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MTV VMAs noms include Hayley Kiyoko, Cardi B

The ceremony airs on Aug. 20

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Hayley Kiyoko (Photo via Instagram)

The MTV VMAs announced its 2018 nominations which include big recognition for Cardi B and the Carters.

Cardi B received the most nominations (10) including for Video of the Year, Artist of the Year and Song of the Year. The Carters (Beyonce and Jay-Z) followed close behind with eight nominations for their video  “Apeshit.” Childish Gambino and Drake earned seven nominations each, Bruno Mars received six and Ariana Grande and Camila Cabello came in at five nominations.

Lesbian pop singer Hayley Kiyoko also received a VMA nomination for Best New Artist. She will face off against Bazzi, Cardi B, Chloe x Halle, Lil Pump and Lil Uzi Vert.

The VMAs air from Radio City Music Hall on Monday, Aug. 20 at 9 p.m.

See the nominees below.

Video of the Year

Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left To Cry”
Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – “Finesse (Remix)”
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana”
The Carters – “APESH*T”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Drake – “God’s Plan”

Artist of the Year

Ariana Grande
Bruno Mars
Camila Cabello
Cardi B
Drake
Post Malone

Song of the Year

Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – “Finesse (Remix)”
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana”
Drake – “God’s Plan”
Dua Lipa – “New Rules”
Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
Post Malone ft. 21 Savage – “rockstar”

Best New Artist

Bazzi
Cardi B
Chloe x Halle
Hayley Kiyoko
Lil Pump
Lil Uzi Vert

Best Collaboration

Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line – “Meant To Be”
Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – “Finesse (Remix)”
The Carters – “APESH*T”
Jennifer Lopez ft. DJ Khaled & Cardi B – “Dinero”
Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid – “1-800-273-8255”
N.E.R.D & Rihanna – “Lemon”

Push Artist of the Year

July 2018 – Chloe x Halle
June 2018 – Sigrid
May 2018 – Lil Xan
April 2018 – Hayley Kiyoko
March 2018 – Jessie Reyez
February 2018 – Tee Grizzley
January 2018 – Bishop Briggs
December 2017 – Grace VanderWaal
November 2017 – Why Don’t We
October 2017 – PRETTYMUCH
September 2017 – SZA
August 2017 – Kacy Hill
July 2017 – Khalid
June 2017 – Kyle
May 2017 – Noah Cyrus

Best Pop

Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left To Cry”
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana”
Demi Lovato – “Sorry Not Sorry”
Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
P!nk – “What About Us”
Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood”

Best Hip-Hop

Cardi B ft. 21 Savage – “Bartier Cardi”
The Carters – “APESH*T”
Drake – “God’s Plan”
J. Cole – “ATM”
Migos ft. Drake – “Walk It Talk It”
Nicki Minaj – “Chun-Li”

Best Latin

Daddy Yankee – “Dura”
J Balvin, Willy William – “Mi Gente”
Jennifer Lopez ft. DJ Khaled & Cardi B – “Dinero”
Luis Fonsi, Demi Lovato – “Échame La Culpa”
Maluma – “Felices los 4”
Shakira ft. Maluma – “Chantaje”

Best Dance

Avicii ft. Rita Ora – “Lonely Together”
Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”
The Chainsmokers – “Everybody Hates Me”
David Guetta & Sia – “Flames”
Marshmello ft. Khalid – “Silence”
Zedd & Liam Payne – “Get Low (Street Video)”

Best Rock

Fall Out Boy – “Champion”
Foo Fighters – “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”
Imagine Dragons – “Whatever It Takes”
Linkin Park – “One More Light”
Panic! At The Disco – “Say Amen (Saturday Night)”
Thirty Seconds To Mars – “Walk On Water”

Video with a Message

Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Dej Loaf and Leon Bridges – “Liberated”
Drake – “God’s Plan”
Janelle Monáe – “PYNK”
Jessie Reyez – “Gatekeeper”
Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid – “1-800-273-8255”

Best Cinematography

Alessia Cara – “Growing Pains” – Cinematography by Pau Castejón
Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left To Cry” – Cinematography by Scott Cunningham
The Carters – “APESH*T” – Cinematography by Benoit Debie
Childish Gambino – “This Is America” – Cinematography by Larkin Seiple
Eminem ft. Ed Sheeran – “River” – Cinematography by Frank Mobilio & Patrick Meller
Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood” – Cinematography by Jonathan Sela

