MTV announced Thursday that Rihanna will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at this year’s VMAs. She’ll be presented with the honor at the Video Music Awards, which are set for Sunday, Aug. 28 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Beyond her unparalleled chart success, Rihanna has won Video of the Year at the VMAs twice, for 2007’s “Umbrella” and 2012’s “We Found Love.”
Created in 1984 and christened after the King of Pop in 1991, the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award is MTV’s equivalent to a lifetime achievement honor and recognizes accomplishments in music, fashion, film, and philanthropy. MTV rarely gave the award in the ’00s, but it has become an institution in recent years, being awarded to Justin Timberlake (2013), Beyoncé (2014), and Kanye West (2015). Rihanna will have a tough time topping the buzz of West’s 2015 acceptance speech, where he addressed his notorious VMAs incident with Taylor Swift and declared his 2020 candidacy for president.
Rihanna is up for multiple awards at this year’s VMAs, including Best Female Video (for “Work”) and Best Male Video (for her appearance in Calvin Harris’ “This Is What You Came For”). The 2016 iteration of the awards show will pit five titans — Adele, Beyoncé, Drake, Justin Bieber, and Kanye West — against each other for Video of the Year.