Beyonce leads MTV nominations

Beyonce earned 11 nods for the MTV Video Music Awards for her album Lemonade.
Beyonce earned 11 nods for the MTV Video Music Awards for her album Lemonade. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Beyonce's visual album Lemonade on Tuesday earned the R&B singer a career- best 11 nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards, in a list that included multiple nods for Adele and Kanye West, but nothing for Taylor Swift.

Adele came in second with eight nominations. All but one were for the balladeer's Hello, which, with more than 1.6 billion views, is the fifth most watched video to date on YouTube. Filmed by Canadian director Xavier Dolan, it shows Adele on the phone with a younger version of herself.

The controversial video for West's Famous - which features portrayals of 12 nude celebrities including Swift sleeping next to the rapper - got two nominations, including for Video Of The Year.

The two stars have been publicly feuding for months about whether she approved lyrics in which he boasts about making her famous.

Swift, the top-earning celebrity in the world, has dominated music awards shows in the past five years and won four MTV music video prizes last year, including for her single Bad Blood with Kendrick Lamar.

But this year, she did not score any nominations after touring worldwide for much of last year, despite releasing videos for Out Of The Woods late last year and New Romantics early this year.

The Video Of The Year category pits Beyonce's politically charged video for Formation against Adele's Hello, Drake's Hotline Bling, Justin Bieber's Sorry and West's Famous.

Filmed by Melina Matsoukas, Formation at one point shows a row of police officers with their hands in the air and graffiti on a wall that reads, "Stop shooting us".

The MTV Video Music Awards, which have a reputation for irreverence and shock tactics, take place in New York City on Aug 28 and will air live on MTV.

The awards are voted on by fans, starting on Tuesday. A host for the show has yet to be announced.

Beyonce's album Lemonade in April featured music videos for each track and was praised for its bold songs about betrayal and revenge. Videos from the album also scored nominations for choreography, art direction and editing.

Rihanna scored multiple nominations for her collaborations with DJ Calvin Harris on This is What You Came For - which was revealed to have been written by Swift under a pseudonym - and with Drake on Work.

David Bowie's video for Lazarus took four nominations, although not in the main categories.

The late rock icon, who embraced music videos as an art form when MTV was in its infancy, released Lazarus three days before stunning the world with his death from an unannounced battle with cancer. The video, in hindsight, was full of foreshadowing of his death with the singer levitating over a hospital bed and retreating into a closet with outfits from his prolific career.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2016, with the headline 'Beyonce leads MTV nominations'. Print Edition | Subscribe