By MESFIN FEKADU
AP Music Writer
Doing a visual album has paid off for Beyonce: She’s the leading nominee at the MTV Video Music Awards.
MTV announced Thursday that Beyonce is up for eight moonman trophies, including video of the year for “Drunk in Love.” Iggy Azalea and Eminem are nominated for seven awards each.
Pharrell is the only male nominated for the top prize. Along with Beyonce, his “Happy” will compete with Azalea’s “Fancy,” Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” and Sia’s “Chandelier” for video of the year.
Beyonce’s “Partition” is nominated for best female video and cinematography, while the Jay Z-featured “Drunk in Love” is up for best collaboration. Both songs are from Beyonce’s self-titled fifth album, which she released in surprise form last year with all of the tracks’ music videos.
“This album was a labor of love and she had such a vision of wanting to be able to tell the story of this album visually as well as audio,” said Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, general manager of Beyonce’s production house, Parkwood Entertainment. “She really, really set out to do something special in a visual medium.”
Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts,” a video displaying women’s body issues and insecurities, is nominated for best direction, editing and video with a social message.
Azalea is still riding high on the success of “Fancy,” which spent seven weeks on top of the Billboard charts and is nominated for best pop video and female video. The Australian performer will compete twice in both categories thanks to her other hit, the Ariana Grande smash “Problem.” The rapper is not nominated for best hip-hop video, though.
Eminem’s seven nominations include the latter and best male video, where he will compete with Pharrell, John Legend, Ed Sheeran and newcomer Sam Smith.
The VMAs will air live Aug. 24 from The Forum in Inglewood, California. Performers will include Grande, Usher and 5 Seconds of Summer.