2021 MTV Video Music Awards: Lil Nas X, Olivia Rodrigo, BTS are the top winners

September 12, 2021

With three awards each, Lil Nas X, Olivia Rodrigo and BTS were the top winners at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), which were held at Barclays Center in New York City on September 12. Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” won the prize for Video of the Year. Foo Fighters received the Global Icon Award, which is a non-competitive prize. The show, which was hosted by Doja Cat, was also simulcast other ViacomCBS-owned channels CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land, VH1 and The CW Network. The MTV VMAs are voted for online by the public.

Here is the list of artists and songs performed on the show.

  • The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber, “Stay”
  • Justin Bieber, “Ghost”
  • Olivia Rodrigo “Good 4 U”
  • Kacey Musgraves “Star-Crossed”
  • Twenty One Pilots “Saturday”
  • Saint Jhn “Sucks To Be You,” “Trap”
  • Ed Sheeran “Shivers”
  • Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow “Industry Baby”
  • “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” (Lil Nas X only)
  • Camila Cabello, “Don’t Go Yet”
  • Shawn Mendes and Tainy, “Summer of Love”
  • Anitta, “Girl from Rio”
  • Latto, “Big Energy,” “Muwop,” “Bitch from da Souf”
  • Doja Cat, “Been like This,” “You Right”
  • Chlöe, “Have Mercy”
  • Normani, “Wild Side”
  • Ozuna, “La Funka”
  • Foo Fighters medley: “Learn to Fly,” “Shame Shame,” “Everlong”
  • Alicia Keys and Swae Lee “Lala (Unlocked)”
  • Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind”
  • Busta Rhymes, “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” “Ante Up,” “Scenario,” “Touch It,” “Look at Me Now,” “Pass the Courvoisier”
  • Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker, “Papercuts”

Presenters were Doja Cat, Tinashe, Bretman Rock, Jennifer Lopez, Cyndi Lauper, Saint Jhn, Rita Ora, Billy Porter, Avril Lavigne, Charli XCX, Leslie Grace, Conor McGregor, Halle Bailey, Wyclef Jean, Ciara, Fat Joe, Ashanti, Ja Rule, AJ McLean, Lance Bass, Nick Lachey, Billie Eilish, SZA, Tommy Lee, Swizz Beatz, David Lee Roth, Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian.

Bruce Gillmer and Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic were Executive Producers for the 2021 MTV VMAs. Barb Bialkowski was Co-Executive Producer. Alicia Portugal and Jackie Barba serve as Executives in Charge of Production. Wendy Plaut was Executive in Charge of Celebrity Talent. Lisa Lauricella was Music Talent Executive.

Here is the complete list of nominees and winners:

*=winner

VIDEO OF THE YEAR 

Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP” – Atlantic Records

DJ Khaled featuring Drake – “POPSTAR” (Starring Justin Bieber) – OVO / We The Best / Epic Records

Doja Cat featuring SZA – “Kiss Me More” – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records

Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” – Atlantic Records

Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records*

The Weeknd – “Save Your Tears” – XO / Republic Records

ARTIST OF THE YEAR 

Ariana Grande – Republic Records

Doja Cat – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records

Justin Bieber – Def Jam*

Megan Thee Stallion – 300 Entertainment

Olivia Rodrigo – Geffen Records

Taylor Swift – Republic Records

SONG OF THE YEAR 

24kGoldn featuring iann dior – “Mood” – Records LLC / Columbia Records

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave The Door Open” – Aftermath Entertainment / Atlantic Records

