Every year MTV’s Video Music Awards get bigger and crazier. While it might be hard to top Miley’s go as host in 2015, Britney Spears’ first VMA performance since her flop in 2007 is likely to draw hundreds of thousands of viewers and provide ample social media fodder.
MTV hopes the show’s first trip to Madison Square Garden will draw considerable attention, along with actually watchable pre-show, hosted by DJ Khaled.
"The VMAs is a show I've always wanted to be a part of and I'm a big fan of it," Khaled told Billboard in an interview. "For me to be involved in the pre-show as well as the main show, I'm excited. Put it this way– expect nothing but greatness and also expect the unexpected because when you got Khaled on the bill, ratings go extra high."
Nick Jonas is also slated to perform in the awards show, which will be broadcast August 28th at 9 p.m. ET live from Madison Square Garden. He and Britney will be joined by platinum-selling Atlanta rapper Future in his first-ever appearance on the VMA stage.
But the biggest stars of this year’s VMAs will be Beyoncé and Adele, who are nominated for almost every possible category.
Adele’s “Hello” is the most nominated video in seven categories. She also got a nod for Best Visual Effects in “Send My Love (To Your New Lover).” Beyoncé has an outstanding eleven nominations—out of 16 possible categories—after a remarkable year that included the release of Queen B’s visual album Lemonade, featuring the acclaimed music video for “Formation.” Ariana Grande deserves an honorable mention, too, for her five nominations. David Bowie’s last album, “Blackstar,” was posthumously nominated for four awards.
Rihanna will also take the stage this year, accepting the MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
The lifetime achievement award is the highest honor conferred at the VMAs, and it’ll recognize the Rihanna’s numerous accolades, including being named the Best Selling Digital Artist of All Time, with over 100 million Gold and Platinum song certifications, eight Grammy Awards, and 14 Billboard Music Awards.
In a statement from MTV, the entertainment channel described Rihanna as an “undeniable cultural influence” and “a Global Icon.” Prior winners of the Vanguard Award include Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Kanye West.
Kanye is sure to be in attendance, with his controversial single “Famous” up for awards in the Video of the Year and Best Male Video categories. The single is the first song from his seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo.
The song’s release triggered one of the biggest celebrity feuds of the year, beginning a he-said she-said argument about what Taylor Swift deemed a “misogynistic” lyric referencing her 2009 VMA run-in with West. His wife, Kim Kardashian, later revealed Swift had pre-approved it.
Since the awards have traditionally been a (literal) stage upon which to air out feuds, Swift and Kanye could have their first face-to-face skirmish at the VMAs.
But Taytay will likely be surrounded by her support group thanks to some pre-requested seating arrangements. Gina Esposito, vice president for music and talent, told Cosmopolitan that it’s always “hard to figure out the 'Taylor' of it all” in the VMA seating arrangements, "because so many people were requesting to sit by her and sit with her.”
But this time are they sitting with her for support, or for screen time?
All eyes will be on Swift Sunday night, not only because of the recent Kimye drama, but also because she was also effectively snubbed, receiving zero nominations for 2016. The 26-year-old pop artist has been nominated in every MTV Video Music Awards show since 2008—excluding 2014—and has won a total of six VMA Moonmen.
Whether or not the Swift-West feud plays out during the 2016 VMAs, there will be enough drama and tweet-worthy moments to fill all two-and-a-half hours of the awards show, plus the pre-show which is set to begin at 8:30 p.m. ET. MTV’s schedule also includes a post-show, beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Tune in for for the 33rd MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night, beginning with the red carpet at 6:15 p.m. ET, followed by the pre-show and the main event at 9:00 p.m. ET—and watch all the madness unfold.
How to Live Stream the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards:
Watch the red carpet livestream and see behind the scenes with the MTV app on iOS, Android, AppleTV, Roku, or Xbox).
You can also see highlights from past shows and check out last year’s red carpet fashion at MTV.com/vma.