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2018 VMAs live stream: how to watch and what to expect

Cardi B leads the nominations, and scheduled performers include Ariana Grande and Panic at the Disco.

Cardi B is among those nominated at the 2018 VMAs.
Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

Though the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards are officially going host-free, the awards ceremony is still set to be a glitzy blast. The ceremony is slated for tonight — Monday, August 20 — and will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Performers will include Ariana Grande and Panic at the Disco, and the presenter lineup features a wide range of talent, from Tiffany Haddish to the Backstreet Boys. Here’s everything you need to know.

How to watch

When: Monday, August 20, at 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific (with the preshow kicking off at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific). MTV will air the awards live on both coasts.

Live stream: If you have a TV provider login, you can live-stream the awards on MTV Live. Additional coverage will be available on MTV’s YouTube page. Several subscription-based TV streaming services — DirecTV Now, Philo TV, and SlingTV — will also stream the VMAs via MTV.

Cardi B leads the nominations, with Beyoncé and Jay-Z close behind

With 25 wins, Beyoncé is the most-awarded artist in VMA history.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella

If Cardi B sweeps the VMAs this year, she’ll take home a whopping 10 Moon Person trophies. That said, her competition is fierce. Beyoncé and Jay-Z — officially nominated as the Carters — have earned eight nominations for the song “Apeshit,” from their joint album Everything Is Love, and Childish Gambino and Drake have seven nominations each.

The six nominees for Video of the Year — one of the biggest awards of the night — are Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B, the Carters, Childish Gambino, Drake, Ariana Grande, and Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug.

Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande are among those set to perform

Nicki Minaj’s performance will be from an as-yet-undisclosed “iconic” location in New York City.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for BET

Ariana Grande, who has five total nominations including Video and Artist of the Year, will perform her new single “God Is a Woman” from her album Sweetener. Also set to perform during the ceremony are Shawn Mendes (“In My Blood”) and Logic (“One Day”).

Nicki Minaj, who has picked up three VMA trophies in the past, is set to appear as well, in a “special remote performance” from a “secret, iconic location” in New York City. The teasing around Minaj’s performance only ups the intrigue, especially given the recent release of her fourth album, Queen. Minaj is nominated for Best Hip-Hop Video for the song “Chun-Li.”

Jennifer Lopez will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award

The 2018 VMAs will mark the first time Jennifer Lopez has performed live on the show since 2001.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The 2018 VMAs will also see Jennifer Lopez join the ranks of David Bowie, the Beatles, and, of course, Michael Jackson as the recipient of the 2018 Vanguard Award. That means she’ll also perform some of her greatest hits live during the ceremony, in a medley that marks the first time she’s performed at the VMAs since 2001.