Where to watch MTV VMAs 2021: lineup, performances and everything else you need to know

Music's big night is back and we'll tell you where to watch the MTV VMAs 2021, so you don't miss any of the action

Doja Cat attends the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, broadcast on Sunday, August 30, 2020 in New York City. Where to watch VMAs 2021
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty)

If you're curious where to watch MTV VMAs 2021 performances, award presentations and crazy fashion moments, look no further. 

We have your ticket to the music industry's anticipated event, and you don't need to leave the couch or change out of those best pajamas to join the fun. It's a win-win! 

Ready to see what the evening has in store? Let's take a peek.

Where to watch: MTV VMAS 2021 streaming options

On September 12, 2021, the MTV Video Music Awards will return for an evening of tunes, outfits and undoubtedly a few spectacles. Fans can catch the show live on MTV at 8pm ET (5pm PT, 12am BST on September 13, 2021). It'll stream live via MTV.com, the MTV app, Sling TV and fuboTV. 

Not in the US? No problem: you can use a VPN to gain access to the show. 

VPNs allow you to change your IP address so, no matter where you are, you can access the same streaming services that you've already paid for and watch your favorite TV. Our pick of VPNs is ExpressVPN, it's fast, good value and all subscription plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the service risk-free.

How to stream what you want, from anywhere in the world:

Where are the VMAs 2021 held?

Music's big night is Kings County bound. The show will take place at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, NY, on September 12, 2021. 

According to a press release, "MTV and Barclays Center are working closely with state and local officials to implement best practices and execute a screen-breaking spectacle that brings together music fans from around the globe with the health and safety of our artists, fans, staff and partners remaining the No. 1 priority."

Who are the VMAs 2021 performers?

Although Lorde decided to scrap her VMAs performance—she's totally fine, but had safety concerns for her "many-bodied intimate dance performance," according to a newsletter—there are still plenty of musicians on the roster.

Machine Gun Kelly will be hitting the stage alongside Travis Barker and some suspect that the "My Blood Valentine" singer will not only be performing but possibly proposing to girlfriend Megan Fox. MGK and Megan Fox were spotted looking lovey-dovey (per usual) during rehearsals, where the actress was caught with a ring on that finger. Hmmm!

Plus, Olivia Rodrigo—a newcomer to the pop scene and Spotify Song of the Summer winner with 600 million plays—is also set to make an appearance. Let's be honest: we're all in favor of an angsty teen love ballad. 

Curious who else is performing? Have a look at the list below:

  • Alicia Keys - "LALA"
  • Camila Cabello - "Don't Go Yet"
  • Chlöe of Chloe x Halle - "Have Mercy" 
  • Doja Cat
  • Ed Sheeran - "Shivers"
  • Jack Harlow - "INDUSTRY BABY"
  • Justin Bieber - "Stay"
  • Kacey Musgraves - "Star-Crossed"
  • The Kid LAROI - "Stay"
  • Kim Petras
  • Lil Nas X
  • Machine Gun Kelly - "papercuts"
  • Normani
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Ozuna - "La Funka"
  • Polo G
  • Shawn Mendes - "Summer of Love"
  • Swae Lee - "LALA"
  • Swedish House Mafia
  • Tainy - "Summer of Love"
  • Twenty One Pilots - "Saturday"

VMAs 2021 nominees: Who's up for an award?

Have an artist in mind who you feel is worthy of a Moonperson? Voting is still underway for certain categories. Learn more on the MTV website

Artist of the Year

  • Ariana Grande
  • Doja Cat
  • Justin Bieber
  • Megan Thee Stallion
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Taylor Swift

Video of the Year

  • Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
  • DJ Khaled ft. Drake – “Popstar” (starring Justin Bieber)
  • Doja Cat ft. SZA – “Kiss Me More”
  • Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits”
  • Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)
  • The Weeknd – “Save Your Tears”

Song of the Year

  • 24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior – “Mood”
  • Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”
  • BTS – “Dynamite”
  • Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
  • Dua Lipa – “Levitating”
  • Olivia Rodrigo – “Drivers License”

Best New Artist (presented by Facebook) 

  • 24kGoldn
  • Giveon
  • The Kid LAROI
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Polo G
  • Saweetie

Push Performance of the Year

  • September 2020: Wallows – "Are You Bored Yet?"
  • October 2020: Ashnikko – "Daisy"
  • November 2020: SAINt JHN – "Gorgeous"
  • December 2020: 24kGoldn – "Coco"
  • January 2021: JC Stewart – "Break My Heart"
  • February 2021: Latto – "Sex Lies"
  • March 2021: Madison Beer – "Selfish"
  • April 2021: The Kid LAROI – "Without You"
  • May 2021: Olivia Rodrigo – "drivers license"
  • June 2021: girl in red "Serotonin"
  • July 2021: Fousheé – "my slime"
  • August 2021: jxdn – “Think About Me”

Video for Good

  • Billie Eilish – “Your Power”
  • Demi Lovato – “Dancing With the Devil”
  • H.E.R. – “Fight For You”
  • Kane Brown – “Worldwide Beautiful”
  • Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”
  • Pharrell Williams ft. Jay-Z – “Entrepreneur”

Best Collaboration

  • 24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior – “Mood”
  • Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
  • Doja Cat ft. SZA – “Kiss Me More”
  • Drake ft. Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later”
  • Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches”
  • Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa – “Prisoner”

