Ariana Grande is not taking the stage during the MTV Video Music Awards, but the singer is looking to cap off a tumultuous summer with a major victory. Unfortunately, she will not be at The Forum in Inglewood, California because of her tour in China.
Grande is only up for two VMAs this year, but both are huge. She could win the first ever “Artist of the Year” award, which was created after MTV decided to get rid of gendered awards. Her competition includes Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, The Weeknd and Bruno Mars.
Grande’s “Side to Side,” which features Nicki Minaj, was nominated for Best Choreography. The dances were choreographed by Brian and Scott Nicholson.
Grande confirmed on Instagram that she will not be at the ceremony. “Last year @vmas Happy #VMAs Day everyonnneee! We so wish we could be there with y’all and are so so thankful for the nominations,” she wrote.
This year, Grande has been touring the world promote Dangerous Woman, her third studio album. The tour was interrupted by the Manchester Arena bombing tragedy, which happened just after her concert there ended. Twenty-three children and adults were killed in the bombing. Although Grande cancelled a series of shows, her response to the tragedy was to assist her fans in any way possible. She organized the One Love Manchester benefit show, which raised $13 million for victims of the attack.
Grande resumed the tour and is now on the Asia leg of the tour. The VMAs are taking place on an off-day for her, between shows in Beijing and Shanghai. Her tour will end on September 21 in Hong Kong.
The tour also hit a snag when Grande became ill before a show in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She had to cancel the date after her doctor told her not to perform.
“I came here to Vietnam, so excited to perform, my doctor won’t allow me to do the show for you tonight. I’m so, so sorry. There is nothing I hate to do more than to do this, but I promise to make it up to you in the future,” she wrote.
Although Grande has been nominated for at least two MTV VMAs at every ceremony since 2014, she’s only won once. In 2014, she picked up the Best Pop Video Award for “Problem” with Iggy Azalea. Last year, “Into You” was nominated for four awards, while “Let Me Love You” with Lil Wayne was nominated for Best Collaboration.
Grande is also a four-time Grammy nominee. In 2017, Dangerous Woman was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and the title track was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance.