: “ALREADY” (art direction: Susan Linns, Gerard Santos)

Ed Sheeran: “Bad Habits” (art direction: Alison Dominitz)

Lady Gaga: “911” (art direction: Tom Foden, Peter Andrus)

Lil Nas X: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” (art direction: John Richoux)

Saweetie ft. Doja Cat: “Best Friend” (art direction: Art Haynes) — WINNER

Taylor Swift: “willow” (art direction: Ethan Tobman, Regina Fernandez)

Best Visual Effects

Bella Poarch: “Build A Bitch” (visual effects: Andrew Donoho, Denhov Visuals, Denis Strahhov, Rein Jakobson, Vahur Kuusk, Tatjana Pavlik, Yekaterina Vetrova)

Coldplay: “Higher Power” (visual effects: Mathematic)

Doja Cat & The Weeknd: “You Right” (visual effects: La Pac, Anthony Lestremau, Julien Missaire, Petr Shkolniy, Alexi Bailla, Micha Sher, Antoine Hache, Mikros MPC, Nicolas Huget, Guillaume Ho Tsong Fang, Benjamin Lenfant, Stephane Pivron, MPC Bangalore, Chanakya Chander, Raju Ganesh, David Rouxel)

Glass Animals: “Tangerine” (visual effects: Ronan Fourreau)

Lil Nas X: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” (visual effects: Mathematic) — WINNER

P!NK: “All I Know So Far” (visual effects: Dave Meyers, Freenjoy Inc)

Best Choreography

Ariana Grande: “34+35” (choreography: Brian Nicholson & Scott Nicholson)


Ed Sheeran: “Bad Habits” (choreography: Natricia Bernard)

Foo Fighters: “Shame Shame” (choreography: Nina McNeely)

Harry Styles: “Treat People With Kindness” (choreography: Paul Roberts) — WINNER

Marshmello & Halsey: “Be Kind” (choreography: Dani Vitale)

Best Editing

Silk Sonic: “Leave the Door Open” (editing: Troy Charbonnet) — WINNER

BTS: “Butter” (editing: Yong Seok Choi from Lumpens)

Drake: “What’s Next” (editing: Noah Kendal)

Harry Styles: “Treat People With Kindness” (editing: Claudia Wass)

Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon: “Peaches” (editing: Mark Mayr, Vinnie Hobbs)

Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa: “Prisoner” (editing: William Town at Modern Post)

U.S. Global Icon Award

Foo Fighters

Best Breakthrough Song

Masked Wolf: “Astronaut in the Ocean”

WINNER: Claire Rosinkranz: “Backyard Boy”

Bella Poarch: “Build a B*tch”

Yung Baby Tate: “I Am” [ft. Flo Milli]

Whoheem: “Let’s Link”

Best Comeback Song

WINNER: Aly & AJ: “Potential Breakup Song”

Destiny’s Child: “Bills, Bills, Bills”

Fleetwood Mac: “Dreams”

Simple Plan: “I’m Just a Kid”

Boney M.: “Rasputin”

Missy Elliott: “Work It”

Best Artist x Creator Collab

WINNER: Mustard Watermelon by @Lizzo x @yayayayummy

“Blackbird” Duet by @joejonas x @itsbenhorsburgh

Fan Duet by @charlieputh x @jvke

Soup Song by @johnmayer x @itsjamiebiotch

Mom It Was Never a Phase by @alltimelow x @yungricepatty

“Unwritten” Dance by @natashabedingfield x @rony_boyy

Best Audio Mashup

WINNER: “Shaxicula” (“Toxic” x “Love Shack” x “Dragula”) by Britney Spears / The B-52’s / Rob Zombie x @djcummerbund

“Baby One More Time x Levitating” by Britney Spears / Dua Lipa x @adamusic_

“Castaways x Dilemma” by The Backyardigans / Nelly ft. Kelly Rowland x @djbabyq

“Good 4 U x Misery Business” by Olivia Rodrigo / Paramore x @nikjaay

“Watermelon Sugar x Seaside” by Harry Styles / SEB x @SEBS_LOVESONGS

Best Viral Dance

WINNER: “Twerkulator” by City Girls x @layzchipz

“Adderall (Corvette Corvette)” by Popp Hunna x @yvnggprince

“Gimme More” by Britney Spears x @jaedengomezz & @karaleighcannella

“Ooowwweee” by Peewee Longway & Money Man x

“Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion x @keke.janajah

“Up” by Cardi B x @theemyanicole and @cchrvs