2019 MTV Video Music Awards: Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish win big

August 26, 2019

by Carla Hay

Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” took the prizes for Video of the Year and Best Video for Good at the 36th annual MTV Video Music Awards, which were held on August 26, 2019, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  The show was hosted by Sebastian Maniscalco.

Swift’s “Me!” video featuring Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie took the prize for Best Visual Effects. Other multiple winners were Ariana Grande (four awards, including Artist of the Year); Billie Eilish (three awards); and the smash hit “Old Town Road” from Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus (three awards). Winning two prizes each were Rosalía and J Balvin featuring El Guincho’s “Con Altura”; Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello’s “Señorita”; and BTS, winner of Best Group and Best K-Pop. Grande, Eilish and BTS were all no-shows at the event, although Eilish did provide a video with a prerecorded acceptance speech.

It was the first time that the MTV VMA show was held in New Jersey. There were numerous references to New Jersey throughout the show, including the closing-night “supergroup” performance by several hip-hop artists with New Jersey roots: Queen Latifah, Naughty By Nature, Redman, Fetty Wap and Wyclef Jean.

Other performers included Swift; Jonas Brothers; Shawn Mendes, who later joined Camila Cabello for their duet “Senorita”; Lizzo; Big Sean featuring A$AP Ferg, H.E.R.; Lil Nas X; Normani and Ozuna; Rosalía and J Balvin; Bad Bunny and J Balvin; H.E.R.; and Miley Cyrus.

Ava Max, CNCO and Megan Thee Stallion performed at the 2019 MTV VMAs red carpet pre-show, hosted by Terrence J and Nessa with special correspondent Zara Larsson.

Missy Elliott received the Video Vanguard award, which is a non-competitive prize given to an artist whose music videos have been influential. She performed a medley before accepting the award.

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs received MTV’s first Fashion Trailblazer Award, another non-competitive prize.

Presenters included Queen Latifah, John Travolta, Lenny Kravitz, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Rick Ross, Pepa, Hailee Steinfeld, Bebe Rexha, Alison Brie, French Montana, Megan Thee Stallion, Billy Ray Cyrus, DJ Khaled, Jonathan Van Ness, Cardi B, Lindsey Vonn, P. K. Subban, Lizzo, Keke Palmer, Victor Cruz, Ice-T. Also taking the stage as presenters were U.S. Women’s Soccer Team stars Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris and former “Sopranos” stars Drea de Matteo, Jamie Lynn Sigler and Vincent Pastore.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominees for the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards that were announced when the ceremony ended:

*=winner

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
21 Savage ft. J. Cole – “a lot” – Slaughter Gang LLC/Epic Records
Billie Eilish – “bad guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records
Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records
Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records*

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Cardi B – Atlantic Records
Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records
Ariana Grande – Republic Records*
Halsey – Capitol Records
Jonas Brothers – Republic Records
Shawn Mendes– Island Records

SONG OF THE YEAR
Drake – “In My Feelings” – Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records
Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow” – Interscope Records
Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records*
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records

BEST NEW ARTIST, presented by Taco Bell®
Ava Max – Atlantic Records
Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records*
H.E.R. – MBK/RCA Records
Lil Nas X – Columbia Records
Lizzo – Atlantic Records
Rosalía – Columbia Records

BEST COLLABORATION
Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow” – Interscope Records
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records*
Taylor Swift featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – “I Don’t Care” – Atlantic Records
BTS featuring Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records

PUSH ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Bazzi – Atlantic Records
CNCO – RCA Records
Billie Eilish – Darkroom/Interscope Records*
H.E.R. – MBK/RCA Records
Lauv – LAUV/AWAL
Lizzo – Atlantic Records

BEST POP
5 Seconds of Summer – “Easier” – Interscope Records
Cardi B & Bruno Mars – “Please Me” – Atlantic Records
Billie Eilish – “bad guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records
Khalid – “Talk” – Right Hand Music Group/RCA Records
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next” – Republic Records
Jonas Brothers – “Sucker” – Republic Records*
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records

BEST HIP HOP
2 Chainz featuring Ariana Grande – “Rule the World” – 2 Chainz Ps/Def Jam
21 Savage featuring J. Cole – “a lot” – Slaughter Gang LLC/Epic Records
Cardi B – “Money” – Atlantic Records*
DJ Khaled featuring Nipsey Hussle & John Legend – “Higher” – We The Best/Epic Records
Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records
Travis Scott featuring Drake – “SICKO MODE” – Epic Records/Grand Hustle/Cactus Jack

