Lorde Is No Longer Performing At The VMAs, And The Reason Is Kind Of Unclear
What does "a change in production elements" mean?
Can you watch her? No, you (unfortunately) can’t. On Friday, September 3, MTV announced via Twitter that Lorde would no longer be performing at this year’s Video Music Awards due to a “change in production elements.” The tweet, shared from the VMAs’ verified account, didn’t elaborate on this change, but there are no hard feelings — and there’s still a possibility Lorde will take the stage next year. “We love Lorde and cannot wait for her to perform on the VMA stage in the future!” the statement concludes.
Lorde was initially announced as one of the big-name performers at this year’s ceremony a couple weeks earlier at the end of August. The reason for the abrupt cancellation is not totally clear: “Production elements” could mean anything, really, but it seems possible the switch-up is COVID-related, or maybe her schedule just changed. Some fans on Twitter also speculated that the ceremony’s producers were the problem: In 2019, Ariana Grande pulled out of the Grammys after producers imposed rules on which songs she could and couldn’t perform.
Lorde faced a similar obstacle in 2018, when Grammy producers reportedly refused to let her perform a song from Melodrama and instead asked her to sing a tribute with a group of other artists. She declined, according to a Variety source. The insider also noted that the four other Album of the Year nominees, all men, were offered slots to perform songs from their nominated albums.
She’s had a better track history with the VMAs, though. Her video for “Solar Power” is up for Best Cinematography, and her past videos for hits like “Royals” and “Green Light” have also earned wins and nominations. She previously performed at the ceremony in 2017, but didn’t sing; instead, she just danced to “Homemade Dynamite,” and later explained that she had the flu.
But don’t worry — the star-studded lineup still includes Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, Kacey Musgraves, Justin Bieber, Chloë Bailey, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Twenty One Pilots, and Doja Cat, who will also host the event. Lorde or no Lorde, the VMAs will have something for everyone when they air on Sept. 12.