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2012 MTV VMA nominations: Rihanna and Drake lead, Lady Gaga missing

July 31, 2012|By August Brown
  • Rihanna, pictured, and Drake lead Video Music Award nominations with five nods apiece.
Rihanna, pictured, and Drake lead Video Music Award nominations with five… (Ian West / Associated Press )

MTV announced the nominees for this year's Video Music Awards, and there were clear leaders - and one eyebrow-raising omission.

Drake and Rihanna led the field with five nods apiece. The latter was heavily featured on Drake's album "Take Care," and the two frequently spur speculation about their relationship (most recently when Drake's and Chris Brown's posses erupted in a champagne-hurling brawl, reportedly over Rihanna). The two will each compete with Brown in different categories, Rihanna in choreography and Drake for male video.

Katy Perry landed four noms, while Coldplay, M.I.A., Jay-Z and Kanye's Watch the Throne and newcomer Frank Ocean scored three apiece.

PHOTOS: Best & Worst moments of the 2011 VMAs

The snub? Lady Gaga, the figurehead of last year's ceremonies, got zero. She was eligible in two categories and earned much early praise for her extravagant, cinematic art-epics. Is this another sign she's slipping in the pop milieu? The always-eventful telecast takes place at Staples Center on Sept. 6 and will feature live performances by Alicia Keys and U.K. boy band phenom One Direction. The full nominee list is below. Staples Center vendors would be wise to keep their champagne service to small plastic glasses only.

Video of the year
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

New artist
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
The Wanted, "Glad You Came"

PHOTOS: Best & Worst moments of the 2011 VMAs

Hip-hop video
Childish Gambino, "Heartbeat"
Drake feat. Lil Wayne, "HYFR"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz, "Mercy"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz, "Beez in the Trap"

Male video
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Usher, "Climax"

Female video
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Katy Perry, "Part of Me"
Beyoncé, "Love on Top"
Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
Selena Gomez & the Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song"

Pop video
One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, "Payphone"

 Rock video
Coldplay, "Paradise"
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
Linkin Park, "Burn It Down"
Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"
Imagine Dragons, "It's Time"

Electronic dance music video
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close"
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Martin Solveig, "The Night Out"
Avicii, "Le7els"

Video with a message
Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"
Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"
Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side"
Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter"
K'Naan feat. Nelly Furtado, "Is Anybody Out There?"
Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

Art direction
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"
Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats"
Of Monsters & Men, "Little Talks"

Choreography
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
Avicii, "Le7els"
Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull, "Dance Again"

Cinematography
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Adele, "Someone Like You"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"

Direction
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Watch the Throne, "Otis"

Editing
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, "Mercy"

Visual Effects
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On"
Linkin Park, "Burn It Down"

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