MTV Video Music Awards 2017: What to watch for

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Taylor Swift

LOS ANGELES — Taylor Swift has raised the stakes for Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Swift, who has a long and storied history with the VMAs, will be premiering the music video for her new single “Look What You Made Me Do” after debuting the song Thursday night.

The new single and a 15-second clip of the video has fans discussing on social media whether Swift is imitating Beyoncé and theorizing that Nicki Minaj is possibly rekindling a past beef with Swift.

If a new Swift music video after a three-year-drought isn’t enough for you, here’s what else you can expect from the awards show:

Katy Perry is hosting

Speaking of alleged feuds, Perry has had a pretty public one with Swift in the past.

And while the “Roar” singer has said she wants to put an end to all the “Bad Blood” between the singers, it remains to be seen whether Perry will mention it while she’s hosting.

No “Despacito” but some “Despacito”

There was controversy when the video for “Despacito” was not nominated, especially given that it’s currently the most viewed video on You Tube.

MTV officials reportedly said the video for the Spanish-language song by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hadn’t been submitted for consideration, nor has it aired on MTV or MTV2.

But the remix of the song featuring Justin Bieber is nominated for song of summer at this year’s VMAs.

Leading the pack

Kendrick Lamar has the most nominations this year, including video of the year for “Humble” and artist of the year.

Host Perry and The Weeknd tied for second place with five nominations each.

There are plenty of performances scheduled, including the three artists just mentioned, as well as Ed Sheeran, Fifth Harmony, Cardi B and Rod Stewart to name a few.

Shifting away from gender classifications

Taking a cue from the non-gendered categories at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards, MTV announced the former best female video and best male video categories have now been combined into artist of the year.

And the iconic “Moonman” trophy is now a “Moon Person.”

“Why should it be a man?” MTV president Chris McCarthy told the New York Times. “It could be a man, it could be a woman, it could be transgender, it could be nonconformist.”

Things will probably get political

As with most awards shows, celebs in attendance will probably take the opportunity to make political statements, especially in their acceptance speeches.

And MTV has already gotten a head start with one hot button issue.

The network reached out to the military and invited active duty transgender military service members to the show.

“Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stands for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere,” McCarthy said to CNN in a statement.

On Saturday, GLAAD and SPARTA, an LGBTQ service members and veterans group, announced that six service members would be in attendance.

According to GLAAD, transgender service members Sterling James Crutcher, Logan Ireland, Jennifer Peace and Akira Wyatt, and trans veterans Laila Ireland and Brynn Tannehil will walk the VMA red carpet Sunday.

They will be accompanied by GLAAD president and chief executive officer Sarah Kate Ellis and August Getty, an LGBTQ philanthropist and fashion designer who also designed Miley Cyrus’s red carpet dress.