People Are Upset Victoria Monét Didn't Perform At The VMAs Because She Was Told It's "Too Early" In Her Career

R&B singer Victoria Monét shared why she didn't perform at the MTV Video Music Awards, and her fans (including myself) were upset.

closeup of Victoria Monét  in a cut out dress smiling for a photo on the red carpet
Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images for MTV

So, the MTV VMAs took place on Sept. 12 in Newark, NJ, and everyone was in attendance, from Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez to a brief reunion of NSYNC, if you can believe it.

taylor swift accepting her award with n'sync behind her on stage

Seriously, everybody and their mama was at this year's show.

Theo Wargo / Getty Images for MTV

Of the many celebrities, only a few performed, including Doja Cat, Cardi B, Fall Out Boy, and Lil Wayne. But, alas, there was no Victoria despite the high demand from her fans.

cardi b on stage
Mike Coppola / Getty Images for MTV, Jeff Kravitz / Getty Images for MTV, Variety / Variety via Getty Images, Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for MTV

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Recently, Victoria's latest single, "On My Mama," went viral and brought new attention to the singer, who is anything but a newcomer to the game.

Victoria Monét  and her dancers dancing on cars in the music video

While the 30-year-old singer's Jaguar II album could be considered her debut, it's far from her first project. In 2014, Victoria released the EP Nightmares & Lullabies: Act 1, followed by Act 2 in 2015. In 2018, she released Life After Love, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2. Finally, she released her debut album's predecessor Jaguar in 2020.

closeup of Victoria Monét
Santiago Felipe / Getty Images

And the "Coastin" singer's credits don't stop there. Victoria is a songwriter with an impressive background, writing for artists like BLACKPINK, Chloe X Halle, Fifth Harmony, T.I., Chris Brown, and Ariana Grande.

victoria singing on stage with ariana grande
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for AG

Victoria's work with Ariana includes songs like "Honeymoon Avenue," "Alright," "34+35," and the Grammy-nominated hits "Thank U, Next" and "7 Rings."

So, by no means is Victoria a brand-new artist without a history in the music industry, but that's different from what MTV allegedly thinks.

So, by no means is Victoria a brand-new artist without a history in the music industry, but that's different from what MTV allegedly thinks.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

After the ongoing support, Victoria explained why she didn't perform, which didn't sit well with the fans, or me, for good reason.

closeup of Victoria Monét  at an event wearing a sheer corset dress
Prince Williams / Getty Images

On Sept. 13, Victoria wrote on X, "I see your advocation for me to have performed tonight, and I'm so grateful to you!! Sincerely! My team was told it is 'too early in my story' for that opportunity, so we will keep working!"

Twitter: @VictoriaMonet

"I'm grateful for YOU for my tour starting this Friday and for the ability to see some of my favorite people perform tonight and receive the love they so deserve!!! For me, it's part of the story…and in God's time."

closeup of Victoria Monét  wearing a denim mini skirt and a butterfly shape top

Following the recent release of her debut album Jaguar II, Victoria's 22-date tour will kick off on Sept. 15 in Detroit, Michigan.

Prince Williams / WireImage

The fans were not pleased to hear her team was told it's "too early" in her story, many taking the opportunity to call out the hypocrisy of the awards show's alleged decision.

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Fans also alluded to the fact that other artists who were "early in their story" performed, which contradicts the apparent excuse given to Victoria.

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30-year-old Kelsea Ballerini released her debut album, The First Time, in 2014.

kelsea on stage

In 2014, 24-year-old Sabrina Carpenter released her debut EP, Can't Blame a Girl for Trying, followed by her full-length album, Eyes Wide Open.

sabrina dancing on stage

20-year-old Olivia Rodrigo only released her first single, "Drivers License," in 2020 and her debut album, Sour, in 2021.

olivia with her dancers on stage

23-year-old rapper Kaliii performed at the VMAs after gaining popularity from a song on TikTok, and the release of her debut mixtape This Why They Mad Now in 2021.

Kaliii on the red carpet

And, 23-year-old Reneé Rapp just released her debut EP Everything to Everyone in 2022, and her full-length album Snow Angel this year — so it's fair to say Victoria's talented peers are "early" in their stories as well when it comes to music.

closeup of renee singing on stage

As another X user pointed out, last year, Chloe of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle performed at the VMAs with only a single (as a solo act) under her belt, which is probably an attribution of the star power from their connection to Beyoncé, who currently is the most awarded artist in the VMAs' history.

MTV / VMAs / Via Twitter: @LeeLovesBey

I think Victoria didn't get to perform with these other women because of the lack of inclusion. Based on the VMA shows over the years, there's a particular narrative MTV is trying to convey, and it doesn't include soulful rhythm and blues music (save Beyoncé). Instead, it's saturated with overtly sexual and provocative performances from women of color.

cardi b and megan thee stallion performing with dancers on stage

While the themes featured are great, a variety of music from Black women could give opportunities to showcase a range of talent.

Mike Coppola / Getty Images for MTV

For years, music genres like rap, hip-hop, and R&B have been separated from the mainstream categories of pop despite their popularity based solely on the fact that it was deemed "urban music."

This moniker was used to segregate American music created by Black artists because it was believed it wouldn't be received in the same regard as music by white artists. Internationally successful artists like Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Lizzo, and Rihanna have all been pigeonholed into this category.

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It wasn't until 2020, when Tyler, the Creator called out the Grammys for this "urban" categorization, that these problematic origins were finally addressed.

While awards shows like the Grammys, Billboard, and the American Music Awards attempted to rectify the problems by including more R&B artists on the main stage, MTV has relied solely on Black Entertainment Television (BET) to pick up the slack.

coco jones at the BET awards

I asked the question: if we're working to move away from problematic classifications of "urban" music being labeled unsuitable for the general population, what is the distinction between Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift versus H.E.R. and Jazmine Sullivan? Why can't Black music be represented beyond the rap genre at the VMAs?

closeup of taylor swift
Udo Salters / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images, David Livingston / FilmMagic

And if somebody leaped to the excuse of the VMAs only allowing the top artists to perform, I didn't see Morgan Wallen or Zach Bryan on that stage. I believe Victoria's exclusion wasn't personal. It's a reflection of a narrative long overdue for change.

  Terry Wyatt / WireImage,, Michael Hickey / Getty Images
Terry Wyatt / WireImage,, Michael Hickey / Getty Images

If awards shows are intended to celebrate all genres of music, let's include everybody you might only see on networks like BET.

closeup of victoria singing with her hand over her heart
Michael Tran / AFP via Getty Images

Then maybe R&B artists like Victoria can have a chance to be on the stage regardless of how "early" or "urban" her journey may appear.

victoria at the vmas
Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images for MTV

We can do better, and I put that on my mama and my hood!

You can check out all of our VMAs coverage here.