Drama reigns at VMAs before show even airs

MESFIN FEKADU
Last updated 09:45 25/08/2014
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Snakes and stage slips: There's drama and the MTV Video Music Awards haven't even begun yet.

Days before the big show, Iggy Azalea slipped offstage while performing Fancy at a MTV benefit concert, later posting the video on Instagram and making fun of herself.

More seriously, a 2-metre ong boa constrictor bit a background dancer during a rehearsal for Nicki Minaj's performance of "Anaconda," MTV News reported. MTV said Minaj was onstage, and the female dancer was treated onsite and transported to a hospital.

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At another rehearsal, a show worker fell from one of the winding, sloping platforms on the stage at the Forum in Inglewood, California, which reopened in January after a US$100 million makeover. And rap mogul Suge Knight was injured in a shooting at a West Hollywood nightclub for an unofficial pre-VMA party hosted by Chris Brown.

The back-to-back drama is making the popular awards show, airing today, a trending topic on social media even before an award is handed out, though trophies often take a back seat at the VMAs, which are all about the moments.

And the show will likely provide even more memorable moments once it kicks off, much like last year's VMAs, which we will call the Video Miley Awards.

Miley Cyrus is returning, this time as a nominee for video of the year with Wrecking Ball. She isn't set to perform, but the outrageous singer, who has kept quiet recently, could surprise with another twerking moment that could own the night and steal the spotlight from the slew of A-list pop divas.

Beyonce will perform and receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award. She's the leading nominee, competing for eight awards, including video of the year for Drunk In Love.

Taylor Swift, who is fully venturing out into the world of pop music, will sing her new song Shake It Off for the first time. And Ariana Grande, who is releasing her sophomore album, My Everything, minutes after the VMAs wrap, will perform twice, including opening the show with Minaj and Jessie J for Bang Bang.

"I'm so excited. ... MTV has been so supportive to me and I can't thank them enough," said the 21-year-old Grande, who is nominated for three moonmen for best pop video, female video and collaboration for Problem with Azalea.

Azalea, like Eminem, has seven nominations. The Australian rapper is nominated twice for both best female and pop video thanks to the success of Problem and Fancy. The latter will compete for video of the year.

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Charli XCX, who co-stars on "Fancy," said she first met Azalea on the set of the Clueless-inspired music video after they recorded the No. 1 hit separately. The 22-year-old English singer, who was also featured on last year's summer smash I Love It with Icona Pop, is nominated for the artist to watch award for her breakthrough solo hit, Boom Clap.

"I mean it's cool, that's for sure," said Charli XCX, who said she's got four outfits lined up for the show. "I'm excited to be there because I haven't done an awards show like on my own, if you know what I mean."

She'll battle girl group Fifth Harmony and rising acts who have topped the charts this year, including boy band 5 Seconds of Summer, rapper Schoolboy Q and pop singer Sam Smith, who will also perform.

"My dreams are coming true this weekend. I'm performing at the VMAs," Smith said at the MTV benefit concert also featuring Azalea.

Smith's "Stay With Me" is also up for best male video, pitting him against Eminem, John Legend, Ed Sheeran and Pharrell, whose "Happy" is also nominated for video of the year.

Sia's "Chandelier," which has helped the singer-songwriter achieve a musical breakthrough this year, will battle Pharrell, Azalea, Beyonce and Cyrus for the night's top trophy.

The ceremony starts today at midday on MTV. Join us here when we live blog about the rockers and the shockers. 

Video of the Year
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX - Fancy
Beyoncé ft. JAY Z - Drunk In Love
Pharrell Williams - Happy
Sia - Chandelier
Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball

Best Hip Hop
Eminem - Berzerk
Drake ft. Majid Jordan - Hold On (We're Going Home)
Childish Gambino - 3005
Kanye West - Black Skinhead
Wiz Khalifa - We Dem Boyz

Best Male
Pharrell Williams - Happy
John Legend - All Of Me
Ed Sheeran ft. Pharrell - Sing
Sam Smith - Stay With Me
Eminem ft. Rihanna - Monster

Best Female
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX - Fancy
Beyoncé - Partition
Lorde - Royals
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea - Problem
Katy Perry ft. Juicy J - Dark Horse

Best Pop
Pharrell Williams - Happy
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX - Fancy
Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz - Talk Dirty
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea - Problem
Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc - Wake Me Up

Best Rock
Imagine Dragons - Demons
Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know
The Black Keys - Fever
Lorde - Royals
Linkin Park - Until It's Gone

MTV Artist to Watch
Sam Smith - Stay With Me
5 Seconds of Summer - She Looks So Perfect
Charli XCX - Boom Clap
Schoolboy Q - Man Of The Year
Fifth Harmony - Miss Movin On

Best Collaboration
Beyoncé ft. Jay Z - Drunk In Love
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea - Problem
Pitbull ft. Kesha - Timber
Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga - Loyal
Eminem ft. Rihanna - Monster
Katy Perry ft. Juicy J - Dark Horse

MTV Clubland Award
DJ Snake & Lil Jon - Turn Down For What
Zedd ft. Hayley Williams - Stay the Night
Calvin Harris - Summer
Martin Garrix - Animal
Disclosure - Grab Her!

Best Video with a Social Message
Angel Haze ft. SIA - Battle Cry
Avicii - Hey Brother
Beyoncé - Pretty Hurts
J. Cole ft. TLC - Crooked Smile
Kelly Rowland - Dirty Laundry
David Guetta ft/ Mikky Ekko - One Voice

Best Cinematography
30 Seconds to Mars - City of Angels
Beyoncé - Pretty Hurts
Arcade Fire - Afterlife
Gesaffelstein - Hate or Glory
Lana Del Rey - West Coast

Best Editing
Eminem - Rap God
MGMT - Your Life is a Lie
Zedd ft. Hayley Williams - Stay the Night
Beyoncé - Pretty Hurts
Fitz and The Tantrums - The Walker

Best Choreography
Sia - Chandelier
Beyoncé - Partition
Usher - Good Kisser
Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake - Love Never Felt So Good
Jason Derulo ft. 2Chainz - Talk Dirty
KIESZA - Hideaway

Best Direction
DJ Snake & Lil Jon - Turn Down For What
OK Go - The Writing's On the Wall
Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball
Beyoncé - Pretty Hurts
Eminem ft. Rihanna - The Monster

Best Art Direction
DJ Snake & Lil Jon - Turn Down For What
Iggy Azaleaft. Charli XCX - Fancy
Eminem - Rap God
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Tyler, The Creator - Tamale

Best Visual Effects
DJ Snake & Lil Jon - Turn Down For What
OK Go - The Writing's On the Wall
Disclosure - Grab Her!
Eminem - Rap God
Jack White - Lazaretto

- Reuters

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