Skip to main content

MTV VMA Nominations & Nicki Minaj Aftermath Shake Up Social 50 Chart

Nicki Minaj sparks discussion around the VMA nominations, stirring a rise in the Social 50 charts for her as well as Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran.

A bevy of stars rise up the Social 50 chart (dated Aug. 8) chart due to a flurry of conversation around the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards nominations (announced on July 21).

MTV Video Music Awards

The Social 50 ranks the most popular artists on YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Wikipedia, Myspace and Instagram. The chart’s methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist page views, song plays and reactions as measured by music analytics company Next Big Sound.


The discussion primarily occurred on Twitter, where tweets about the #VMAs reached 1,400 tweets per minute by 11:30 a.m. ET the morning of the nominations, according to Twitter.

Fueled by a series of tweets from Nicki Minaj questioning why her “Anaconda” clip wasn’t nominated for video of the year, she returns to her No. 2 peak on the list (rising 5-2). Her Twitter mentions increased 457 percent, adding almost 900,000 mentions and also sporting spikes in both followers and reactions (in the week ending July 26, according to Next Big Sound).

Taylor Swift & Nicki Minaj Trade Barbs on Twitter Due to VMAs Snub

Minaj pointed to her video’s huge social impact, tweeting “U couldn’t go on social media w/o seeing ppl doing the cover art, choreo, outfits for Halloween…an impact like that & no VOTY nomination?” Also noting, “If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year” to the tune of over 82 thousand favorites. 
Taylor Swift interpreted the tweet from Minaj as a diss to her (as she is nominated for video of the year for “Bad Blood,” and likely because Swift herself is a woman with a slim body), with the resulting back-and-forth between the two stirring Swift’s 6-4 rise due to an uptick in Twitter reactions and mentions.

In a July 22 Instagram post, Minaj noted her concerns had “nothing to do with any of the women, but everything to do with a system that doesn’t credit black women for their contributions to pop culture.”

Swift later apologized to Minaj, tweeting: “I thought I was being called out. I missed the point. I misunderstood, then misspoke. I’m sorry, Nicki.” Minaj accepted the apology and later wrote on Twitter to a fan: “I’ve always loved her. Everyone makes mistakes. She gained so much more respect from me. Let’s move on.”

Two other nominees for video of the year, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, chimed in, exchanging tweets in a fake fight. Both stars make gains on the chart from increased Twitter activity: Mars re-enters at No. 24 as Sheeran zooms 27-18.