MTV VMAs 2013: Everything You Need to Know About Sunday's Show

Moonmen meet robots, boy bands, and thrift shoppers in awards telecast's Brooklyn debut

Justin Timberlake, MTV Music Video Awards, vmas, 2013, Brooklyn, Barclays Center
Justin Timberlake, who is up for six VMAs and will receive a Vanguard award Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Myspace
Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

The moment you've been thinking about watching Breaking Bad a little late for is almost here. The 30th annual MTV Video Music Awards take place on Sunday, August 25. Considering MTV VMA news has been trickling out almost constantly for a month, it's a good time to recap the basics. Here's everything you need to know except what the next morning's big viral watercooler moment is supposed to be. VMA FAQ PSA: Don't drink from viral watercoolers.

When and where does the show actually happen?

MTV will air the VMA live from Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Sunday at 9 p.m. EST. A Red Carpet Report co-hosted by Grimes will start at 6 p.m., right after a VMA edition of MTV's Rapfix Live broadcast from Barclays Center. MTV's VMA All Access Experience is already streaming live.

Who's hosting the awards show?

Huh. That's a great question. And you know what? There actually won't be a host, an MTV spokesperson told the New York Post. Hate to break your Kevin Hart.

Who's definitely performing?

Ooh, ooh, we know this one. Drake, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Robin ThickeKanye West, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Who's maybe performing?

Daft Punk, according to Stephen Colbert, although that's unconfirmed. (It's totally happening, though.) And a reunited 'N Sync, according to the New York Post. (Lance Bass has commented publicly on the rumor without quite denying it, and Joey Fatone has denied it while looking like a man with a secret.)

Who's receiving the lifetime achievement award?

Justin Timberlake. He'll receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from his old pal Jimmy Fallon. Nobody won the award last year. When Britney Spears took home the trophy in 2011, she looked like just about the only person on the show — other than above-it-all, baby-bump Beyoncé — not weirdly desperate for attention.

Where can I see MTV VMA performances that time forgot?

We've got 15 space oddities right here.

What about some of the best music videos from New York? You know, to get in the right, uh, state of mind?

Here are 40 of 'em. Concrete jungle wet dream tomato!

Who's nominated?

Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are tied with six apiece — although Timberlake is guaranteed that extra Vanguard win, and the "Thrift Shop" guys are reportedly two people. Next up is Bruno Mars with four nods. All three are competing for Video of the Year, though they'll have to face off against Taylor Swift and, yes, Robin Thicke (with Pharrell and T.I.). The Best New Artist category appears to have been replaced by "Artist to Watch, Presented by Taco Bell": The Weeknd will vie against Iggy Azalea, Zedd, Twenty One Pilots, and Austin Mahone for that coveted Doritos Locos Moon Man (joking about the Doritos Locos, we think — sadly). Other notable nominees: Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Pink (with Nate Ruess from fun.), Miguel, Beyoncé, Vampire Weekend, Fall Out Boy, Lana Del Rey, Janelle Monae (with Erykah Badu!), Ciara, A-Trak, Flying Lotus, and Skrillex.

Where can I read supremely informed but wildly entertaining coverage of the show?

Why, right here at SPIN, of course. SPIN's Christopher R. Weingarten will be tweeting live from his seat at the Barclays Center. Follow him on Twitter @1000TimesYes, and check back here for live news coverage during and after the show.

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