Since its introduction in 1984, the MTV VMA for Best New Artist has sought to introduce the world to the freshest of the fresh faces. Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Nirvana, Alicia Keys, and One Direction have all taken home the coveted moon man. Last year, Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” earned him top billing. Like most awards, it adds a necessary boost to a young artist’s career and brings them out of critics’ circles and into the public’s. This year, MTV nominated a healthy mix of burgeoning Top 40 darlings and industry favorites. It’s validating seeing artists you’ve championed since they broke onto the scene be up for one of the bigger awards of the VMAs. Ahead, get to know the five artists whose names you’ll soon be seeing everywhere.
The MTV Video Music Awards air Sunday, August 28, at 9pm EST.