Who Will Win Video Of The Year At The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards? History May Hold A Clue.

A look back at the category.

This year is a monumental one for the MTV Video Music Awards as the show officially turns 35. The VMAs hand out numerous trophies for achievement in the music video artform and its biggest honor, the Video of the Year category, is always talked about — but who will win this time?


The list of nominees — "Havana" by Camila Cabello (feat. Young Thug), "Apeshit" by The Carters (Beyoncé and Jay-Z), "God's Plan" by Drake, "This is America" by Childish Gambino, "No Tears Left to Cry" by Ariana Grande, and "Finesse (Remix)" by Bruno Mars (feat. Cardi B) — are all great, but there can only be one. We here at A Plus decided to take a stroll through history to try and figure out who will win big.

Let's analyze each of these eye-catching music videos and their associated acts to try and predict what might happen on August 20. Who will be giving an acceptance speech when accepting that iconic "Moon Person" trophy? Let's see!

“Havana” by Camila Cabello (feat. Young Thug)

Perhaps the biggest history-making moment would come from first-time nominee Cabello winning, as there have been no Latinx winners in this category ever. Born in Cuba, the former Fifth Harmony member beautifully paid tribute musically to her home country with "Havana," which has garnered nearly 665 million views (as of today) since dropping. Cabello's win would also be of note because, even though she is Cuban American, a non-U.S. acts has only taken home this honor 8 out of 34 times, or about 23.5 percent of the time. This would be a major moment for diversity and inclusion in the music industry, cementing Cabello as a force going forward.

“Apeshit” by The Carters (Beyoncé and Jay-Z)

If there's an MVP of MTV's top category at this show, Beyoncé is certainly on the shortlist. She is only 1 of 3 people to win this category more than once — tied with Eminem and Rihanna — for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It") and "Formation." Prior to "Apeshit," which has nearly 101 million views (as of today), Jay-Z has only been nominated once, paling in comparison to Beyoncé's six. Never before has a married couple been nominated for the same song, so they would be history-makers in that regard, but both, mostly Bey (sorry, Jay), give "Apeshit" a bit of an edge over the others. Consider this the legacy option.

“God’s Plan” by Drake

Only four times prior has a rap/hip-hop solo artist taken home this prize: Eminem (twice), Missy Elliot, and Kendrick Lamar (the latest winner). That means that less than 12 percent of the time, this genre of artistry has been honored and it remains to be seen if the feel-good "God's Plan" will be able to pull it off. Perhaps it will be a time to finally let Drake, who has been nominated in this category three times so far, take it home — after all, "God's Plan" does have a little over 775 million views (as of today). All that said, remember that only about 23.5 percent of the time has a non-U.S. act won in this category, with the last — and only — Canadian one being Neil Young.

“This is America” by Childish Gambino

Similar to Drake, Childish Gambino (real name Donald Glover) finds few winners in this category like him in regards to his style of music. What he has going for him, though, is a music video that had everyone talking — whether you consider it a timely work of art or not. "This is America" has about 368 million views (as of today) and, though it marks Childish Gambino's first nomination, it comes at a time when our country is hyper-focused on the social issues highlighted in this work. This also wouldn't be the first time an artist who also happens to be an actor has won, with that happening about 35 percent of the time, with 12 of the 34 occasions.

“No Tears Left to Cry” by Ariana Grande

While the Video of the Year category used to honor bands above single acts, we have seen a surge of female pop stars taking home the prize as of late. It started with Madonna and has gone on to include wins from Rihanna (twice), Britney Spears, Beyoncé (twice), Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Taylor Swift. That means that Ariana Grande would be the next with "No Tears Left to Cry," which has about 483 million views (as of today) and would improve upon the just under 30 percent of women in pop winning the grand prize, which has happened 10 times out of 34 (not counting the "Lady Marmalade" of it all, which was a hodge-podge of girl power).

“Finesse (Remix)” by Bruno Mars (feat. Cardi B)

Last up for this year is "Finesse (Remix)" by Bruno Mars, which could benefit from the Cardi B effect. The music video has nearly 469 million views (as of today) and is a nostalgic throwback that could win over voters. Mars, as a solo male artist, doesn't have a great chance based on that description alone as only seven times out of 34 has a man, who isn't in a band, taken home the trophy here — or a little less than 21 percent of the time (and two of those wins were from Eminem). That said, after three previous nominations maybe it's time for Mars to finally win — after all, U.S. acts perform better here. All that said, this feels like the most fun choice … not much else.

Now that we’ve finished analyzing this year’s deserving nominees, why don’t you check out the full list of past winners to get ready for the musical showdown:

1984: "You Might Think" by The Cars
1985: "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley
1986: "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits
1987: "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel
1988: "Need You Tonight" / "Mediate" by INXS
1989: "This Note's for You" by Neil Young
1990: "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinéad O'Connor
1991: "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M.
1992: "Right Now" by Van Halen
1993: "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam
1994: "Cryin'" by Aerosmith
1995: "Waterfalls" by TLC
1996: "Tonight, Tonight" by The Smashing Pumpkins
1997: "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai
1998: "Ray of Light" by Madonna
1999: "Doo Wop (That Thing)" by Lauryn Hill
2000: "The Real Slim Shady" by Eminem
2001: "Lady Marmalade" by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink (feat. Missy Elliott)
2002: "Without Me" by Eminem
2003: "Work It" by Missy Elliot
2004: "Hey Ya!" by OutKast
2005: "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day
2006: "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" by Panic! at the Disco
2007: "Umbrella" by Rihanna (feat. Jay-Z)
2008: "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears
2009: "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" by Beyoncé
2010: "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
2011: "Firework" by Katy Perry
2012: "We Found Love" by Rihanna (feat. Calvin Harris)
2013: "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake
2014: "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus
2015: "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
2016: "Formation" by Beyoncé
2017: "HUMBLE." by Kendrick Lamar
2018: TBD

The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards air Monday, August 20, beginning at 8 p.m. ET.


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