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No Sleep Til Brooklyn: Stars Head to Barclays for MTV VMAs Tonight

Image courtesy of MTV (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of MTV (via ABC News Radio)

Big stars!  Reunions!  Crazy outfits!  Insane antics!  Oh, yeah, and some people will win awards, we guess.  That's what tonight's MTV VMAs will be all about.

Returning to the East Coast for the first time since 2009, this year's MTV Video Music Awards will, for the first time, take place in Brooklyn, rather than in Manhattan.  Believe it or not, this year marks the 30th installment of the VMAs -- the first one was back in 1984, and the "big name" hosts were... Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler . Really.

As usual, the nominees are mostly pop, hip-hop and R&B artists, but there are a few rock acts in the mix, most notably 30 Seconds to Mars , who scored the most nods of any rock act.

In the Best Rock Video category, 30 Seconds to Mars’ video for “Up in the Air” will be competing against Imagine Dragons ’ “Radioactive,” Fall Out Boy ’s “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up),” Mumford & Sons ’ “I Will Wait” and Vampire Weekend ’s “Diane Young.”

30 Seconds to Mars will also duke it out with Yeah Yeah Yeahs for Best Cinematography, and will face off against Capital Cities and Alt-J for Best Art Direction.  Capital Cities' special effect-filled "Safe & Sound" video is up for two trophies overall, and the duo's Ryan Merchant says he's thrilled, because the concept of the clip was based on an earlier version of the video, which he and his band mate Sebu Simonian created themselves.

"We took footage of dance and war and kind of juxtaposed it over the course of the 20th century," he tells ABC News Radio. "And when it came time to do kind of a higher budget video that showcased the two of us, that video was the inspiration for it.  So, it's nice to see that initial idea that we had two years ago nominated for a VMA."

In addition, fun. ’s video for “Carry On” is up for awards for Best Direction and Best Pop Video.  Explaining their decision to set the clip in the band's hometown, frontman Nate Ruess tells ABC News Radio, "I think that that video shows a lot of who we are when we're at home. And New York is an important place as far as the album Some Nights is concerned because...lyrically when I think about it...I think of every scene and what the lyrics mean to me and they all take place in New York."  Just like this year's VMAs.

Here is a list of nominees in categories that include rock artists:

Best Pop Video
Bruno Mars, "Locked Out of Heaven"
Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors"
fun., "Carry On"
Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop"
Selena Gomez, "Come and Get It"

Best Collaboration
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z, "Suit & Tie"
Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera, "Feel This Moment"
Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding, "I Need Your Love"
Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell, "Blurred Lines"
Pink feat. Nate Ruess, "Just Give Me A Reason"

Best Video with a Social Message
Kelly Clarkson, "People Like Us"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Same Love"
Snoop Lion, "No Guns Allowed"
Miguel, "Candles in the Sun"
Beyoncé, "I Was Here"

Artist to Watch, Presented by Taco Bell
Twenty One Pilots, "Holding On To You"
Zedd feat. Foxes, "Clarity"
Austin Mahone, "What About Love"
The Weeknd, "Wicked Games"
Iggy Azalea, "Work"

Best Rock Video
Imagine Dragons, "Radioactive"
Fall Out Boy, "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)"
Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait"
Thirty Seconds to Mars, "Up in the Air"
Vampire Weekend, "Diane Young"

Best Art Direction
Capital Cities, "Safe and Sound"
Thirty Seconds to Mars, "Up in the Air"
Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu, "Q.U.E.E.N"
Lana Del Rey, "National Anthem"
Alt-J, "Tesselate"

Best Cinematography
Thirty Seconds to Mars, "Up in the Air"
Lana Del Rey, "Ride"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Sacrilege"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, "Can't Hold Us"
A-Trak & Tommy Trash, "Tuna Melt"

Best Direction
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z, "Suit & Tie"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, "Can't Hold Us"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Sacrilege"
fun., "Carry On"
Drake, "Started From The Bottom"

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