The 2011 VMAs will honor a number of the year’s best artists, but one very kooky, colorful California Gurl is looking to outshine them all: Katy Perry tops the nominees with a whopping nine nods for “E.T.,” “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” “Teenage Dream” and “Firework.” Perry has yet to win a Moonman, but the show has played an important role in her career and personal life in other interesting ways.
“It’s always exciting to be a part of the VMAs because there’s so much spontanaeity,” “I just remember growing up seeing craziness ensued with the VMAs. I wasn’t allowed to see it, but I done watched it!”
Back in 2008, Kinga Burza, the director of “I Kissed a Girl,” warned MTV News that Perry would soon be a force to be reckoned with. “She’s fresh, original, intelligent and talented, with a star-like charisma, which will have boys and girls all around the world cooing for more!” Burza said.
And she was right. Perry made her VMA debut that year, singing along with the night’s house band, Travis Barker and the late DJ AM. That night, “I Kissed a Girl” was up for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Female Video and Best New Artist.
She went home empty-handed, but the show was the first time (and certainly not the last time) that she and host Russell Brand would cross paths.
By the time 2009 rolled around, the VMAs were back in New York City, and Perry had become a household name. She was nominated for Best Female Video for “Hot n Cold” and opened the show with a rocking performance of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” alongside Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.
Although she didn’t take any prizes home, she did manage to nab Brand, who hosted the show for a second year. Perry said she saw a different side of the comedian during and after the show. “I really appreciate his sense of humor,” she explained. “It’s real dark, it’s real wrong and it’s really funny.”
In 2010, Perry hit the VMAs’ white-hot carpet in Los Angeles and was by then one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Her relationship with Brand had escalated to an engagement, and her sweet and sassy “California Gurls” video, featuring Snoop Dogg, was nominated for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video.
“I like the idea of this being like a board game,” she said of the video in 2009. “It’s kind of like Candy Land. That was probably one of my favorite games to play growing up. I like to bring back those pure childhood moments and give them a little bit of a naughty twist, of course!”
Perry is coming up on her fourth VMA appearance in 2011 and this could finally be her year. She’s back in her home state of California, she’s tied the knot with Brand, and she’s broken all sorts of records with the songs off her Teenage Dream album.
Considering she’s up for hardware in categories like best Female Video (“Firework”), Video of the Year (“Firework”) and Best Collaboration (“E.T.”) featuring Kanye West, to name a few, her chances of bringing home a Moonman or two are looking good.
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live on Sunday, August 28, from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT. See the list of nominees, revisit last year’s highlights and vote for your favorites in the general categories by visiting VMA.MTV.com.