2021 MTV "VMAs" Announces First Performers

UPDATE (September 4, 2021, 6:00 a.m. SGT): Lorde is no longer performing at the 2021 VMAs.

SINGAPORE (August 19, 2021) - Camila Cabello, Lil Nas X, LORDE, Machine Gun Kelly and Olivia Rodrigo are set to perform at the 2021 “VMAs'' LIVE from Barclays Center. Fans in Southeast Asia can catch the awards show on the MTV Asia channel in a same-day delayed primetime premiere at 7pm (WIB) and 8pm (SG/MY/PH) on Monday, September 13. 

High-resolution headshots here.

  • Camila Cabello Known for delivering headline-grabbing moments every time she steps onto an iconic MTV stage, Camila Cabello is set to make a must-see “VMAs” return with a performance of “Don’t Go Yet,” following her steamy 2019 “Senorita” performance with Shawn Mendes.
  • Lil Nas X  International powerhouse Lil Nas X will battle it out for the highly-coveted “Video of the Year” award and bring yet another genre-defying hit to the “VMAs” stage. He last graced the storied stage in 2019 for a ground-breaking performance of “Panini.”
  • LORDE Making her highly-anticipated return to the “VMAs” stage for the first time since 2017, LORDE will deliver an explosive world premiere performance from her critically-acclaimed new project, Solar Power, dropping August 20th.
  • Machine Gun Kelly Machine Gun Kelly makes his debut on the iconic “VMAs” stage, bringing a world premiere performance of new single “papercuts” to life, off his forthcoming album born with horns. The reigning “Best Alternative” musician, who took home his first-ever Moon Person at the 2020 “VMAs,” is once again nominated in the same category.
  • Olivia Rodrigo Multiplatinum singer/songwriter Olivia Rodrigo is set to make her debut on the “VMAs” stage. The first-time nominee is up for five awards, including two of the night’s biggest: “Artist of the Year” and “Song of the Year.” 
  • Additional performers to be announced soon


Justin Bieber (7) and Megan Thee Stallion (6) lead this year’s nominations, closely followed by Billie Eilish, BTS, Doja Cat, Drake, Giveon, Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo (5 each). Full nominee list here. Fans can vote for their favorites across 14 gender-neutral categories, including “Video of the Year,” “Artist of the Year,” “Best Collaboration” and more by visiting vma.mtv.com through Friday, September 3, 2021 – thanks to Burger King®, the presenter of this year’s award voting. Voting for “Best New Artist,” presented by Facebook, will remain active into the show on Sunday, September 12, 2021. Nominations for social categories including “Best Group” and “Song of Summer” will be announced at a later date.