BTS – “Dynamite” – BIGHIT Music

Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP” – Atlantic Records

Dua Lipa – “Levitating” – Warner Records

Olivia Rodrigo – “Drivers License” – Geffen Records*

BEST NEW ARTIST, Presented by Facebook 

24kGoldn – Records LLC / Columbia Records

Giveon – Epic Records / Not So Fast

The Kid Laroi – Columbia Records

Olivia Rodrigo – Geffen Records*

Polo G – Columbia Records

Saweetie – Warner Records

PUSH PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

September 2020: Wallows – “Are You Bored Yet?” – Atlantic Records

October 2020: Ashnikko – “Daisy” – Warner Records

November 2020: Saint Jhn – “Gorgeous” – Godd Complexx / HITCO

December 2020: 24kGoldn – “Coco” – Records LLC / Columbia Records

January 2021: JC Stewart – “Break My Heart” – Elektra Music Group

February 2021: Latto – “Sex Lies” – RCA Records

March 2021: Madison Beer – “Selfish” – Epic Records / Sing It Loud

April 2021: The Kid Laroi – “Without You” – Columbia Records

May 2021: Olivia Rodrigo – “Drivers License” – Geffen Records*

June 2021: Girl in Red “Serotonin” – World in Red / AWAL

July 2021: Fousheé – “My Slime” – RCA Records

August 2021: jxdn – “Think About Me” – DTA Records / Elektra Music Group

BEST COLLABORATION

24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior – “Mood” – Records LLC / Columbia Records

Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP” – Atlantic Records

Doja Cat featuring SZA – “Kiss Me More” – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records*

Drake featuring Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later” – OVO / Republic Records

Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches” – Def Jam

Miley Cyrus featuring Dua Lipa – “Prisoner” – RCA Records

BEST POP

Ariana Grande – “Positions” – Republic Records

Billie Eilish – “Therefore I Am” – Darkroom / Interscope Records

BTS – “Butter” – BIGHIT Music

Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness” – Columbia Records

Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches” – Def Jam*

Olivia Rodrigo – “Good 4 U” – Geffen Records

Shawn Mendes – “Wonder” – Island Records

Taylor Swift – “Willow” – Republic Records

BEST HIP-HOP

Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP” – Atlantic Records

Drake featuring Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later” – OVO / Republic Records

Lil Baby featuring Megan Thee Stallion – “On Me (remix)” – Quality Control / Motown

Moneybagg Yo – “Said Sum” – N-Less Entertainment / Interscope Records

Polo G – “Rapstar” – Columbia Records

Travis Scott featuring Young Thug & M.I.A. – “Franchise” – Cactus Jack / Epic Records*

BEST ROCK

Evanescence – “Use My Voice” – BMG

Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame” – Roswell Records / RCA Records

John Mayer – “Last Train Home” – Columbia Records*

The Killers – “My Own Soul’s Warning” – Island

Kings Of Leon – “The Bandit” – RCA Records

Lenny Kravitz – “Raise Vibration” – Roxie Records / BMG

BEST ALTERNATIVE

Bleachers – “Stop Making This Hurt” – RCA Records

Glass Animals – “Heat Waves” – Republic Records

Imagine Dragons – “Follow You” – KidinaKorner / Interscope Records

Machine Gun Kelly featuring blackbear – “My Ex’s Best Friend” – Bad Boy / Interscope Records*

Twenty One Pilots – “Shy Away” – Fueled By Ramen

Willow featuring Travis Barker – “Transparentsoul” – MSFTSMusic / Roc Nation

BEST LATIN

Bad Bunny x Jhay Cortez – “Dákiti” – The Orchard

Billie Eilish & ROSALÍA – “Lo Vas A Olvidar” – Darkroom / Interscope Records*

Black Eyed Peas and Shakira – “Girl Like Me” – Epic Records

Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy – “Un Dia (One Day)” – Universal Music Latino / NEON16 

Karol G – “Bichota” – Universal Music Latino

Maluma – “Hawái” – Sony Music US Latin

BEST R&B

Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, Saint Jhn WizKid – “Brown Skin Girl – Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave The Door Open” – Aftermath Entertainment / Atlantic Records*

Chris Brown and Young Thug – “Go Crazy” – Chris Brown Entertainment/RCA Records

Giveon – “Heartbreak Anniversary” – Epic Records / Not So Fast

H.E.R. featuring Chris Brown – “Come Through” – MBK Entertainment / RCA Records

SZA – “Good Days” – Top Dawg Entertainment / RCA Records

BEST K-POP

(G)I-DLE – “Dumbdi Dumbdi” – Republic Records

Blacpink and Selena Gomez – “Ice Cream” – YG Entertainment / Interscope Records

BTS – “Butter” – BIGHIT Music Monsta X – “Gambler” – Starship Entertainment*

Seventeen – “Ready to Love” – Pledis Entertainment

Twice– “Alcohol-Free” – JYP Entertainment Company

VIDEO FOR GOOD 

Billie Eilish – “Your Power” – Darkroom / Interscope Records*

Demi Lovato – “Dancing With The Devil” – Island

H.E.R. – “Fight For You” – MBK Entertainment / RCA Records

Kane Brown – “Worldwide Beautiful” – Sony Music Nashville / RCA Records

Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records

Pharrell Williams featuring JAY-Z – “Entrepreneur” – Columbia Records

BEST DIRECTION

Billie Eilish – “Your Power” – Darkroom / Interscope Records – Directed by: Billie Eilish

