With this year’s MTV Video Music Awards just over a week away, the show has officially confirmed a trio of emcees: LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, and Jack Harlow. While LL Cool J and Minaj are VMA veterans (though Cool J hasn’t performed at the awards since 2001), the night will mark White Boy Of The Moment Harlow’s debut solo performance on the stage. Other VMA hosts in recent years have included Doja Cat, Keke Palmer, and comedian Sebastian Maniscalco.
Previously announced performers for the show include Anitta, J Balvin, Marshmello x Khalid, and Panic! At The Disco—however, MTV makes clear in a news release that the emcee role isn’t just any old performance. Apparently, this year’s emcees plan on “taking a more innovative and unique approach to the traditional ‘host’ gig seen in previous years.” Clearly, viewers and media outlets aren’t the only ones who have noticed a decline in VMA relevancy in the past few years.
On top of handling emcee duties, Minaj is set to join Cool J this year as an MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award recipient. The prestigious lifetime achievement award has been presented to performers including Missy Elliott, Beyoncé, Kanye West, and Justin Timberlake. Minaj has been nominated for 17 VMAs over the course of her career and won five, taking home her first Moon Person for “Best Hip-Hop Video” in 2011. Minaj hasn’t taken the VMA stage as a performer since 2018.
Both Harlow and Minaj are also doing double-duty as hosts and nominees— Minaj is again nominated in the “Best Hip-Hop Video” category for the Lil Baby-featuring “Do We Have A Problem?” Meanwhile, Harlow’s seven nominations make him one of the most nominated artists this year—tied with frequent collaborator Lil Nas X and hip-hop legend Kendrick Lamar.
The MTV Video Music Awards are set to air live from the Prudential Center on Sunday, August 28 at 8 PM ET. Fans can cast their votes on 22 gender-neutral categories at this link until tomorrow, August 19.