How MTV VMAs host Doja Cat became 2021's signature pop star

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Los Angeles Times 12 September, 2021 - 10:29am 17 views

What time is the Vmas?

When Are the 2021 MTV VMAs? The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards will air live on MTV from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, tonight, Sunday, September 12th at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Rolling StoneVMAs Live Stream: How to Watch the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards Online for Free

Is Billie Eilish performing at the Vmas 2021?

How to Watch the VMAs Main Ceremony. ... Doja Cat will host the ceremony, and presenters include Billie Eilish, Ashanti, Cyndi Lauper, 50 Cent, Megan Fox, Travis Barker, and Rita Ora. 2021 VMAs performers include Kacey Musgraves, Camila Cabello, Lil Nas X, Normani, Foo Fighters, Chlöe, and Justin Bieber. PitchforkHow to Watch and Livestream the 2021 MTV VMAs

Playing herself in a recent episode of “Dave” — the acclaimed FX series based on the life of the comedic hip-hop star Dave Burd (who records as Lil Dicky) — the happily eccentric rapper and singer strikes up a flirty text-message relationship with Dave after they match on an invite-only dating app.

We never actually see the two meet in the flesh, thanks to a characteristic bungle by the show’s protagonist. But watching Doja Cat carefully project an image of herself through her and Dave’s screens ends up suiting an artist who, more than any of her A-list peers, feels like a product of the internet — of its chat rooms and social-media platforms and of the streaming services that first allowed her to reach an audience as a teenager posting homemade songs from her bedroom in Los Angeles.

Nearly a decade after the earliest of those tunes began to gain traction, Doja Cat, 25, has moved from the digital realm to the wider offline world.

Set to be broadcast from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the VMAs will also feature performances by Justin Bieber, Kacey Musgraves, Olivia Rodrigo, Ed Sheeran, Normani, the Kid Laroi, Camila Cabello, Ozuna, and the extremely online phenom to whom Doja Cat can probably most relate — Lil Nas X.

“I’m just going to do what I do, which is be cringe,” Doja Cat (born Amala Diamini) told Variety of her plans for the evening, and indeed what’s remarkable about her ascent to IRL stardom is how much of her weird old internet self she’s brought along to the mainstream. Having outlived the suspicions of those who once viewed her as a novelty, she might now be 2021’s signature pop act: biracial, sexually fluid, rooted in hip-hop, openly ambitious and dressed as a cyborg (but a funny one, not a sad one).

Country singer Walker Hayes was a journeyman until a song about a date night at a chain restaurant. Now he’s on the verge of an unlikely crossover smash.

“Planet Her,” the album Doja Cat released in June, is a commercial juggernaut with five tracks that have each racked up more than 100 million streams on Spotify. (“Kiss Me More,” her smash duet with SZA, has nearly 700 million.) But it’s also genuinely strange, both in its individual moments and in the startling juxtapositions it lays out: “Payday” is a sprightly-spooky electro-pop romp in which she and Young Thug compete to see who can make their voice chirpier, while cuts like “Naked” and “Options” keep pushing the sexual adventurism a few ticks beyond where you expect; elsewhere, Doja Cat puts her creamiest R&B singing (as in “Need to Know” and “Imagine”) right next to her fiercest rapping (as in “Get Into It [Yuh]” and the ferocious “Ain’t S—,” where she switches up flows with a dexterity comparable to Nicki Minaj).

Yet Minaj seemed to lose interest fairly quickly in high-gleam pop, whereas Doja Cat on her third LP appears energized by the idea; she has yet to decide that monster hooks and futuristic grooves can’t be used to carry the cartoon voices and edgelord humor she once deployed in do-it-yourself rap songs like her viral 2018 single “Mooo!”

Kacey Musgraves’ new album ‘Star-Crossed,’ the follow-up to her throes-of-love breakthrough ‘Golden Hour,’ chronicles the dissolution of the same relationship.

But then why would she? In an era when performers’ iffy internet histories are routinely weaponized against them, Doja Cat’s resistance to being canceled may rival only Kanye West‘s. Somebody found old tweets in which she used a gay slur; somebody caught her bantering in a chat room evidently filled with creepy alt-right dudes. Doja Cat apologized, sort of, and said she’d been misunderstood — then she moved on, and we along with her. Even her long-standing professional relationship with Dr. Luke, the producer and songwriter whom Kesha has accused of sexual abuse, has for the most part gone unquestioned.

Yet to conclude that celebrity has made her more guarded is to assume that we’ve ever known anything about Doja Cat in the first place. For all the hours and hours of content she’s poured onto the internet — the photos, the TikToks, the lengthy and digressive Instagram Live sessions — it’s still hard to know exactly who Doja Cat is; her personality, especially as compared to an open book like Cardi B, feels like a stitched-together assemblage of tics and jokes and willful provocations.

She’s performing pop stardom as a kind of chaotic data dump, seeing how readily the old systems can accommodate new information.

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Mikael Wood is pop music critic for the Los Angeles Times.

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Justin Bieber to make triumphant return to MTV VMAs

Associated Press 12 September, 2021 - 02:01am

The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards will get a dose of “Bieber fever” for the first time in six years.

Justin Bieber is set to return to the VMAs stage for an all-star caliber event that will air Sunday night at 8 p.m. EDT. The awards show will be held in-person at the Barclays Center in New York after holding a mostly virtual show last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bieber leads this year’s show with seven nominations, including video of the year for “POPSTAR” and artist of the year. He last took the VMAs stage in 2015 when he performed “What Do You Mean?”

Other scheduled performances include Lil Nas X, Camila Cabello, Chloe, Kacey Musgraves, Shawn Mendes, Olivia Rodrigo, Machine Gun Kelly and Doja Cat — who will also serve as the show’s host.

Presenters include Billy Porter, Conor McGregor, 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Megan Fox, Ashanti, Rita Ora, Simone Biles and Travis Barker.

Megan Thee Stallion enters the show as the second-leading nominee with six nominations. BTS, Doja Cat, Drake, Giveon, Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo, a first time nominee, each have five nods.

Bieber and Megan Thee Stallion will compete with Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, Rodrigo and Taylor Swift for artist of the year.

The Foo Fighters will perform and receive the Global Icon Award, an honor handed out for the first time at the VMAs. The award recognizes an artist or band “whose unparalleled career and continued impact and influence has maintained a unique level of global success in music and beyond.”

The prestigious award was previously presented at the annual MTV Europe Music Awards. Past recipients include Queen, Eminem and Whitney Houston.

The rock band — comprised of Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee — will perform at the VMAs for the first time since 2007.

The show will simulcast across CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land, VH1 and The CW Network.

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