BEST R&B
Anderson .Paak featuring Smokey Robinson – “Make It Better” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music
Childish Gambino – “Feels Like Summer” – RCA Records
H.E.R. featuring Bryson Tiller – “Could’ve Been” – MBK/RCA Records
Alicia Keys – “Raise A Man” – RCA Records
Ella Mai – “Trip” – 10 Summers/Interscope Records
Normani featuring 6lack – “Waves” – Keep Cool/RCA Records*

BEST K-POP
BTS featuring Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records*

BLACKPINK – “Kill This Love” – YG Entertainment/Interscope Records
Monsta X featuring French Montana – “Who Do You Love” – Epic Records
TOMORROW X TOGETHER – “Cat & Dog” – Republic Records
NCT 127 – “Regular” – SM Entertainment
EXO – “Tempo” – SM Entertainment

BEST LATIN
Anuel AA, Karol G – “Secreto” – Universal Music Latino
Bad Bunny featuring Drake – “MIA” – OVO Sound/Warner Bros. Records
Benny Blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, J Balvin – “I Can’t Get Enough” – NEON16/Friends Keep Secrets/Interscope Records
Daddy Yankee featuring Snow – “Con Calma” – Universal Music Latin Entertainment
Maluma – “Mala Mía” – Sony Music US Latin
Rosalía and J Balvin featuring El Guincho — “Con Altura” – Columbia Records*

BEST DANCE
The Chainsmokers featuring Bebe Rexha – “Call You Mine” – Disruptor/Columbia Records*

Clean Bandit featuring Demi Lovato – “Solo” – Big Beat/Atlantic Records
DJ Snake featuring Selena Gomez, Ozuna & Cardi B – “Taki Taki” – DJ Snake Music Productions Ltd/Geffen
David Guetta, Bebe Rexha & J Balvin – “Say My Name” – Big Beat/Atlantic Records
Marshmello & Bastille – “Happier” – Capitol Records
Silk City & Dua Lipa – “Electricity” – Columbia Records

BEST ROCK
The 1975 – “Love It If We Made It” – Dirty Hit/Interscope Records
Fall Out Boy – “Bishops Knife Trick” – Island Records
Imagine Dragons – “Natural” – KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records
Lenny Kravitz – “Low” – BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd.
Panic! At The Disco – “High Hopes” – Elektra Music Group*
twenty one pilots – “My Blood” – Elektra Music Group

VIDEO FOR GOOD
Halsey – “Nightmare” – Capitol Records
The Killers – “Land of the Free” – Island
Jamie N Commons, Skylar Grey ft. Gallant – “Runaway Train” – Interscope Records
John Legend – “Preach” – Columbia Records
Lil Dicky – “Earth” – Dirty Burd, Inc./Commission/BMG
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records*

BEST DIRECTION
Billie Eilish – “bad guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Directed by Dave Meyers
FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang
Ariana Grande – “thank you, next” – Republic Records – Directed by Hannah Lux Davis
Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records – Directed by Calmatic*
LSD featuring Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Directed by Dano Cerny
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Directed by Drew Kirsch & Taylor Swift

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Billie Eilish – “when the party’s over” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Visual Effects by Ryan Ross, Andres Jaramillo
FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Visual Effects by Matt Chandler, Fabio Zaveti for Analog
Ariana Grande – “God is a Woman” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by Fabrice Lagayette, Kristina Prilukova & Rebecca Rice for Mathematic
DJ Khaled featuring SZA – “Just Us” – We The Best/Epic Records – Visual Effects by Sergii Mashevskyi
LSD featuring Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Visual Effects by Ethan Chancer
Taylor Swift featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by Loris Paillier & Lucas Salton for BUF VFX*

BEST EDITING
Anderson .Paak featuring Kendrick Lamar – “Tints” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music – Editing by Elias Talbot
Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Record – Editing by Calmatic
Billie Eilish – “bad guy” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Editing by Billie Eilish*
Ariana Grande – “7 Rings” – Republic Records – Editing by Hannah Lux Davis & Taylor Walsh
Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Editing by Solange Knowles, Vinnie Hobbs, Jonathon Proctor
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Editing by Jarrett Fijal

