With 12 nominations, Cardi B is the leading contender going into the 2018 MTV Video Awards, and she announced on Instagram that she's opening the show, and not performing - which will take place Aug. 20 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. After bowing out of Bruno Mars' fall 2018 tour to take care of her newborn child, Cardi B announced that she would be performing at a select number of festivals: Los Dells Music, Art and Food Festival, which takes place Sept. 1-2 in Madison, Wisconsin; Global Citizen Festival on Sept. 29 in New York City; Mal Luna Festival, to be held Oct. 27-28 in San Antonio, Texas; and Tropicália Festival, which takes place Nov. 3-4 in Long Beach, California.
Meanwhile, Bebe Rexha, Rita Ora and Madison Beer are set to perform at the 2018 VMAs Kickoff Concert, a free event on Aug. 19 at Terminal 5 in New York City. Lion Babe will do a guest DJ set at the show. MTV is teaming up with DirecTV Now to present this concert, but there are no plans to televise the show. The free tickets, which are for people who are at least 18 years old, can be obtained at all AT&T retail locations in Manhattan while supplies last, with two tickets allowed per person. There are about 100 tickets per store to give away, according to MTV. Fans can also get tickets to the VMAs Kickoff concert, as well as this year's MTV VMAs, at a giveaway event that radio station Z100 is hosting on Aug. 18 from 12-2 p.m. ET at AT&T's Union Square location (31 East 17th Street) in Manhattan. Model/activist Winnie Harlow is hosting the VMAs Kickoff Concert. She will also serve as MTV's fashion correspondent on the red carpet at the 2018 MTV VMAs.
As previously reported, Rexha and Ora will be presenters at the 2018 MTV VMAs. Rexha "Meant to Be" song with Florida Georgia Line is nominated for Best Collaboration. Ora is a featured artist on Avicii's "Lonely Together," which received a nomination for Best Dance Video. The show's other presenters include Millie Bobby Brown, Common, DJ Khaled, G-Eazy, Gucci Mane, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Keegan-Michael Key, Kyle, Lenny Kravitz, Lil Uzi Vert, Blake Lively, Shay Mitchell, Olivia Munn, Liam Payne, Amandla Stenberg and Teyana Taylor.
The stacked lineup of performers at the 2018 MTV VMAs include Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Logic with OneRepublic leader Ryan Tedder, Panic! At the Disco, Shawn Mendes, Travis Scott, Post Malone and Jennifer Lopez, the recipient of this year's Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. At the VMAs pre-show, the performers will be Backstreet Boys, Bazzi and Bryce Vine. For the first time, the MTV VMAs will have a PUSH Artist stage for emerging artists to perform at before the show. The artists selected to perform on this stage are Bazzi, Hayley Kiyoko, Jessie Reyez, Juice WRLD and PRETTYMUCH.
The MTV VMAs do not have a host this year. Instead, MTV has chosen several people to host VMA programming before the ceremony. Pre-show hosting duties will be handled by Terrence J, radio and TV personality Nessa and "Jersey Shore" stars Paul "Pauly D" Delvecchio and Vinny Guadagnino. MTV's live streaming coverage on the red carpet will be hosted by "Wild 'N Out" personality Justina Valentine and "TRL" co-host Erik Zachary.