The Strange History of MTV’s Video Music Award for Best New Artist

mtv moonmanWhat do Chumbawamba, Tasmin Archer, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, B2K, Meredith Brooks, Gerardo, Timbuk3, and Nikka Costa have in common? They were all nominated for Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards. And now they’re long forgotten.

To be fair, a number of artists who went on to become superstars have also been nominated over the years, including Coldplay, Pink, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Green Day and Lenny Kravitz.

Of course, those artists all lost the award. Meanwhile, acts like Avenged Sevenfold, Tokio Hotel, Natalie Imbruglia, Michael Penn and Jesus Jones have actually taken home the Best New Artist trophy.

It’s hard to make sense of all that. So what does 2012 have in store? Here are the 2012 Best New Artist nominees for the MTV Video Music Awards:

· Fun. (featuring Janelle Monáe) — “We Are Young”
· Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
· Frank Ocean – “Swim Good”
· One Direction — “What Makes You Beautiful”
· The Wanted — “Glad You Came”

Given that the award is determined by fan voting, you have to imagine that the teen pop boybands – One Direction and the Wanted – have the best chance to win. Carly Rae and Fun. have some support as well, but probably not enough to outvote One Direction. Frank Ocean is the most deserving choice by a mile, but he’s likely to get shut out here.

Then again, his Odd Future bandmate Tyler the Creator won the trophy last year, so anything can happen. But Tyler was mostly competing against other rappers, so he didn’t have this level of competition.

In 2012, we predict that One Direction’s mob of young fans will allow them to take home the Best New Artist award.

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