Highly anticipated performances from BTS, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and more to watch out for.

By Rachel Yang
Updated August 27, 2020 at 03:46 PM EDT
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The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards are fast approaching, and all eyes will be on the event to see how the first live awards show since the coronavirus shutdown will go. With new safety guidelines and new categories like Best Quarantine Performance, the ceremony is sure to be unlike what we've come to expect in past years.

Here's everything you need to know so far about this year's VMAs, including BTS' highly anticipated performance of their new single.

Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

When are the VMAs?

The 2020 VMAs will air live from New York City on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, one of the first live awards show since COVID-19 shut down most large gatherings in March. The show will feature performances taking place across all five boroughs. On Aug. 7, MTV confirmed that the show would be held outdoors, with few or no audience members in attendance, as opposed to taking place at the Barclays Center as originally planned.

Is there a pre-show?

Yes. Nessa Diab and Jamila Mustafa will host a pre-show at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT that will feature celebrity interviews, coast to coast coverage, and more from celebrity correspondents, Kevan Kenney and Travis Mills. There will also be pre-show performances by Chloe x Halle, Jack Harlow, Lewis Capaldi, Tate McRae, and Machine Gun Kelly featuring Travis Barker and blackbear.

Who is performing at the VMAs?

For the main event, BTS, in their first-ever VMAs performance, will present the TV debut of their new English-language single "Dynamite." Miley Cyrus, who hosted the show in 2015 and just released the single "Midnight Sky," will also take the stage. And, for the first time since 2013, Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga, is set to take the stage. She and Ariana Grande will perform their hit single "Rain on Me," in the world premiere televised performance of Gaga's latest release, Chromatica.

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Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Maluma, DaBaby, and Latin boy band CNCO will also perform. And, the Black Eyed Peas are set for their debut VMA performance.

J Balvin and  Roddy Ricch were both initially announced as performers, but have since pulled out of the show, with the rapper citing "COVID compliance issues."

Where can I watch?

You can watch the VMAs live on MTV or stream it on MTV.com and the MTV app (available on Google Play, iTunes, Roku, and other platforms), which requires you to sign in with your TV provider.

Who's hosting?

Keke Palmer has been tapped to host this year's awards. "We're thrilled to have the multi-talented Keke Palmer as this year's VMAs host," Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming and events for ViacomCBS Media Networks said of the pick. "Keke is an energetic force and a quadruple threat with unmatched comedic wit who will make this year's show truly unforgettable."

Who's presenting the awards? 

Drew Barrymore, Blink-182's Travis Barker, Kelly Clarkson, and Hamilton star Anthony Ramos will present awards on Sunday. Also serving as presenters will be Bebe Rexha, Bella Hadid, Jaden Smith, Joey King, Machine Gun Kelly, Madison Beer, Nicole Richie, and Sofia Carson.

Who's up for a VMA?

Grande and Gaga lead the pack with nine nominations each. "Rain on Me" netted seven nods, including Video and Song of the Year. Billie Eilish and the Weeknd follow with six nominations each, with Taylor Swift close behind, earning five.

The awards also added two new categories that reflect the current state of music: Best Music Video From Home and Best Quarantine Performance. Nominees in the latter category include Gaga for her rendition of Nat King Cole's "Smile" on the One World: Together at Home special and John Legend for his #TogetherAtHome Concert Series gig. Find the full list of nominees here.

What else can I expect?

This year's show will also honor "Everyday Heroes: Frontline Medical Workers" by celebrating the best performances by first responders including doctors, nurses, and other medical workers.

This article will be updated as more details are announced.

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