Doja Cat, whose “Say So” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, is the fifth VMA host who had previously topped Billboard’s flagship chart, following Bette Midler, who co-hosted the very first VMAs in 1984, Sean “Diddy” Combs (2005), Cyrus (2015) and Perry (2017).
(Jamie Foxx, who hosted the 2001 show, would subsequently top the Hot 100 as a featured artist on Twista’s “Slow Jamz,” which also featured Kanye West, and West’s “Gold Digger.” Eddie Murphy, who hosted the 1985 show, just missed the top spot on the Hot 100; his recording of Rick James’ “Party All the Time” reached No. 2 in December 1985 — three months after the VMA show he hosted.)
Doja Cat is the third woman of color to host or co-host the VMAs. “Downtown” Julie Brown, an early MTV DJ, co-hosted the show in 1986-87. Singer/actress Keke Palmer hosted last year.
This is the third year in a row that the VMAs will have a host. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco hosted two years ago and, as noted, Palmer hosted last year. This marks the first time the VMAs have been hosted three years running since 2008-10. Comedian Russell Brand hosted the show in 2008-09. Comedian Chelsea Handler did the honors in 2010. The VMAs, like many awards shows, has often gone hostless in recent years. (The move is usually presented as a way to save time, but often just looks like the show couldn’t get a good host.)
Doja Cat performed a mash-up of “Say So” and “Like That” on last year’s VMAs and took home her first Moon Person for PUSH best new artist.
She is nominated for five awards this year: artist of the year, video of the year and best collaboration for “Kiss Me More” and best art direction and best visual effects for “Best Friend,” the Saweetie hit on which she is featured.
The other performers on this year’s show include Shawn Mendes, Chlöe, Twenty One Pilots, Kacey Musgraves, Olivia Rodrigo, Lorde, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Nas X, Foo Fighters and Camila Cabello.