What 5 Video Music Award Nominees Had To Say About Their Collaborators

It's not all Twitter feuds.

Considering how many feuds we read about, it can be all too easy to think of the music industry as a negative, competitive space. But there's still plenty of respect and admiration to go around — as proven by this year's MTV Video Music Award nominees.

Each year, the Best Collaboration Video category recognizes the magic that happens when artists work together. Not only have the artists in this category combined their talents to create memorable music, but they've also carried their esteem for each other outside the recording studio. 

With that in mind, let's take a look at a few quotes from this year's crop of artists praising their collaborators. Some of them have worked together before, while others only admired each other from afar. It's always nice to be reminded that musicians don't have to be pitted against each other to be successful.


1. Calvin Harris on Rihanna

Rihanna and Calvin previously collaborated on "We Found Love," and this year the singer and DJ combined styles once again for "This Is What You Came For." 

While introducing the song on BBC Radio 1, Calvin said he would "never forget" the first time he played it for Rihanna in her trailer at Coachella. He was nervous to share it, but she ended up loving it. "She was like 'this is sick,' " he recalled. "It was the first time anything like that has happened to me."

He went on to praise Rihanna's "iconic" sound, saying, "Her voice is out of control, how distinct it is. There's no one like her."

As for what it was like to perform with the singer, he had this to say: "She was super fun. She was on a completely different vibe. It was awesome. She's a lot of fun."

2. Ty Dolla $ign on Fifth Harmony

Rapper and singer Ty Dolla $ign had a very personal reason to be proud of his collaboration with Fifth Harmony on "Work From Home" — his 10-year-old daughter is a fan of the group.

"My daughter loves them and she put me on to their first album," he told Fuse. "It's cool to do a song that might be played in my daughter's playlist."

He went on to call the 5H ladies "beautiful and lots of fun," and said he was looking forward to performing the hit with them on stage.

3. Ariana Grande on Lil Wayne

Ariana Grande's latest album Dangerous Woman features several big-name artists like Macy Gray, Nicki Minaj, and Future. But it's her song "Let Me Love You," featuring Lil Wayne, that nabbed a Best Collaboration nomination.

Ariana told Capital FM of the rapper's contribution to the track, "I think he's so dope and I think it's unexpected as well, so he was definitely on my list. He's been on my list for a while, but I haven't approached him because I didn't know if the right song would come along, and it really did and his verse on it is one of my favorite Wayne verses ever. It sounds like old-school Wayne, he murdered it — he did a fantastic job. It's throwback Wayne vibes."

4. Rihanna on Drake

Rihanna and Drake have collaborated several times over the years, on songs like "What's My Name?" and "Take Care." It's no wonder, since the pair continues to display such amazing chemistry. This year it was all about their hit single "Work" and the sexy music video that went with it.

After wrapping the video, Rihanna told Vogue of her collaborator, "Everything he does is so amazing."

She also told Ellen DeGeneres in February that she would "love to go on tour with Drake. That has to happen." A lot of people would probably agree after seeing the talked-about appearances the rapper has made on Rihanna's Anti World Tour.

5. Kendrick Lamar on Beyoncé

Kendrick Lamar is featured on Beyoncé's song "Freedom" from her acclaimed album Lemonade. The pair also opened the BET Awards earlier this summer with a powerful performance of the song.

The rapper is a longtime fan of Queen Bey, so there's no doubt this collaboration was important to him. In 2010 he tweeted his belief that Beyoncé is today's "best female vocalist," adding, "Before her was Whitney Houston."

In a 2014 radio interview, he called her surprise album release "genius" and said, "Beyoncé is love. I loved her from the jump." He also said that seeing her live "took my mind to a whole 'nother place as far as performing."

See which collaboration takes home the coveted Moonman when the 2016 Video Music Awards air this Sunday, August 28, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on MTV.

Cover image via FashionStock.com / Shutterstock.com


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