The nominees for this year's MTV Video Music Awards were announced on July 25. U.K. singer-songwriter Zayn is up for his first main award alongside pop superstar Taylor Swift for "I Don't Wanna Live Forever." When stacked against the competition, the duo's hot clip lives up to the title of Best Collaboration.
Zayn and Swift slid into the VMAs this year with one nomination each for Best Collaboration for "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" from the "50 Shades Darker" soundtrack. MTV slept on Zayn last year despite the success of his breakthrough single "Pillowtalk" when the music video was only nominated in the technical category for Best Visual Effects. Taylor racks up her 17th overall nomination, which includes six wins. She notably took home Video of the Year in 2015 for "Bad Blood" with Kendrick Lamar.
"I Don't Wanna Live Forever" is up against Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez's "We Don't Talk Anymore," DJ Khaled's "Wild Thoughts" with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, D.R.A.M.'s "Broccoli" featuring Lil Yachty and Calvin Harris' "Feels" co-starring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and Big Sean. The star power in this category is blinding, but Swift and Zayn shine through with something special.
The music video for "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" was directed by Grant Singer (The Weeknd, Sky Ferreira). It opens with a suited-up Zayn dodging the paparazzi to go to his hotel room where he longs for Swift. Taylor tears up her room in a negligee waiting for Zayn to return. Without ever resorting to using movie clips, both singers instead capture the spirit and sexual tension of the "50 Shades" franchise in powerfully captivating performances. The surprise collaboration made for a stylishly sleek and sexy affair on the small screen.
Fans can vote for Zayn and Swift and all the rest of the categories now on MTV.com. Taylor is currently taking some time off following 2014's massively successful 1989 album while Zayn is hard at work on his follow-up to last year's Mind of Mine record. The MTV Video Music Awards airs on Sunday, Aug. 27.