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2013 MTV Video Music Awards: Justin Timberlake, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead nominations

Pop's comeback kid and the Seattle breakouts lead the nominees with six apiece. Bruno Mars is close behind with four nominations.

July 17, 2013|By Gerrick D. Kennedy
  • Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z perform at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center.
Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z perform at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards at… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the list of nominations for the upcoming 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, which the network revealed early Wednesday.

Pop’s comeback kid and the Seattle breakouts lead the nominees with six apiece. Bruno Mars is close behind with four nominations.

Earlier this year, Timberlake marked his return to music with the uber-successful “20/20 Experience,” his first album in seven years and so far the year's biggest-selling album, with 2 million copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The emotional wallop of a video he shot for the album’s second single, “Mirrors,” garnered the singer the bulk of his nominations, including the video of the year, male video, pop video and editing.

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Timberlake’s Jay-Z assisted comeback single, “Suit & Tie” is also up for collaboration and direction — no surprise considering he tapped acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher (“The Social Network,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) to direct the clip.

Still riding high off the success of “Thrift Shop” — currently the bestselling digital song of the year — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis scored their first VMA nominations, and tying Timberlake in total. The Seattle duo of indie rapper Macklemore and producer Lewis (he also directs their videos) broke out with their 2012 single “Thrift Shop,” taken from their collaborative debut studio album “The Heist.”

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ smash “Thrift Shop” is up for video of the year, while their hit "Can't Hold Us" will vie for hip-hop video, cinematography, direction and editing. “Same Love,” their single about legalizing same-sex marriage is in the running for video with a social message, a category the network introduced in 2011 to honor videos packed with positivity.

The network took to Instagram and Vine to unveil nominations for the show’s video of the year, the first time a show took to the popular social media video platforms to announce nominations. Joining Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for the night’s big race is Bruno Mars’ smash “Locked Out of Heaven,” Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” and Robin Thicke’s outrageous NSFW clip, “Blurred Lines” featuring T.I., Pharrell and loads of topless models.

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This year, the VMA for new artist was rebranded as the artist to watch award to match a campaign begun by the network to launch new acts across all of MTV's television channels, websites and social networks. The nominees for artist to watch are Twenty One Pilots (“Holding On to You”), Zedd featuring Foxes (“Clarity”), Austin Mahone (“What About Love”), the Weeknd (“Wicked Games”) and Iggy Azalea ( “Work”).

When the MTV Video Music Awards celebrates its 30th year (yes, you are as old as you think you are) as one of the most irreverent award spectacles out there, it will be beamed from New York City for the first time since 2009.

To mark the anniversary, MTV tapped celebrated New York artist KAWS to give the telecast’s Moonman trophy a makeover. Fans can vote for a number of categories online.

For a full list of nominees, click here.

Gerrick Kennedy

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