Best Direction

The Carters – “APESH*T” – Directed by Ricky Saix
Childish Gambino – “This Is America” – Directed by Hiro Murai
Drake – “God’s Plan” – Directed by Karena Evans
Ed Sheeran – “Perfect” – Directed by Jason Koenig
Justin Timberlake ft. Chris Stapleton – “Say Something” – Directed by Arturo Perez Jr.
Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood” – Directed by Jay Martin

Best Art Direction

The Carters – “APESH*T” – Art Direction by Jan Houlevigue
Childish Gambino – “This Is America” – Art Direction by Jason Kisvarday
J. Cole – “ATM” – Art Direction by Miles Mullin
Janelle Monáe – “Make Me Feel” – Art Direction by Pepper Nguyen
SZA – “The Weekend” – Art Direction by SZA and Solange
Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do” – Big Machine Records – Art Direction by Brett Hess

Best Visual Effects

Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left To Cry” – Visual Effects by Vidal and Loris Paillier for Buf
Avicii ft. Rita Ora – “Lonely Together” – Visual Effects by KPP
Eminem ft. Beyoncé – “Walk On Water” – Visual Effects Supervisor Rich Lee for Drive Studios
Kendrick Lamar & SZA – “All The Stars” – Visual Effects by Loris Paillier for BUF Paris
Maroon 5 – “Wait” – Visual Effects by TIMBER
Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do” – Visual Effects by Ingenuity Studios

Best Choreography

Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – “Finesse (Remix)” – Choreography by Phil Tayag & Bruno Mars
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana” – Choreography by Calvit Hodge and Sara Bivens
The Carters – “APESH*T” – Choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Jaquel Knight
Childish Gambino – “This Is America” – Choreography by Sherrie Silver
Dua Lipa – “IDGAF” – Choreography by Marion Motin
Justin Timberlake – “Filthy” – Choreography by Marty Kudelka, AJ Harpold, Tracy Phillips and Ivan Koumaev

Best Editing

Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – “Finesse (Remix)”– Editing by Jacquelyn London
The Carters – “APESH*T” – Taylor Ward and Sam Ostrove
Childish Gambino – “This Is America” – Editing by Ernie Gilbert
Janelle Monáe – “Make Me Feel” – Editing by Deji Laray
N.E.R.D & Rihanna – “Lemon” – Editing by Taylor Ward
Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do” – Editing by Chancler Haynes for Cosmo

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Arts & Entertainment

After COVID hiatus, John Waters resumes touring schedule

‘Every single thing is different after COVID’

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John Watersis on the road again. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

For the first time in nearly two years, writer and filmmaker John Waters will be appearing on stage this fall before live audiences in the Baltimore-Washington area, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Waters, who lives in Baltimore, is scheduled to bring his spoken-word holiday show, “A John Waters Christmas,” to The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., on Dec. 15, and Baltimore Soundstage on Dec. 21. He’ll also be at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Nov. 29 and The Vermont Hollywood on Dec. 2.

Waters’ holiday shows were cancelled in 2020 due to the theater closings and travel restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some book signings for fans were converted to Zoom sessions. He last toured the country in November and December of 2019.

This year, with vaccinations on the rise, Waters has made a few in-person appearances, including a concert with gay country crooner Orville Peck in Colorado in July, where he was “special guest host”; a Q&A session with fans in Provincetown in August and a music festival last weekend in Oakland, Calif. He’s scheduled to visit another 18 cities between now and the end of the year, including a weekend in Wroclaw, Poland, where he’ll be honored during the American Film Festival there in November.

Waters said he has completely rewritten his spoken-word shows to reflect changes brought about by the COVID pandemic. “I haven’t done it in a year and a half,” he said in an interview with Town & Country magazine. “Every single thing is different after COVID. You cannot do the same show. Nothing’s the same.”

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Theater

‘Hadestown’ comes to the Kennedy Center

Levi Kreis discusses return to live theater

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Levi Kreis is an out actor who plays Hermes in the national tour of ‘Hadestown’ soon opening at the Kennedy Center. (Photo courtesy of Levi Kreis)

Hadestown
Through Oct. 31
The Kennedy Center
$45.00 – $175.00
Kennedy-center.org
For Covid-19 safety regulations go to Kennedy-center.org/visit/covid-safety/

Early in September at New York’s Walter Kerr Theatre, out singer/actor Levi Kreis was in the audience for the long-awaited Broadway reopening of “Hadestown,” Anaïs Mitchell’s rousing musical reimagining of the Orpheus myth in which the legendary Greek hero descends into the underworld to rescue his lover Eurydice. 

