These 14 Musicians Defied VMAs' Best New Artist Loss And Went On To Achieve Massive Success

The VMAs are nearly here! On Tuesday, the awards show that honors the best in music videos will take place in Newark, New Jersey, hosted by none other than last year's cohost, Nicki Minaj.

A closeup of Nicki Minaj onstage in a satin gown

Nicki and the VMAs have a long history. She's received seven awards, including last year's Video Vanguard, and has been nominated for many, many more. Given the love the VMAs have showed her over the years, it might come as a surprise that she didn't win her first nomination in 2010 for Best New Artist.

Nicki Minaj on the VMA red carpet
Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic

In fact, Nicki is among several hugely popular musicians who lost Best New Artist at the VMAs over the years. Call it a blessing in disguise or just the reality of some equally talented competitors, but these 14 musicians (including Nicki) who lost prove that missing out on some feats early in your career doesn't have to hold you back.

FYI, the VMAs have over the years oscillated from honoring a new artist for a single video and honoring a new artist for all their musical work in one year. This is why you'll see a specific music video named alongside an artist in their nomination while nominees in other years are just designated by their name.

1.Lil Nas X (2019)

Closeup of Lil Nas X
Jim Spellman / FilmMagic

Who won: Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish

2.SZA (2017)

Aaron J. Thornton / Getty Images

Who won: Khalid


3.Sam Smith for "Stay with Me" (2014)

Sam Smith
Pa Images / PA Images via Getty Images

Who won: Fifth Harmony for "Miss Movin' On"

Fifth Harmony holding their Moon Man award

4.The Weeknd for "Wicked Games" (2013)

The Weeknd
C Flanigan / FilmMagic

Who won: Austin Mahone for "What About Love"

Austin Mahone poses for photos with his award

5.Frank Ocean for "Swim Good" (2012)

Frank Ocean
C Flanigan / WireImage

Who won: One Direction for "What Makes You Beautiful"

One Direction posing for photos backstage with their VMAs

6.Nicki Minaj (featuring Sean Garrett) for "Massive Attack" (2010)

Nicki Minaj
Gregg Deguire / FilmMagic

Who won: Justin Bieber (featuring Ludacris) for "Baby"

Justin Bieber holds up his award

7.Drake for "Best I Ever Had" (2009)

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Who won: Lady Gaga for "Poker Face"

Lady Gaga smiles as she holds her award

8.Taylor Swift for "Teardrops on My Guitar" (2008)

Taylor Swift
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Who won: Tokio Hotel for "Ready, Set, Go!"

Tokio Hotel

9.Amy Winehouse (2007)

Amy Winehouse
Rune Hellestad - Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images

Who won: Gym Class Heroes

Gym Class Heroes

10.Rihanna for "SOS" (2006)

Closeup of Rihanna
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Who won: Avenged Sevenfold for "Bat Country"

Avenged Sevenfold

11.John Legend for "Ordinary People" (2005)

John Legend
Lawrence Lucier / FilmMagic

Who won: The Killers for "Mr. Brightside"

The Killers

12.Kelly Clarkson for "Miss Independent" (2003)

Kelly Clarkson
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Who won: 50 Cent for "In da Club"

50 Cent onstage holding multiple awards in his arms

13.Lenny Kravitz for "Let Love Rule" (1990)

Lenny Kravitz
Gie Knaeps / Getty Images

Who won: Michael Penn for "No Myth"

Michael Penn onstage playing the guitar

Other nominees: Bell Biv DeVoe for "Poison," The Black Crowes for "Jealous Again," Jane Child for "Don't Wanna Fall in Love," Alannah Myles for "Black Velvet," and Lisa Stansfield for "All Around the World"

Clayton Call / Redferns

14.And finally, Whitney Houston for "How Will I Know" (1986)

Whitney Houston
Mediapunch / MediaPunch via Getty Images

Who won: A-ha for "Take On Me"

A-ha sitting on the ground in a promo shot

Other nominees: The Hooters for "And We Danced," Pet Shop Boys for "West End Girls," and Simply Red for "Holding Back the Years"

Brian Rasic / Getty Images

Be sure to tune in to the 2023 VMAs, airing live from New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Tuesday, Sept. 12th at 8 PM ET/PT on MTV. You can catch all of our coverage of the show here.

A live hosted simulcast will air on UniMás at 8 PM ET/PT with an encore to follow on Univision at 11:30 PM ET/PT, making it available to the most global audience in VMA history. Univision’s Alejandra Espinoza will host exclusive live in-show segments throughout the broadcast.

The VMAs will also be simulcast across MTV sister networks BET, BET Her, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Pop, TVLand & VH1. The 2023 VMAs pre-show will air at 6:30-8:00 PM ET/PT. NLE Choppa and Sabrina Carpenter are set to perform during the 90-minute event, hosted by award-winning rap star Saweetie with Nessa, Dometi Pongo, and Kevan Kenney.