DJ Khaled featuring Drake – “Popstar (Starring Justin Bieber)” – OVO / We The Best / Epic Records – Directed by: Julien Christian Lutz aka Director X

Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records – Directed by: Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino*

Taylor Swift – “Willow” – Republic Records – Directed by: Taylor Swift

Travis Scott featuring Young Thug & M.I.A – “Franchise” – Cactus Jack / Epic Records – Directed by: Travis Scott

Tyler, The Creator – “Lumberjack” – Columbia Records – Directed by: Wolf Haley

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, Saint Jhn, WizKid – “Brown Skin Girl” – Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records – Cinematography by: Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, Mohammaed Atta Ahmed, Santiago Gonzalez, Ryan Helfant*

Billie Eilish – “Therefore I Am” – Darkroom / Interscope Records – Cinematography by: Rob Witt

Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame” – Roswell Records / RCA Records – Cinematography by: Santiago Gonzalez

Justin Bieber featuring Chance The Rapper – “Holy” – RBMG/Def Jam – Cinematography by: Elias Talbot

Lady Gaga – “911” – Interscope Records – Cinematography by: Jeff Cronenweth

Lorde – “Solar Power” – Republic Records – Cinematography by: Andrew Stroud

BEST ART DIRECTION

Beyoncé, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer – “Already” – Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records – Art Direction by: Susan Linns, Gerard Santos

Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” – Atlantic Records – Art Direction by: Alison Dominitz

Lady Gaga – “911” – Interscope Records – Art Direction by: Tom Foden, Peter Andrus

Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by: John Richoux

Saweetie featuring Doja Cat – “Best Friend” – Warner Records – Art Direction by: Alec Contestabile*

Taylor Swift – “willow” – Republic Records – Art Direction by: Ethan Tobman, Regina Fernandez

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Bella Poarch – “Build a Bitch” – Warner Records – Visual Effects by: Andrew Donoho, Denhov Visuals, Denis Strahhov, Rein Jakobson, Vahur Kuusk, Tatjana Pavlik, Yekaterina Vetrova

Coldplay – “Higher Power” – Atlantic Records – Visual Effects by: Mathematic

Doja Cat & The Weeknd – “You Right” – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records – 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” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by: Ronan Fourreau

Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records – Visual Effects by: Mathematic*

Pink – “All I Know So Far” – RCA Records – Visual Effects by: BUF, VFX Supervisors: Dominique Vidal & Geoffrey Niquet, VFX Producers: Annabelle Zoellin & Camille Gibrat

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Ariana Grande – “34+35” – Republic Records – Choreography by: Brian Nicholson & Scott Nicholson

BTS – “Butter” – BIGHIT Music – Choreography by: Son Sung Deuk With BHM Performance Directing Team

Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” – Atlantic Records – Choreography by: Natricia Bernard

Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame” – Roswell Records / RCA Records – Choreography by: Nina McNeely

Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness” – Columbia Records – Choreography by: Paul Roberts*

Marshmello & Halsey – “Be Kind” – Astralwerks / Capitol Records – Choreography by: Dani Vitale

BEST EDITING

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave The Door Open” – Aftermath Entertainment/Atlantic Records – Editing by: Troy Charbonnet*

BTS – “Butter” – BIGHIT Music– Editing by: Yong Seok Choi from Lumpens

Drake – “What’s Next” – OVO/Republic Records – Editing by: Noah Kendal

Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness” – Columbia Records  –  Editing by: Claudia Wass

Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches” – Def Jam  –  Editing by: Mark Mayr, Vinnie Hobbs

Miley Cyrus featuring Dua Lipa – “Prisoner” – RCA Records