The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards was held on August 30, 2015. The 32nd installment of the event was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, and hosted by Miley Cyrus. Taylor Swift led the nominations with a total of 10, followed by Ed Sheeran, who had six. Another nominee, Kendrick Lamar, received four nominations for his video "Alright." However, the videos for Swift's "Bad Blood" and Flying Lotus' "Never Catch Me" (both of which he features on) earned seven and two nominations respectively, bringing his total number of mentions to 13. Swift's "Wildest Dreams" music video premiered during the pre-show. Cyrus also announced and released her studio album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, right after her performance at the end of the show. During his acceptance speech, Kanye West announced he would be running for the 2020 US Presidential Election. Taylor Swift won four awards, including Video of the Year and Best Female Video. The VMA trophies were redesigned by Jeremy Scott.
This year's VMAs had the lowest audience in history. According to Nielsen, it logged 5.03 million viewers only on MTV, 39% less than last year, while cumulative viewers drew 9.8 million with the nine other Viacom networks that simulcast the presentation. The lowest viewed one was in 1996, since Nielsen began tracking in 1994, with 5.07 million viewers. Meanwhile, the show broke the "US Twitter record", being the most tweeted about non-sports program, with 21.4 million tweets delivered by 2.2 million people. It was also streamed live through the MTV app for authenticated users on mobile devices and television sets via iOS, Android and Chromecast. Through its website, viewers could also get to see un-aired audience shots and backstage coverage.
Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Her father is country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. She held minor roles in the television series Doc and the film Big Fish in her childhood. In 2006, Cyrus rose to prominence as a teen idol after being cast in the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana, in which she portrayed the starring character Miley Stewart. After signing a recording contract with Hollywood Records in 2007, Cyrus released her debut studio album Meet Miley Cyrus. It was certified quadruple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for exceeding four million shipments, and produced the hit single "See You Again".
In 2008, Cyrus released her second album Breakout, which featured the successful track "7 Things", and launched her film career as the voice actress in the animated film Bolt. In 2009, Cyrus starred in the feature film Hannah Montana: The Movie; its soundtrack produced the hit single "The Climb". Cyrus developed a maturing image with the EP The Time of Our Lives (2009), which featured the successful track "Party in the U.S.A.". The transition continued with her third album Can't Be Tamed (2010); the title track would become another top ten for Cyrus, however, it made little commercial impact and became the lowest-selling record of her career. Later that year, Cyrus starred in the coming-of-age film The Last Song. During its production, she was involved in an on-again, off-again relationship with her co-star Liam Hemsworth; the couple ultimately separated after ending their year-long engagement in 2013.
Cyrus focused on her acting career with several television and film appearances throughout 2011 and 2012. Cyrus later signed a recording contract with RCA Records, and generated controversy by cultivating a sexually explicit public image while promoting her fourth studio album Bangerz (2013). Its singles "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball" were promoted with controversial music videos; the latter became her first number-one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
Cyrus has had five non-consecutive number-one albums on the U.S. Billboard 200, two of which are soundtracks credited to her titular character Hannah Montana, and has earned numerous awards and nominations. In 2010, Cyrus ranked number thirteen on Forbes ' Celebrity 100, and was named the "Most Charted Teenager" in the 2011 Guinness World Records with twenty-nine Billboard Hot 100 entries as of November 2009. In 2013, she was declared "Artist of the Year" by MTV.
Kanye Omari West (//; born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and fashion designer. West first became known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records; he achieved recognition for his work on rapper Jay Z's The Blueprint (2001), as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson. His style of production originally used high-pitched vocal samples from soul songs incorporated with his own drums and instruments. He later broadened his influences to include R&B, baroque pop, trip hop, arena rock, house, folk, alternative, electronica, synthpop, industrial, and classical music.
West was raised in a middle-class household in Chicago, Illinois, and began rapping in the third grade, becoming involved in the city's hip hop scene. West attended art school for one semester before dropping out to pursue music entirely in the late 1990s. Although his real desire was to become a rapper, record executives did not take West seriously, viewing him as a producer first and foremost. After being signed to Roc-A-Fella in 2002, West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to commercial and critical acclaim. The baroque-inspired Late Registration followed in 2005, and Graduation in 2007. West switched rapping for singing on his emotive 2008 effort 808s & Heartbreak, and embraced maximalism on 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Following several collaborations, West released his abrasive sixth album, Yeezus, in 2013.
West is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 21 million albums and 100 million digital downloads. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time and the most Grammy-awarded artist of his age. Time named West one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005, 2011 and 2015. He has also been included in a number of Forbes annual lists. Three of his albums rank on Rolling Stone's 2012 "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list; two of his albums feature at #8 and #1 in Pitchfork Media's The 100 Best Albums of 2010–2014.
West's background and style, from his debut album, deviated from the then-dominant "gangsta" persona in hip hop, and he would later alter the genre stylistically as rappers adopted his alternative aesthetic. An outspoken celebrity, West has often been a source of controversy as a result of his outspoken appearances at award shows and his various television and radio interviews. West has collaborated on multiple occasions with brands Nike, Louis Vuitton, A.P.C., and Adidas. West also runs his own record label GOOD Music and has directed several short films.