MTV Video Music Awards preview: Miley, Taylor, Kanye await their VMAs fate

/ Source: TODAY

This year's MTV Video Music Awards ceremony is expected to deliver memorable moments, especially with Miley Cyrus serving as host.

The pop star has attended the event as a nominee and as a performer, and twerked up a firestorm of controversy when she collaborated with Robin Thicke for a 2013 performance. The reception was more positive a year later, when she won Video of the Year VMA for "Wrecking Ball."

Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran are among the artists up for multiple VMAs, including Video of the Year. In that category, Swift ("Bad Blood"), Beyoncé ("7/11") and Sheeran ("Thinking Out Loud") also will face off against Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' ubiquitous "Uptown Funk" and Kendrick Lamar's "Alright."

While Beyoncé is a frequent news-maker and Sheeran can lay claim to being one of music's fastest-rising stars, it's Swift who's been making the most headlines in the weeks leading up to Sunday's ceremony.

Nominated for four VMAs this year, Swfit found herself exchanging some tense tweets with Nicki Minaj just hours after nods were announced in July, but appeared to patch things up with her two days later. Even the VMAs host criticized Swift's Video of the Year nominee, "Bad Blood," for a theme Cyrus described as "violence revenge."

Despite the drama, Swift appeared to "Shake it Off" this week with a series of star-studded concert performances in Los Angeles, where more than a few of her famous friends just happened to stop by to share their (very public) regards.

If Swift wins a VMA this year, viewers may wonder if this year's Video Vanguard Award recipient Kanye West will "let [her] finish" what she intends to say — something he eventually did after crashing her her acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs. (The two seem to be friends these days, but with West finding himself at the center of a similar controversy at this year's Grammys Awards, no podium is safe.)

West may also be among the acts performing during Sunday’s ceremony. Minaj, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Tori Kelly, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Demi Lovato, Twenty One Pilots and A$AP Rocky, and Pharrell Williams are expected to do the same.

And as always with the VMAs, expect the unexpected. Controversy. Power couples (who may or may not last). Tense exchanges. Jokes that bomb. Jokes that crush. And, oh yeah, maybe a little music, too.

Follow writer Chris Serico on Twitter.