Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry and The Weeknd are just a few of the artist topping nominations for MTV’s Video Music Awards. This year they’re head to head without gender restrictions.
MTV has removed Best Female and Best Male Video categories from the VMAs, now being changed to one single Artist of the Year category to build “on the critical acclaim of the non-gendered categories at the 2017 ‘MTV Movies & TV Awards,” according to their press release.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar is posed with eight nominations for the music video accompanying his song “Humble.” The Weeknd and Katy Perry also had five nominations each, also competing with Lorde, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.
The VMAs are also bringing in a new category — Best Fight Against the System. The category awards videos that “inspire viewers to stand up and fight injustice,” according to the press release. Logic, Big sean, John Legend, Alessia Cara and the Hamilton Mixtape are all nominated for the award.
In May, MTV adopted gender neutral categories for their Movie & TV Awards, combining Best Actor and Best Actress categories. The first gender neutral MTV award — presented by non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon — went to Emma Watson for Best Actor in a Movie for her role in Beauty and the Beast. Millie Bobby Brown also took home the Best Actor in a Show for her role as Eleven in Netflix television show Stranger Things.
“Great acting is great acting, no matter what the gender or non-gender,” MTV General Manager Amy Doyle told the Hollywood Reporter at the time. “And it really is reflective about the audience’s views and when you look at the culture as a whole, you had a man against a woman running for president [last year]. It just felt like a dated construct for a category.”
The MTV 2017 Video Music Awards will premiere on August 27 at 8 p.m. EST.