Kendrick Lamar tops VMA nominations as MTV eliminates gendered categories

The rapper has received eight nods at this years Video Music Awards, with Katy Perry and the Weeknd close behind on five each

MTV has announced the nominees for the 2017 Video Music Awards, eliminating the gendered categories of years past and combining the awards for best male and female video into one category, artist of the year.

The rapper Kendrick Lamar led the pack with eight nominations for the music video for Humble, while the Weeknd and Katy Perry were not far behind with five nods each. The nominees for the evenings top prize, artist of the year, are Lamar, the Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Lorde.

The awards ceremony, which will take place on 27 August at the Forum in Inglewood, California, and will air on MTV that night, has always been a haven of controversy, having played host to some of the most infamous pop culture moments of the past decade, including Britney Spears and Madonnas notorious onstage kiss and Miley Cyruss risque 2013 performance with Robin Thicke.

For its movie and TV awards, which aired in May, MTV decided to combine the categories of best actor and actress, doing away with distinctions between genders and opting instead to award one film and one television actor. This years winners were Emma Watson and Millie Bobby Brown.

At the time, MTV general manager Amy Doyle told the Hollywood Reporter: Great acting is great acting, no matter what the gender or non-gender. And it really is reflective about the audiences views and when you look at the culture as a whole, you had a man against a woman running for president [last year]. It just felt like a dated construct for a category.

Rihanna also earned several nominations for Wild Thoughts, her collaboration with DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller, while SZA and Kodak Black were both nominated for best new artist. The VMAs also introduced a new category best fight against the system awarding music videos that inspire viewers to stand up and fight injustice. In that category, Logic, Alessia Cara, John Legend, Big Sean and the Hamilton Mixtape all earned nominations.

At the 2016 VMAs, Beyonc went home with eight awards from 11 nominations, while Rihanna was awarded the video vanguard award after performing a medley of her hits.

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