With the VMAs giving us an indication of this year’s best music videos and the Grammy deadline approaching (it’s September 30), it’s time we analyze the contenders for Best Music Video and Best Music Film. From critically acclaimed works like Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” and Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” to blockbusters like Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Old Town Road,” these categories have run the gamut. Let’s take a look at this year’s contenders for these honors.
Best Music Video
This category is always a mix of indie picks (Woodkid’s “Goliath,” Tierra Whack’s “Mumbo Jumbo,” Jamie XX’s “Gosh”) and big hits (Harry Styles’s “Adore You,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble”), with the big hits winning most times. This year we have multiple commercial picks, with Lil Nas X‘s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” likely leading the pack. The video is arguably the buzziest of the season, and even won three VMAs, including the coveted Best Direction and Video of the Year. Previous BMV winners like Taylor Swift‘s “Bad Blood,” Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance,” Beyonce’s “Formation,” and Lamar’s “Humble” all won those two awards before ultimately winning the Grammy, so Nas is riding a strong stat.
Joining Nas will likely be VMAs Best Direction nominee and Grammy darling Billie Eilish with her gorgeous “Your Power.” Taylor Swift’s “Willow” could also pick up a nom after getting a couple of technical nominations at the VMAs. Other MTV winners and nominees you might want to keep on your shortlist of possibilities include Saweetie and Doja Cat’s “Best Friend,” Doja Cat and The Weeknd’s “You Right,” Foo Fighters’ “Shame Shame,” Harry Styles’s “Treat People With Kindness,” Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open,” and Lady Gaga’s “911.”
Finally, some videos nominated at the Grammys don’t get any VMA traction. So expect previous nominees FKA Twigs (“Don’t Judge Me” featuring Headie One and Fred Again), Woodkid (“In Your Likeness”), Skrillex (“Butterflies” featuring Starrah and Four Tet), Leon Bridges (“Motorbike”) and The Chemical Brothers (“The Darkness That You Fear”) to be potential contenders.
Best Music Film
Due to new rules, a lot of films that would’ve previously been eligible are not anymore, since films are now required to be mostly music. This could likely disqualify what would have been potential frontrunners like Demi Lovato’s “Dancing With The Devil” and Billie Eilish’s “The World’s a Little Blurry.”
So the front-runner here is probably Bo Burham’s “Inside,” which received critical raves and has already picked up multiple Emmys. Burnham could actually achieve an unprecedented feat if he wins Best Comedy Album and Best Music Film. Fellow Emmy nominee David Byrne is also a likely nominee for his already Grammy-nominated “American Utopia.” The stage musical-turned-TV special already got a nom last year for Best Musical Theater Album, and the year prior for Best Alternative Album.
Big artists this Grammy cycle might also get a nom here on the coattails of their success in other categories. Billie Eilish’s Disney+ special “Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles” and Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour Prom” could show up as a result of massive support or the artists. This past year’s Album of the Year winner Taylor Swift could get another nomination for “Folklore,” as “Folklore: The Long Pond Sessions” is eligible here. Finally, Ariana Grande’s “Excuse Me, I Love You” could also pick up a nom.
Other contenders include Halsey’s “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power”; Paul McCarntney’s “McCartney 1, 2, 3”; Mariah Carey’s “Magical Christmas Special”; and Bruce Springsteen’s “Letter To You.”
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