Gun violence, marriage equality, poverty and world peace are just some of the topics the nominees covered in their videos. These are issues some of the artists have personally experienced, as well as issues they hope their celebrity can help draw attention to.
"This is a very high honor for me because this video and song is dear to my heart," said Snoop Lion, about the video for the song "No Guns Allowed." "It brings me happiness to know that when I have a song with a positive message, positive things happen. Shout-out to Cori B and my neffew Drake for being a part of such a historic song that was needed for the people."
When we spoke to Miguel, he had nothing but positive words for all of the other nominees. "All the videos are incredible, and they're incredible statements. All of us are already winners, in a sense, because the message has kind of taken the stage, as opposed to us as artists," said Miguel, who is nominated for his beautiful "Candles in the Sun." "Obviously you have someone like Beyoncé, who has star power, and her videos are always incredible, and Macklemore’s video is so relevant, especially right now. It’s cool to have a moment to take a step back behind a message that’s so important to each and every one of us respectively, and for the message to kind of take the stage and to possibly win the award. I think the award is a tremendous addition to the MTV Video Music Awards, and it’s a huge honor."
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were also deeply moved by the nomination for their video "Same Love," stating: "We consider 'Same Love' to be one of the most important songs we've ever released, and it's music video has been a vital piece of connecting the listener with the song and its message. First and foremost, we love that 'Same Love', and its video, has served as a means of creating dialogue about human rights, equality and gay marriage, issues that we think are extremely important. We're quite proud to see it nominated for a VMA."
Mary Lambert, who sings the heart-wrenching hook on "Same Love," had a very personal reason for falling in love with the song and the video.
"As a Christian lesbian, I have always felt like I've had one foot in two different worlds," said Mary. "'Same Love' granted me an artistic opportunity to make a personal statement to the Christian church, and voice an earnest plea for understanding. While being nominated for this life-changing award is beyond something I could have ever imagined, the thing I'm most overwhelmed with is that a song about gay rights is in the same category with Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson. It's almost an out-of-body experience. I don't believe that all music needs to make a statement or have a social message, but I think that all music inadvertently does."
The 2013 Video Music Awards air August 25 on MTV and VMA.MTV.com, live from the Brooklyn Barclays Center. No sleep til Brooklyn!