At Sunday’s VMAs, one very kooky, colorful California Gurl is poised to rule the night: Katy Perry tops the nominees with a whopping nine nods for “E.T.,” “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” “Teenage Dream” and “Firework.”
“It’s always exciting to be a part of the VMAs because there’s so much spontaneity,” she told MTV News. “I just remember growing up seeing craziness ensued with the VMAs. I wasn’t allowed to see it, but I done watched it!”
While Perry has yet to win a Moonman, the show has played an important role in her career and personal life in other interesting ways. Let’s take a look back at Perry’s short-but-memorable history with the Video Music Awards and look forward to what she can expect Sunday night:
Kinga Burza, the director of Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” video , warned MTV News that the up-and-coming pop star would soon be a force to be reckoned with. “She’s fresh, original, intelligent and talented, with a star-like charisma, which will have boys and girls all around the world cooing for more,” Burza said.
And she was right. Perry made her VMA debut that year, singing along with the night’s house band, Travis Barker and the late DJ AM . That night, “I Kissed a Girl” was up for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Female Video and Best New Artist.
She went home empty-handed, but the show was the first time (and certainly not the last) that she and host Russell Brand crossed paths.
The VMAs returned to New York City, and Perry had become a household name. She was nominated for Best Female Video for “Hot n Cold” and opened the show with a rocking performance of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” alongside Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.
Although she didn’t take any prizes home, she did manage to nab Brand , who hosted the show for a second year. Perry said she saw a different side of the comedian during and after the show. “I really appreciate his sense of humor,” she explained. “It’s real dark, it’s real wrong and it’s really funny.”
Perry hit the white-hot VMA carpet in Los Angeles, and was by then one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Her relationship with Brand had escalated to an engagement, and her sweet and sassy “California Gurls” video , featuring Snoop Dogg, was nominated for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video.
“I like the idea of this being like a board game,” she said of the video in 2009. “It’s kind of like Candy Land. That was probably one of my favorite games to play growing up. I like to bring back those pure childhood moments and give them a little bit of a naughty twist, of course.”
Perry is coming up on her fourth VMA appearance, and this could finally be her year. She’s back in her home state of California, she’s tied the knot with Brand, and she’s broken all sorts of records with the songs from her Teenage Dream album , including becoming the first female artist with five #1 singles from the same album.
Considering she’s up for hardware in categories like best Female Video (“Firework”), Video of the Year (“Firework”) and Best Collaboration (“E.T.”) featuring Kanye West, to name a few, her chances of bringing home a Moonman or two are looking good.
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live Sunday from Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following the Selena Gomez-hosted pre-show at 8. See the list of nominees, revisit last year’s highlights and vote for Best New Artist by visiting VMA.MTV.com.