Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Ke$ha Want To Be Best New Artist: Better Know A VMA Category

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards are fast approaching, which means that soon you'll be treated to an excellent night of performances and appearances by the likes of Eminem, Linkin Park, Usher, Paramore, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine, B.o.B and Deadmau5 (who will serve as the house DJ at the show). While people tend to remember the classic performances and the unhinged moments, the coveted Moonman is the reason why people show up and tune in. This year, there are 16 categories wherein some of the biggest music stars in the universe will compete for the coolest trophy in awards shows. Today, we take a look at the nominees in the Best New Artist category.

By design, the MTV Video Music Awards are always looking back at the work of the previous year and honor the artists who have delivered the best work in the world of music videos. But there is one category that looks squarely to the future, and that is the annual Moonman for Best New Artist. It's one thing to make a big splash in the beginning, but the winners of the Best New Artist prize tend to be those who have the best potential to come back to the VMAs again and again. Superstars like Guns N' Roses, Nirvana, Eminem, Alicia Keys, 50 Cent and Lady Gaga have won Best New Artist in the past. (To be fair, so have the likes of Michael Penn, Natalie Imbruglia and Macy Gray.)

This year's crop includes breakout superstar Justin Bieber, indie favorites Broken Bells, dance-heavy ladies man Jason Derulo, digital gypsy Ke$ha and Young Money First Lady Nicki Minaj. Each have carved out their own piece of the music world in the past 12 months, and each one would certainly carry the banner of Best New Artist well. But considering he's only nominated for a single award, wouldn't Bieber have to go home with this one? Still, either Nicki Minaj or Ke$ha could throw a hip-hop-flavored curve ball, and Broken Bells and Derulo certainly have their fans. It's a wide open race, and it will come to its stirring conclusion when the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards go live.

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.