Nicki Minaj, Ke$ha, Jason Derulo Are Dreaming Of VMAs

The Best New Artist nominees talk about what a Moonman would mean to them.

On Sunday (September 12), Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj, Ke$ha, Justin Bieber and the Broken Bells will vie for the Best New Artist title at the 2010 Video Music Awards. But what does the Moonman mean to these industry newbies? MTV News caught up with a few of the nominees to find out.

Jason Derulo, who has opened for Lady Gaga and scored back-to-back radio hits, said he attended the award show last year, although he didn’t have the best seat in the house. “Last year, I went to the MTV Awards, I sat all the way in the back. This year, I’m nominated for two awards. It’s incredible,” he gushed. “I’ve watched these awards my whole entire life, so to be finally a part of it is a dream come true. Pinch me, please.”

Fellow nominee Nicki Minaj, whose climb to the top started on the mixtape circuit, said that the nomination was the pinnacle of her career. “I mean, obviously this is something everybody dreamed of being part of and I’m no exception to that rule,” the Young Money rapper said. “I just feel like this is my coming-out party. This is major for an artist with no album out.”

Whether or not Minaj takes home the award, she’s sure to set her mark Sunday with her eye-popping fashion and her performance on the pre-show , which will be the first televised solo performance of her career.

If Ke$ha’s journey to solo success wasn’t already hinted at when she penned hits for Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears , she says her nomination proves it.

“This is such a monumental thing for me to be nominated, because it really means people do really like what I’m doing,” she said. Asked what would happen if she did take home the Moonman, the singer merely smiled.

Who should win Best New Artist? Tell us in the comment section below!

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. The party starts with MTV News’ VMA Pre-Show at 8 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET.