This year’s video of the year nominations for the MTV Video of the Year Awards, which were announced on Tuesday July 26, have already made history. In addition to the obvious — it’s the first time there have been seven nominees in the category – this is the first time that a majority of the nominated videos were the work of female directors. Tanu Muino directed Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” Petra Collins did the honors on Olivia Rodrigo’s “brutal,” the ambiguously named “child.” directed Doja Cat’s “Woman” and Taylor Swift directed her own “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version).”
We could see more history made when the awards are presented on Aug. 28 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Lil Nas X, who is nominated for “Industry Baby,” a collab with Jack Harlow, is vying to become the first artist to win back-to-back video of the year awards. He won last year for “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).”
Swift, who won in 2015 for “Bad Blood,” a collab with Kendrick Lamar, and in 2019 for “You Need to Calm Down,” would become the first three-time winner in the category’s history. Swift would also be the first artist to win for a video which they directed without a collaborator. Missy Elliott, Lamar, Swift and Lil Nas X have all won in the category for videos that they co-directed.
“Way 2 Sexy” by Drake featuring Future & Young Thug would be just the second collaboration featuring more than two artists to win video of the year. The first was “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa and P!nk (featuring Elliott), which won 21 years ago.
Either Styles or Ed Sheeran, who is nominated for “Shivers,” would be the first English artist to win in the category since Jamiroquai took the honor 25 years ago for “Virtual Insanity.” Either Styles or Sheeran would be only the second English solo artist to win, following Peter Gabriel, the 1987 winner for “Sledgehammer.”
This year’s nominated videos are exceptionally wide-ranging in both tone and length. Styles’ breezy “As It Was” runs just 2:45. The kitchen argument scene in Swift’s epic “All Too Well: The Short Film,” runs that long. Swift’s entire video runs a whopping 14:55.
Dave Meyers directed two of this year’s video of the year nominees, more than anyone else. He did the honors on both “Shivers” and “Way 2 Sexy” – and has an on-screen credit at the top of both videos, a sign of his stature. Meyers has directed or co-directed four video of the year winners, twice as many as anyone else. He directed Katy Perry’s “Firework” (the 2011 winner) and Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug’s “Havana” (2018) and co-directed Elliott’s “Work It” (2003) and Lamar’s “Humble.” (2017). He’s such an experienced hand that he has directed past videos by two of the artists with whom he’s competing in this category this year – Swift and Styles.
Here are the seven clips nominated for video of the year at the 2022 VMAs. They are ranked by the total number of VMA nominations these videos received this year. We’re not counting other nominations the artists received this year toward these tallies, though we list them as “additional nominations.”