  • Camila Cabello: Multi Grammy nominated Cuban born singer/songwriter Camila Cabello(Epic Records / SYCO) released her debut solo album, CAMILA in January 2018 to rave reviews. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart at the same time as her single “Havana” Reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making Camila the first solo artist in nearly 15 years to reach the #1 spot on the Hot 100, Billboard 200 and Artist 100 charts in the same week. Camila also became the #1 artist on global Spotify. She took home awards for Artist of the Year and Video of the Year for her hit “Havana" at the 2018 Video Music Awards. At the end of 2018, Camila was nominated for two GRAMMYs for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards including “Best Pop Vocal Album” for her album, CAMILA, and “Best Pop Solo Performance” for “Havana” (Live). Most recently, Camila released her single, “Don’t Go Yet,” from her forthcoming album, Familia. Camila is also an ambassador for Save the Children. She is set to make her acting debut starring in CINDERELLA, to be released on September 3, 2021. The film will be directed by Kay Cannon and produced by James Corden and Leo Pearlman. In 2020, Camila, along with Movement Voter Fund, launched the Healing Justice Project, which provides direct grant funding for culturally relevant mental health and wellness resources to youth activists and grassroots organizations working at the intersection of racial and economic justice, electoral organizing and other movements that work towards bettering and moving this country forward. 
  • Lil Nas X: Lil Nas X is a 22-year-old award-winning rapper, singer, songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. Dubbed “an internationally recognized phenomenon” by Billboard, he rose to fame in 2019 when he released “Old Town Road” and simultaneously upended the music industry – shattering genre norms, disrupting the charts and going viral worldwide. The song’s remix with Billy Ray Cyrus became the longest running #1 single in Billboard Hot 100 history after 19 weeks atop the chart. The 14x Platinum hit is the most certified song in RIAA history and is recognized with numerous awards including two Grammys. After releasing his eclectic EP 7 in June 2019, which features the 6x Platinum “Panini” and 2x Platinum “Rodeo,” Lil Nas X returned in November 2020 with his Platinum single “HOLIDAY”, and followed with the culture-shifting hit “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” in March 2021. The queer anthem provoked much needed dialogue around the globe, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, remained atop of the Spotify Global chart for over a month straight, and propelled the song to #1 on the Top 40 and Rhythm Airplay charts. Already named a fashion icon for all his incredible eye-catching looks, the multifaceted artist and internet king is preparing to release his debut album, Montero, later this year.
  • LORDE: In 2013, a 16-year-old LORDE quietly, yet confidently asserted herself as the voice of a generation with her full-length debut, Pure Heroine. The album would go triple-platinum, win two GRAMMY® Awards, and spawn the certified Diamond, record-breaking, international juggernaut single, “Royals,” and quadruple-platinum follow up “Team.” The former cemented LORDE as “the youngest solo artist and the only New Zealander to achieve #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1987.” Time exalted her amongst the “Most Influential Teenagers in the World,” she landed on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” List, graced the cover of Rolling Stone and performed alongside Nirvana during the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. She also curated the official soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and recorded “Yellow Flicker Beat” as the lead single. In 2017 LORDE released her second full-length studio album, Melodrama which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Chart, making her the first ever NZ artist to land a #1 debut album in the United States. The album reached #1 in over 45 countries and earned LORDE a nomination for Album of the Year at the 2018 GRAMMY® Awards. LORDE makes her highly anticipated return with critically acclaimed new single, “Solar Power,” from her third full-length studio album, Solar Power, due out August 20th. LORDE currently has over 12 million albums sold worldwide and over 10 billion streams worldwide. 
  • Machine Gun Kelly: Machine Gun Kelly is a multi-hyphenate talent with an impressive career that started in Cleveland and has made him a globally known star in both music and film. A 2020 MTV Video Music Award winner for Best Alternative for  “bloody valentine,” he’s nominated for a 2021 VMA in the same category for “my ex’s best friend” featuring blackbear. Machine Gun Kelly’s fifth studio album Tickets To My Downfall was released on September 25, 2020 and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. The certified platinum album was the first rock album of 2020 to take the top spot and amassed over half a billion streams in under a week. As of August 2021, the album remains the biggest rock album of 2021 according to MRC Data. “bloody valentine” and “my ex’s best friend” both hit #1 on the Alternative charts and have both been certified Platinum. “forget me too” featuring Halsey was certified Gold. Other accolades for Machine Gun Kelly and Tickets To My Downfall include a 2021 Billboard Award for "Top Rock Album,” a 2021 Billboard Award for “Top Rock Artist" and an iHeart Radio Award for “Alternative Rock Album of the Year.” He was also nominated for a 2020 MTV Europe Music Award (EMA) for Best Alternative. MGK’s next album born with horns was announced last week, and the first single off the project, “papercuts” just debuted with an electric video from acclaimed director Cole Bennett.  
  • Olivia Rodrigo: With the arrival of her record-breaking, triple-platinum debut single “drivers license,” critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo revealed the tremendous power of her raw self-expression—and ultimately cemented her status as the most promising young artist to emerge this year with the release of her first full-length album, SOUR. The highly-anticipated LP debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 295,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S., quickly achieving RIAA Gold certification in its first week. SOUR also scored the most U.S. audio streams from a female debut album ever and broke the record for the most-streamed album in a week by a female artist in Spotify history with over 385M global steams. The stunning album from the 18-year-old multi-platinum artist earned Rodrigo the biggest week of 2021, produced two #1 songs “drivers license” and “good 4 u,” the top 5 song “deja vu,” and entered the charts at No. 1 in the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Norway, Holland, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand. All throughout SOUR – now RIAA Certified Platinum – Rodrigo displays her incredible talent for capturing complex emotions in high-impact pop songs. Entirely co-written by Rodrigo, the album embodies a minimalist but mesmerizing form of alt-pop, each song centered on her beautifully detailed storytelling and unforgettably original narrative voice. SOUR is a collection of songs fully reflecting her undeniable boldness and songwriting prowess.

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