Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran lead MTV Video Music Award nominations

Taylor Swift is sitting pretty with nine nominations in the MTV Video Music Awards.
Taylor Swift is sitting pretty with nine nominations in the MTV Video Music Awards.

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Pop singer Taylor Swift, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, R&B singer Beyonce, and DJ-producer Mark Ronson lead the nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards, the cable network said on Tuesday.

Swift, whose 1989 was the best-selling album of 2014, earned nine nominations for the awards to be handed out on Aug 30.

Sheeran garnered six nominations, while Beyonce and Ronson each scored five nods.

Swift's superhero-themed video for Bad Blood, a collaboration with hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar, which also features cameos by more than a dozen other celebrities, will compete for the coveted Video of the Year award against Beyonce's 7/11, Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud, Ronson's Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars, and Lamar's Alright.

Swift also earned nominations for her music video Blank Space in the Best Female Video and Best Pop Video categories.

The awards show, which MTV bills as "music's most unexpected night," hands out "Moonman" statuettes for achievements in music videos.

The event has made headlines in recent years for singer Miley Cyrus' provocative "twerk" performance with a foam finger in 2013, and hip-hop artist Kanye West's interruption of Swift's 2009 acceptance speech.

Cyrus tweeted on Monday that she will host this year's awards, showing pictures of her with placards saying: "MTV won't let me perform" and "So I'm hosting this year's VMAs."

The show, which attracts a young audience prized by advertisers, will air live from the Microsoft Theatre, formerly the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Video Music Awards began in 1984 and helped propel the young cable channel, now owned by Viacom, as a player in the entertainment industry.