This isn't host Katy Perry's first rodeo. The "I Kissed a Girl" singer made her VMA debut in 2008, alongside fellow first-timers Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Nine years later, and all three are bona fide chart-toppers. Meanwhile, this year's Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award recipient P!nk walked her first VMA red carpet in 2000 — in a gold lamé halter top and a pair of ultra low-rise jeans. The then-pink-haired songstress was nominated for Artist to Watch.
From 2017 frontrunner Kendrick Lamar to performers Fifth Harmony and Lorde, let's take a look back at some of the nominees' first VMAs. We've compared their first times with their most recent Video Music Award appearances.
Everything was so much simpler in 2008, when Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus made her big VMA debut in an outfit that current Miley probably wouldn't be caught dead in. (Is that even vegan?!) She was nominated for Best New Artist alongside Perry, but both lost to German alt-rock band Tokio Hotel. As you can see, a lot changed between then and Cyrus's most recent VMA appearance at the 2015 show. As the hostess with the mostess, Cyrus made many costume changes throughout the night, but it was this barely-there Versace number that she wore on the red carpet that the "Malibu" singer considers her all-time fave.
Nominated for her anthemic single "I Kissed a Girl," Perry appeared at her first VMAs in 2008 wearing a totally thrifted ensemble, complete with a DIY hair accessory. In 2008, Perry was all about that "cut it, make it, hope it looks great" life. In 2014, the songstress was slightly more glam but ever her quirky self in a denim dress that screamed Britney Spears circa 2001.
Kendrick made his first and only appearance at the VMAs in 2013, where he performed "Give It 2 U" alongside Robin Thicke and 2 Chainz. You may not remember the performance because it was promptly overshadowed by Thicke and Miley Cyrus's controversial performance of "Blurred Lines." But with eight nominations at this year's VMAs, Kendick is officially the one to beat.
Sure, 17 years may have passed between now and when P!nk made her VMA debut in 2000, but she's always been edgy. Nobody else could pull off pink spikes and ultra low-rise, cut-out jeans!
In 2010, Bruno Mars rocked his signature pompadour style, but now he's really into nice shirts. You know, shirts with colorful patterns and at least four buttons undone.
Ed Sheeran really hasn't changed all that much since he walked his first VMA red carpet in 2013. He keeps things pretty casual: dark jeans, dark shirt, cool sneakers, red hair, etc.
The Weeknd seems like a pretty chill dude, judging from his VMA style in 2013 and 2015, respectively. That being said, there's a chance the singer will be making his red carpet debut with girlfriend Selena Gomez at this year's show, and if that happens, there will be no chill left at the VMAs.
What a transformation! Remember when Ariana Grande was all about her retro florals and polka dots? The 2013 VMAs sure do. However, some things — like her signature ponytail — never change, as evidenced by her 2016 VMA look.
The only other time this year's performer Lorde was at the VMAs was in 2014, when her breakout song "Royals" won Best Rock Video — and her new BFF Taylor Swift cheered her on from her seat. Lorde is set to make a huge comeback at this year's show, seeing as she's nominated for two Moon Persons for "Green Light," including Artist of the Year.
This year, Miley little sis Noah Cyrus is nominated for the coveted Best New Artist award, but she actually made her grungy VMA debut in 2015 in support of her sister, who was taking on hosting duties for the evening. She seemed to be evoking her older sister's eccentric style with her '90s-inspired mini-buns and fishnet, knee-high stockings. We can't wait to see what both sisters wear to this year's show.
Fifth Harmony's style evolution has been well-documented, but over the years, the girl group's signature coordination has become sleeker and more sophisticated. They've come a long way since their first VMAs in 2013.
What a difference a year makes! In 2015, Halsey opted for black, fitted pantsuit, and just a year later, the "Now or Never" singer rocked a shimmering white pantsuit on the VMA red carpet. OK. So maybe Halsey's gonna Halsey, but we appreciate the vastly different beauty looks.
From sweet and simple to dark and stormy, Taylor Swift can really pull off anything. In 2008, she attended her first-ever VMAs — she even co-hosted the pre-show — and the "You Belong With Me" singer was so, so excited to be there. Seven years later, and Swift sweeped the VMAs with her all-star video "Bad Blood."