MTV VMAs 2021: Everything You Need to Know About Music's Big Night

Hosted by Doja Cat, the 2021 VMAs airs live on Sunday night, with performances by Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Normani and more

After last year's socially distanced show, the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards are back in full force!

On Sunday night, the annual awards show will kick off inside the Barclays Center for the highly anticipated event, hosted by Doja Cat — who makes history as the first MTV Video Music Awards host to be also nominated for video of the year.

To prep for the upcoming installment of the storied VMAs legacy, read on to know what to expect ahead of the big night.

Doja Cat, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Billie Eilish
Doja Cat; Ed Sheeran; Drake; Billie Eilish. Rich Fury/Getty; Mike Marsland/WireImage; Karwai Tang/WireImage; Jesse Grant/Getty

Who is nominated?

Justin Bieber and Megan Thee Stallion lead the list with seven and six nods, respectively, but are followed closely behind by seven artists with five nominations.

Billie Eilish, BTS, Doja Cat, Drake, Lil Nas X, Giveon and Olivia Rodrigo all earned five nods, with winners determined based on votes from fans.

See the full list of the 2021 nominees here.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Justin Bieber</a>, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo
Justin Bieber; Megan Thee Stallion; Lil Nas X; Olivia Rodrigo. Getty (4)

Who is performing?

Taking the stage at the annual awards show will be a bevy of artists across genres.

The big night will see performances from Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Lil Nas X, Machine Gun Kelly, Ed Sheeran, Normani, Kacey Musgraves, Chlöe (of sister duo ChloexHalle), and Twenty One Pilots.

Doja Cat will also grace the stage, performing her hit song "Kiss Me More," which she recently told PEOPLE (the TV Show!) would be a performance unlike anything her fans have ever seen.

"I wanted to do something that was almost polar opposite to what I've been doing for the last few years," she said. "I wanted to do something that was more contemporary, modern, that felt more zen and more emotional and more heart-wrenching."

Be sure to check out PEOPLE's MTV VMAs Awards coverage to get the latest news on music's big night.

The VMA trophy known as "Moon Person" is seen during the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards press junket at Radio City Music Hall in New York on August 17, 2018.
Moonperson. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty

Who is presenting?

PEOPLE exclusively announced that Billie Eilish, Megan Fox, Travis Barker, Simone Biles and Avril Lavigne are among the presenters for this year's awards show.

Also joining the star-studded list are Billy Porter, Conor McGregor, Hailey Baldwin Bieber, Fat Joe, Halle Bailey (of Chloe x Halle), AJ McLean and Ashanti. Nick Lachey, Rita Ora, Ja Rule, Cyndi Lauper and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson will also present awards.

Who is being honored?

For the first time, MTV is awarding its U.S. Global Icon Award at the VMAs. The new award — inspired by MTV's Europe Music Awards' Global Icon Award — celebrates "an artist/band whose unparalleled career and continued impact & influence has maintained a unique level of global success in music and beyond."

During Sunday's show, iconic rock band, the Foo Fighters — comprising Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee will be taking home the honor.

Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters. Stephen Lovekin/Getty

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

How to watch:

The 2021 VMAs airs live on Sunday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. ET from the Barclays Center in New York City.

The show will simulcast across ViacomCBS brands including CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land, VH1 and The CW Network, as well as The CW, making it available to an expanded broadcast audience for the second year.

A preshow will also air on MTV starting at 6:30 p.m.

Follow along on social media with the hashtag #VMAs.

Related Articles