Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion will give the debut performance of their just-released single “Bongos” during the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, which are set to air live from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
The single, which was released Friday (Sept. 8), is the rap icons’ second pairing, following “WAP,” which became the first female rap collaboration to enter the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 1.
This will be the first performance on the VMAs’ main show for both artists. Both made their VMAs’ performance debut on the pre-show – Cardi in 2017 performing “Bodak Yellow”; Megan two years later performing “Big Ole Freak,” “Hot Girl Summer” and “Cash Sh–.”
Many future main-show performers made their VMAs performance debut on the pre-show. Here’s a complete list.
Cardi has appeared on the main telecast in the past – she just hasn’t performed. In 2018, she garnered global headlines when she teased fans with a first glimpse of her daughter Kulture only to reveal a Moon Person trophy hidden in a baby blanket instead. The following year, she presented Missy Elliott with the MTV Video Vanguard Award.
This year’s VMAs are going heavy on hip-hop. Nicki Minaj is set to “emcee” and perform at the show. Diddy is set to receive the Global Icon Award and perform. Lil Wayne and Metro Boomin are also on the performance lineup. Metro Boomin will be joined by Future, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Swae Lee and NAV.
And the show is set to have a 50th-anniversary salute to hip-hop, following the lead of many other awards shows in the past year.
Megan and Cardi are both VMA nominees this year. Megan is nominated for best direction, best choreography and best art direction, all for “Her.” Cardi is nominated for best hip-hop in tandem with GloRilla for “Tomorrow 2.”
Megan has won two VMAs – best power anthem in 2019 for “Hot Girl Summer” (featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla Sign) and best hip-hop in 2020 for her solo version of “Savage.”
Cardi has won four VMAs, three of them in 2018 – best new artist, best collaboration (as a featured artist on Jennifer Lopez’s “Dinero,” along with DJ Khaled) and song of the summer (for “I Like It” with Bad Bunny and J Balvin). She won best hip-hop for “Money” in 2019.
Hip-hop fans aren’t the only audience being served by this year’s VMAs. Latin music fans can look forward to performances by Shakira, this year’s Video Vanguard award recipient, as well as Anitta, Karol G and Peso Pluma.
Pop fans may tune in for Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo and Demi Lovato.
Rock fans can look forward to Fall Out Boy and Måneskin.
K-pop fans will have Stray Kids and TOMORROW X TOGETHER.
Kelsea Ballerini is on the bill for fans of country music.