Best Direction

  • Billie Eilish – “Your Power” – Directed by: Billie Eilish
  • DJ Khaled ft. Drake – “Popstar” (starring Justin Bieber) – Directed by: Julien Christian
  • Lutz aka Director X
  • Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Directed by: Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino
  • Taylor Swift – “Willow” – Directed by: Taylor Swift
  • Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A – “Franchise” – Directed by: Travis Scott
  • Tyler, The Creator – “Lumberjack” – Directed by: Wolf Haley

Best Cinematography 

  • Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid – “Brown Skin Girl” – Cinematography by: Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, Mohammed Atta Ahmed, Santiago Gonzalez, Ryan Helfant
  • Billie Eilish – “Therefore I Am” – Cinematography by: Rob Witt
  • Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame” – Cinematography by: Santiago Gonzalez
  • Justin Bieber ft. Chance The Rapper – “Holy” –Cinematography by: Elias Talbot
  • Lady Gaga – “911” – Cinematography by: Jeff Cronenweth
  • Lorde – “Solar Power” – Cinematography by: Andrew Stroud

Best Art Direction

  • Beyoncé, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer – “Already” – Art Direction by: Susan Linns, Gerard Santos
  • Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” – Art Direction by: Alison Dominitz
  • Lady Gaga – “911” – Art Direction by: Tom Foden, Peter Andrus
  • Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Art Direction by: John Richoux
  • Saweetie ft. Doja Cat – “Best Friend” – Art Direction by: Art Haynes
  • Taylor Swift – “willow” – Art Direction by: Ethan Tobman, Regina Fernandez

Best Pop

  • Ariana Grande – “Positions”
  • Billie Eilish – “Therefore I Am”
  • BTS – “Butter”
  • Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness”
  • Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches”
  • Olivia Rodrigo – “Good 4 U”
  • Shawn Mendes – “Wonder”
  • Taylor Swift – “Willow”

Best Rock

  • Evanescence – “Use My Voice”
  • Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame”
  • John Mayer – “Last Train Home”
  • The Killers – “My Own Soul's Warning”
  • Kings Of Leon – “The Bandit”
  • Lenny Kravitz – “Raise Vibration”

Best Alternative

  • Bleachers – “Stop Making This Hurt”
  • Glass Animals – “Heat Waves”
  • Imagine Dragons – “Follow You”
  • Machine Gun Kelly ft. Blackbear – “My Ex’s Best Friend”
  • Twenty One Pilots – “Shy Away”
  • Willow ft. Travis Barker – “Transparent Soul”

Best Hip-hop

  • Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
  • Drake ft. Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later”
  • Lil Baby ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “On Me (remix)”
  • Moneybagg Yo – “Said Sum”
  • Polo G – “RAPSTAR”
  • Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A. – “Franchise”

Best R&B

  • Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid – “Brown Skin Girl”
  • Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”
  • Chris Brown and Young Thug – “Go Crazy”
  • Giveon – “Heartbreak Anniversary”
  • H.E.R. ft. Chris Brown – “Come Through”
  • SZA – “Good Days”

Best Latin

  • Bad Bunny x Jhay Cortez – “Dákiti”
  • Billie Eilish & ROSALÍA – “Lo Vas A Olvidar”
  • Black Eyed Peas and Shakira – “Girl Like Me”
  • J. Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy – “Un Dia (One Day)”
  • Karol G – “Bichota”
  • Maluma – “Hawái”

Best K-pop

  • (G)I-DLE – “DUMDi DUMDi”
  • BLACKPINK and Selena Gomez – “Ice Cream”
  • BTS – “Butter”
  • Monsta X – “Gambler”
  • SEVENTEEN – “Ready to love”
  • TWICE – “Alcohol-Free”

Best Visual Effects

  • Bella Poarch – “Build a Bitch” – Visual Effects by: Andrew Donoho, Denhov Visuals, Denis Strahhov, Rein Jakobson, Vahur Kuusk, Tatjana Pavlik, Yekaterina Vetrova
  • Coldplay – “Higher Power” – Visual Effects by: Mathematic
  • Doja Cat & The Weeknd – “You Right” – Visual Effects by: La Pac, Anthony Lestremau,
  • Julien Missaire, Petr Shkolniy, Alexi Bailla, Micha Sher, Antoine Hache, Mikros MPC,
  • Nicolas Huget, Guillaume Ho Tsong Fang, Benjamin Lenfant, Stephane Pivron, MPC
  • Bangalore, Chanakya Chander, Raju Ganesh, David Rouxel
  • Glass Animals – “Tangerine” – Visual Effects by: Ronan Fourreau
  • Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Visual Effects by: Mathematic
  • P!NK – “All I Know So Far” – Visual Effects by: Dave Meyers, Freenjoy Inc

Best Choreography 

  • Ariana Grande – “34+35” – Choreography by: Brian Nicholson & Scott Nicholson
  • BTS – “Butter” – Choreography by: Son Sung Deuk with BHM Performance Directing Team
  • Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” – Choreography by: Natricia Bernard
  • Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame” – Choreography by: Nina McNeely
  • Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness” – Choreography by: Paul Roberts
  • Marshmello & Halsey – “Be Kind” – Choreography by: Dani Vitale

Best Editing

  • Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave tfsihe Door Open” – Editing by: Troy Charbonnet
  • BTS – “Butter” – Editing by: Yong Seok Choi from Lumpens
  • Drake – “What's Next” – Editing by: Noah Kendal
  • Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness” – Editing by: Claudia Wass
  • Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches” – Editing by: Mark Mayr, Vinnie Hobbs
  • Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa – “Prisoner”
Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.