Rihanna Leads the Pack Among Artists with 11 Nominations

It's a cliche that MTV barely shows music videos anymore, but the channel still likes to oversee the glitzy Video Music Awards, which are handed out every year in a splashy ceremony at the Staples Center in downtown L.A. This year's awards will be handed out in a televised show September 6 at 8 p.m. ET.
The nominated artists are exceptionally female friendly this year, with Rihanna reigning as the VMA Queen — if you include her featured status in videos by Drake and Coldplay, she shows up on the list of nominees in 15 categories a staggering 11 times. Katy Perry is nominated four times, three of them for her "Wide Awake" video, recently featured here at StudioDaily.
After too many years of reduced budgets in a depressed recording industry, music videos seem to be enjoying a bit of a resurgence in quality these days, owing in part to the easy viewing of high-quality versions online. The Internet also deserves credit or blame, depending on your point of view, for the rise in popularity of the NSFW music video, which uses profane language, graphic violence, nudity, or a combination of the three to score points with fans. That said, at least one of the videos nominated this year for Best Direction, "Big Bad Wolf" by Duck Sauce, is weird and funny but probably too raunchy for MTV to actually air uncut. 
If I were in charge, I'd give the top prize to M.I.A.'s infectious "Bad Girls," which is nominated for top honors as well as in the Best Direction (Romain Gavras) and Best Cinematography (André Chemetoff) categories. Take a look at the complete list below (the craft categories have been moved up to the top), click through the links to watch the videos, and decide who you think deserves the honors.
Video of the Year
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake" (Director: Tony "Truand" Datis; cinematographer: Stephane Valle)
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used To Know" (Director: Natasha Pincus; cinematographer: Warwick Field)
Rihanna, "We Found Love" (Director: Melina Matsoukas; cinematographer: Paul Laufer; editor: Jeff Selis)
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care" (Director: Yoann Lemoine)
M.I.A., "Bad Girls" (Director: Romain Gavras; cinematographer: André Chemetoff)
Best Art Direction
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake" (Art direction: Benji Bamps)
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care" (Art direction: Charles Infante)
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die" (Art direction: Anna Brun and Audrey Malecot)
Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats" (Art direction: Mihai Wilson)
Of Monsters & Men, "Little Talks" (Art direction: Anthony Henderson)
Best Choreography 
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music" (Choreography by Anwar 'Flii'' Burton)
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been" (Choreography by High Hat)
Beyoncé, "Countdown" (Choreography by Danielle Polanco, Frank Gatson Jr., Beyoncé and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker)
Avicii, "Le7els" (Choreography by Richy Greenfield and Petros Papahadjopoulos)
Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull, "Dance Again" (Choreography by JR Taylor)
Best Cinematography
M.I.A., "Bad Girls" (Cinematography: André Chemetoff)
Adele, "Someone Like You" (Cinematography: David Johnson)
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care" (Cinematography: Kasper Tuxen)
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China" (Cinematography: Stéphane Valle)
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die" (Cinematography: André Chemetoff)
Best Direction
M.I.A., "Bad Girls" (Director: Romain Gavras)
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf" (Director: Keith Schofield)
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good" (Director: Nabil Elderkin)
Watch the Throne, "Otis" (Director: Spike Jonze)
Best Editing
Beyoncé, "Countdown" (Editor: Jeremiah Shuff and Alex Hammer)
A$AP Rocky, "Goldie" (Editor: Samantha Lecca)
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know" (Editor: Natasha Pincus)
Best Visual Effects
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake" (VFX: Ingenuity Engine)
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN" (VFX: Ghost Town)
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)" (VFX: Deka Bros and Tony "Truand" Datis)
Best New Artist
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young" (Director: Marc Klasfeld; cinematographer: James Hawkinson; editor: Richard Alarcon)
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe" (Director: Ben Knechtel)
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good" (Director: Nabil Elderkin)
The Wanted, "Glad You Came" (Director: Director X)
Best Hip-Hop Video
Childish Gambino, "Heartbeat" (Director: Kyle Newacheck)
Drake feat. Lil Wayne, "HYFR" (Director: Director X)
Watch the Throne, "Paris" (Director: Kanye West)
Best Male Video
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend" (Director: Director X)
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good" (Director: Nabil Elderkin)
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care" (Director: Yoann Lemoine)
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music" (Director: Chris Brown)
Usher, "Climax" (Director: Sam Pilling)
Best Female Video
Katy Perry, "Part of Me" (Director: Ben Mor)
Beyoncé, "Love on Top" (Directors: Beyoncé Knowles and Ed Burke)
Nicki Minaj, "Starships" (Director: Anthony Mandler)
Selena Gomez & The Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song" (Directors: Georgie Greville and Geremy Jasper)
Best Pop Video
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young" (Director: Marc Klasfeld; cinematographer: James Hawkinson; editor: Richard Alarcon)
Rihanna, "We Found Love" (Director: Melina Matsoukas; cinematographer: Paul Laufer; editor: Jeff Selis)
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend" (Director: Director X)
Best Rock Video
Coldplay, "Paradise" (Director: Mat Whitecross)
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy" (Director: Jesse Dylan)
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN" (Director: Joe Hahn)
Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines" (Director: A.G. Rojas)
Imagine Dragons, "It's Time" (Director: Anthony Leonardi)
Best Electronic Dance Music Video
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf" (Director: Kieth Schofield)
Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close" (Director: Vincent Haycock)
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)" (Director: Tony "Truand" Datis)
Martin Solveig, "The Night Out" (Director: Tristan Seguela and Martin Solveig)
Avicii, "Le7els" (Director: Petro)
Best Video With a Message
Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper" (Director: Mark Pellington)
Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown" (Director: Nico Sabenorio)
Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side" (Director: Shane Drake)
Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter" (Director: Marc Klasfeld)
Lil Wayne, "How to Love" (Director: Chris Robinson)