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Concert Preview, Music

Preview: MMVAs 2014: Growing Up Much, We Wanted Our MTV, Now We Have It

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) –

As far back as I can recall being a fan of popular music,  MuchMusic was the source, framed by the tumultuous Canadian dialogue between the punchy Much vs ‘wanting my MTV’ as a kid.

MTV was a hallowed, massive machine that seemed elevated beyond the reach of fans while MuchMusic was (quite literally) street-level – the  same internationally immense artists from U2 to Bieber all showed up at the corner of Queen & John at various points in their careers and made Toronto feel like the center of the universe.

The MuchMusic Video Awards started at first as a piecemeal, homespun alternative to MTV’s own gala VMAs, while the MMVAs remained voraciously Canadian. Much’s building exteriors and interiors served as the backdrop for as much talent as would show. Just like their day-to-day programming, the awards gave national TV airtime to local artists who’d otherwise not have that level of attention, from  54-40, Sam Roberts to Avril Lavigne, they all cut their teeth on the red carpet.

As MUCH grew in size and scope, so too did their stars. I was lucky enough to get a laminate for their 1997 awards, which featured performances from Blur and Our Lady Peace (by then an international success). The intersection had to be cordoned off as adoring fans overflowed and as the years passed, the artists became higher and higher profile, including Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Ricky J (remember him?).

Here we are twenty-something years later and the MMVAs are bigger than they’ve ever been. This year’s performers include The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and newly crowned, temporary Nirvana frontwoman – Lorde. And like the VMAs, it’s now the place where this year’s summer jams or last year’s video blockbusters take center stage. In addition to the performers, movie stars like Jena Malone, Kellan Lutz and reality dynamos Kylie and Kendall Jenner are just a few of the award presenters. It’s now an international party.

This year’s nominees are:

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