MTV VMAs: Kane Brown to Make History as First Male Country Artist to Perform at Show (Exclusive)

Kane Brown is set to make history as the first male country artist to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The singer will make his VMAs debut from the Toyota Stage with a first-time TV performance of “Grand,” the new single from third album Different Man, which drops Sept. 9.

It’s not the first time Brown has notched an first at the VMAs: Last year, he was the only country artist to receive a 2021 nomination, in the category of “Video for Good” for his singe “Worldwide Beautiful.”

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The VMAs  is set to air live from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Aug. 28. This marks Toyota’s fourth year as exclusive sponsor of remote performances at the VMAs, continuing its tradition of partnering with MTV to activate innovative in-show moments, this year using cutting-edge Mixed Reality technology, powered by The Famous Group, which is the creative technology company behind high-profile mixed reality activations in the Super Bowl, MLB All-Star Game and NFL Wild Card Slime Game on Nickelodeon. This will include “a musical journey from NYC to New Jersey in the stylish and versatile Toyota Corolla Cross,” with Brown’s “Be Like That” serving as the soundtrack for the trip, leading into his performance on the Toyota Stage. 

“Creating unforgettable cultural moments that weave our partners into the fabric of our award shows by leveraging innovation is Velocity’s gold standard, and this year’s remote performance at the VMAs will be no exception,” said Dario Spina, CMO, Velocity, Paramount. “Toyota continues to be an incredible partner and we’re excited for The Famous Group’s creative excellence in mixed reality to help MTV send Kane Brown’s historic performance into the stratosphere.” 

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Said Jessamine Merrill, general manager, media and digital engagement, Toyota Motor North America: “Toyota joins forces with the MTV VMAs for the fourth year in a row to bring a show-stopping remote performance to the Toyota Stage. This exclusive collaboration showcases the all-new Corolla Cross and a first-ever mixed reality technology, in partnership with The Famous Group, creating an added performance element to Kane Brown’s exciting VMAs debut.”

Added Erik Beaumont, head of Mixed Reality at The Famous Group: “This creative partnership with Velocity marks a unique opportunity for our team. We have a track record of creating dynamic experiences for teams and organizations primarily in the sports world. Now, we look forward to expanding into a new and exciting vertical — music. We are ecstatic to collaborate with MTV and Toyota to create a captivating activation at a world-renowned event.”

The news follows the announcement that Nicki Minaj has been tapped to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and perform at the VMAs. Anitta, J Balvin, Marshmello x Khalid and Panic! at the Disco also will perform at the show.

Kendrick Lamar, Jack Harlow and Lil Nas X leads the nominations for the 2022 VMAs with seven each. The winners are determined by fan voting.

Gillmer and Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic are executive producers of the 2022 VMAs; Barb Bialkowski is co-executive producer. Alicia Portugal and Jackie Barba serve as executives in charge of production. Wendy Plaut is executive in charge of celebrity talent, and Lisa Lauricella is music talent executive.

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