vmas 2023

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion Shall Hit the Bongos at the VMAs

Summer’s not over yet. Photo: Cardi B/YouTube

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion — and their bongos — are making their VMAs performance debut. While both artists (and former VMA winners) have performed at the preshow separately in previous years, their latest single and sequel collaboration will be hitting the main stage this Tuesday. While there is room for debuts, there’s room for returns. 2022 wasn’t the last time the VMAs saw Nicki Minaj. The rapper is back, once again to both emcee the awards and perform. Minaj returns after she won the Video Vanguard Award last year, and this time, she’ll be looking forward — performing new single “Last Time I Saw You” ahead of her hotly anticipated album Pink Friday 2 later this year. What’s good? A lot.

Elsewhere in the show, Diddy might have lost his bid for BET this year, but he earn win a Lifetime Achievement award. The 2023 Video Music Awards will honor the rapper mogul with a Global Icon Award and feature a performance from the “Bad Boy for Life,” MTV announced on September 5. He’s not the only music legend to be celebrated at the ceremony. Shakira is set to receive the Video Vanguard Award, marking the first time the award has been given to a South American artist.

It’s not a Lifetime Achievement award (yet), but Olivia Rodrigo is set to celebrate her second album, Guts, on the show, performing music from it live for the first time. (With six nominations, she very well could still walk out with a trophy.) The ceremony will also host performances from Scooter Braun’s former clients. Demi Lovato, now departed from their former manager, has discovered a great way to celebrate their newfound freedom by performing at this year’s VMAs. Ahead of their upcoming rerecorded rock album Revamped, Lovato will take the stage at New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Tuesday, September 12, after a six-year break from the VMAs — plus, they have two nominations for “Swine” under their studded belt.

There will be several collaborations coming together Tuesday night. In honor of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, DMC, Doug E. Fresh, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, and Minaj are performing a melody together. Metro Boomin is bringing along Swae Lee, Nav, Future, and A Boogie wit da Hoodie to sync up and sing Boomin’s tracks “Superhero (Heroes & Villains)” and “Calling.”

And there’s plenty to look forward to as this year’s show is full of musical guests. Other performances of the evening include Artist of the Year nominee Karol G, last year’s Best Alternative winner Måneskin, VMA newcomers Stray Kids, Anitta, Doja Cat, Fall Out Boy, Peso Pluma, Kelsea Ballerini, and TOMORROW X TOGETHER. Maybe a Jonas Brother or two (or three) can join Lovato for a Camp Rock reunion for “La La Land” and “Don’t Forget.” A camper can dream.

This post has been updated.

Cardi B + Megan Thee Stallion Shall Hit the Bongos at VMAs