BEST ART DIRECTION
BTS featuring Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by JinSil Park, BoNa Kim (MU:E)
Ariana Grande – “7 Rings” – Republic Records – Art Direction by John Richoux*
Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by Itaru Dela Vegas
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Art Direction by Tatiana Van Sauter
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down” – Republic Records – Art Direction by Brittany Porter
Kanye West and Lil’ Pump featuring Adele Givens – “I Love It” – Warner Records & Def Jam Music Group – Art Direction by Tino Schaedler

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
FKA twigs – “Cellophane” – Young Turks – Choreography by Kelly Yvonne
Rosalía and J Balvin featuring El Guincho – “Con Altura” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Charm La’Donna*
LSD featuring Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – “No New Friends” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Ryan Heffington
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Choreography by Calvit Hodge, Sara Biv
Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Maya Taylor, Solange Knowles
BTS featuring Halsey – “Boy With Luv” – Columbia Records – Choreography by Rie Hata

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Anderson .Paak featuring Kendrick Lamar – “Tints” – Aftermath Ent/12 Tone Music – Cinematography by Elias Talbot
Billie Eilish – “hostage” – Darkroom/Interscope Records – Cinematography by Pau Castejon
Ariana Grande – “thank you, next” – Republic Records – Cinematography by Christopher Probst
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Island Records – Cinematography by Scott Cunningham*
Solange – “Almeda” – Columbia Records – Cinematography by Chayse Irvin, Ryan Marie Helfant, Justin Hamilton
Taylor Swift featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Republic Records – Cinematography by Starr Whitesides

BEST POWER ANTHEM
Miley Cyrus — “Mother’s Daughter”
DJ Khaled (featuring Cardi B and 21 Savage) — “Wish Wish”
Ariana Grande — “7 Rings”
Halsey — “Nightmare”
Lizzo (featuring Missy Elliott) — “Tempo”
Megan Thee Stallion (featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla Sign) — “Hot Girl Summer”*
Maren Morris — “GIRL”
Taylor Swift — “You Need to Calm Down”

SONG OF THE SUMMER
The Chainsmokers and Bebe Rexha — “Call You Mine”
Miley Cyrus — “Mother’s Daughter”
DaBaby — “Suge”
Billie Eilish — “Bad Guy”
Ariana Grande and Social House — “Boyfriend”*
Jonas Brothers — “Sucker”
Khalid — “Talk”
Lil Nas X (featuring Billy Ray Cyrus) — “Old Town Road (Remix)”
Lil Tecca — “Ransom”
Lizzo — “Truth Hurts”
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello – “Señorita”
Post Malone (featuring Young Thug) — “Goodbyes”
Rosalía and J Balvin (featuring El Guincho) — “Con altura”
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – “I Don’t Care”
Taylor Swift — “You Need to Calm Down”
Young Thug (featuring J. Cole and Travis Scott) — “The London”

Official sponsors of the 2019 “MTV Video Music Awards” included EXTRA Refreshers, PEPSI, Taco Bell, and the 2020 Toyota Corolla.

Bruce Gillmer and Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic were Executive Producers for the 2019 “VMAs.” Barb Bialkowski is Co-Executive Producer. Jackie Barba, Joe Buoye and Alicia Portugal served as Executive in Charge of Production. Amani Duncan is Executive in Charge of Music. Wendy Plaut is Executive in Charge of Celebrity Talent.

About MTV:
MTV is the leading global youth media brand in 180 countries, reaching 450 million households in nearly 30 different languages across every platform. A unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), MTV operations span cable and mobile networks, live events, theatrical films and MTV Studios.

About The Prudential Center:
Prudential Center is the world-class sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Opened in October 2007, the state-of-the-art arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall University’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball program, and more than 175 concerts, family shows and special events each year. The arena is also home to the GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center, which opened its doors to the public on October 2017. The 8,200-square-foot experience marks the first GRAMMY Museum outpost on the East Coast, and features a dynamic combination of educational programming and interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, including a spotlight on legendary GRAMMY winners from New Jersey. Ranked in the Top 8 nationally by Pollstar, Billboard and Venues Today, Prudential Center is recognized as one of the premier venues in the United States, and hosts over 2 million guests annually. For more information about Prudential Center, visit PruCenter.com and follow the arena on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram @PruCenter. Prudential Center is a Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment property.