It’s one of the biggest categories of the night. Previous winners include Eminem, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber and Nirvana. We’re talking about the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist, and as usual, this year’s nominees represent some of the hottest new acts in music.
With talent this diverse vying for the Moonman, it’s anyone’s guess who will walk away from the Aug. 28 ceremony victorious. Will voters opt for Big Sean’s smooth R&B hit “My Last” or will they lean toward the harder hip-hop of Tyler, The Creator’s “Yonkers” or Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow”? Will they prefer Kreayshawn's fun and funky “Gucci Gucci” to Foster the People’s fresh rocker “Pumped Up Kicks”?
We have not idea who’s going to take the prize, but you can cast your vote here.
What we do know is that many of the winners of this prize have gone on to enjoy enormous fame and great success on the charts. In fact, two of the biggest stars in the world right now are our two most recent winners. With the big show just a few days away, we thought we’d check in on the last five winner to see how things are going!
2010 – Justin Bieber, “Baby”
Things are going pretty well for the Biebs right now, huh? Bieber is one of the most successful music artists on the planet, having sold millions of copies of his albums My World and My World 2.0. His concert film “Never Say Never” was a global success, and he raked in an estimated $53 million in 2010 – more than any other teen star on the planet (sorry Miley!) – from his massive “My World” tour and fragrance collection. He’s again nominated for a VMA this year, for Best Male Video for “U Smile.”
2009 – Lady Gaga, “Poker Face”
Already one of the most famous pop stars in the world, it’s easy to forget that Lady Gaga has only been in the public eye for a few short years. Just two years ago, she scored the Best New artist VMA for “Poker Face,” and that same night gave a career-defining, blood soaked performance of her song “Paparazzi” that people are still talking about. We won’t bore you with all the facts on Mother Monster – it’s common knowledge at this point that she’s sold millions of records, rules the radio and Billboard singles charts, recently wrapped up one of the biggest tours of all time and is readying another road show for next year, and is the most followed person in the world on Twitter – but we will say that her track record as one of the most electric live acts on the scene today has us ultra excited that she is opening the VMAs this year.
2008 – Tokio Hotel, “Ready, Set, Go!”
You’re likely not as familiar with Tokio Hotel as you are with Bieber or Gaga (imagine?), but the band is hugely successful overseas. In their native Germany, they’ve scored four number one singles and have released three number one albums. The dark, angsty video for their single “Ready, Set, Go!” became such a sensation that the band scored the VMA over fellow ‘08 Best New artist contenders Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.
2007 – Gym Class Heroes
Travie McCoy and the boys officially formed all the way back in 1997 while still in high school in Geneva, New York. The story goes that Gym Class Heroes was born when bassist Ryan Geise and drummer Matt McGinley were performing at a party as an instrumental band and McCoy, who was at the party as a guest, grabbed the mic during their set and started rapping. They’ve since released four albums and, despite McCoy’s burgeoning solo career, are said to be at work on their next album, The Papercut Chronicles II.
2006 – Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country”
Heavy metal isn’t exactly the it sound on modern American top 40 radio, but Avenged Sevenfold definitely managed to hit the big time anyway, releasing five studio albums so far and selling more than four million records worldwide. The band also did something quite spectacular in ’06 when it scored the Best New Artist VMA over Rihanna, who has gone on to become a VMA staple, winning Video of the Year in 2007 for her “Umbrella” clip. Since then they managed their first Billboard 200 number one debut with 2010’s Nightmare.