After almost 18 months of pandemic-induced closure, the Tony Award-winning folk opera was back and the house was full. In a recent phone interview, Kreis describes the evening as “love-filled, and electrifying and emotional after such a difficult time.” Now, Kreis is onstage in the national tour of “Hadestown,” currently launching at the Kennedy Center. As Hermes, the shape-shifting god of oratory, Kreis is both narrator and chaperone to the story’s young lovers. 

A Tennessee native, Kreis, 39, has triumphantly survived turbulent times including a harrowingly prolonged coming out experience that included six years of conversion therapy, education disruptions, and music contract losses. He officially came out through his acclaimed album “One of the Ones” (2006), which features a collection of piano vocals about past boyfriends. And four years later, he splendidly won a Tony Award for originating the role of rock and roll wild man Jerry Lee Lewis in the rockabilly musical “Million Dollar Quartet.” 

Throughout much of the pandemic, Kreis leaned into his own music and found ways to reconnect with his largely gay fan base. But he’s happy to now be touring, noting that all the “Hadestown” cast have been hungering to perform before a real live audience.

When not on the road, he’s based in New York City with his husband, classical-crossover recording artist Jason Antone. 

WASHINGTON BLADE: Hermes is the same role for which André De Shields—the brilliant African American actor, also gay, and some decades your elder won a Tony and has resumed playing on Broadway, right?

LEVI KREIS: That’s right. It’s really a testament to the creative team. Rather than laying us over what Broadway created. They’re creating a tour that’s uniquely different; still true to the beauty of the story but with a different flavor. 

BLADE: What attracted you to the part?

KREIS: First, I fell in love with the show. My own musical sensibilities understand the origins of where this music comes from. It’s very bluesy and gospel. Southern and rootsy. And that’s everything I’ve created in my career as a singer/songwriter.

BLADE: With your life experience, do you feel called to mentor?

KREIS: The biggest effort I’ve given to this narrative is being a pioneer of the out-music movement starting in 2005 which was a moment when gay artists were not signed to major labels. I want through eight major labels—when they found out I was gay things always went south. 

It’s been amazing to be a voice in LGBTQ media when no one was speaking about these things. It’s popular now, but back when it mattered it was a lot harder to start my career as an openly gay artist and speak about these issues rather than keep quiet, cash in, and only then come out. 

BLADE: Where did that nerve come from?

KREIS: Less about nerve and more about being beaten down. How many things have to happen before you give up and decide to be honest?  

BLADE: For many theatergoers, “Hadestown” will be their return to live theater. Other than it being visionary and remarkably entertaining, why would you recommend it? 

KREIS: We need encouragement right now. But we also need art that facilitates a lot of important conversation about what’s happening in the world. This has both elements.  

“Hadestown” is not a piece of art that you easily forget. You’re going to walk out of the theater with a story that sticks with you. You’ll realized that your own voice matters. There’s a part in the show, Orpheus’ song, when the gods encourage him to get the balance of the world back again by telling him that his voice matters. 

BLADE: Is it timely?

KREIS: Art is here to change the world. And this piece of art hits the nail right on the head. I’m a purist when it comes to art and song. There’s a reason why we do it. people are listening now in a way they haven’t listened before. To miss that is to miss the role of society, I think. 

BLADE: And going forward? 

KREIS: It’s going to be interesting. We could double down on super commercialized theater or we may decide to really go the other direction and reclaim innovation. That remains to be seen. 

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Books

Book details fight to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Clinton-era policy was horrific for LGB servicemembers

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‘Mission Possible: The Story of Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
By C. Dixon Osburn
c.2021, self-published $35 hardcover, paperback $25, Kindle $12.99 / 450 pages

When Senior Airman Brandi Grijalva was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, she talked with a chaplain’s assistant about some problems she had at home. The chaplain’s assistant said what she told him would be confidential. But when she revealed that she was a lesbian, the chaplain’s assistant no longer kept her conversation with him confidential. Grijalva, after being investigated was discharged.

Craig Haack was a corporal in the Marines serving in Okinawa, Japan. Haack, who had made it through boot camp, felt confident. Until investigators barged into his barracks. Looking for evidence “of homosexual conduct,” they ransacked everything from his computers to his platform shoes. Haack was too stunned to respond when asked if he was gay.

In 1996, Lt. Col. Steve Loomis’ house was burned down by an Army private. The Army discharged the private who torched Loomis’ house. You’d think the Army would have supported Loomis. But you’d be wrong. The army discharged Loomis for conduct unbecoming an officer because a fire marshal found a homemade sex tape in the ashes.

These are just a few of the enraging, poignant, at times absurd (platform shoes?), all-too-true stories told in “Mission Possible: The Story of Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by C. Dixon Osburn.

As a rule, I don’t review self-published books. But “Mission Possible” is the stunning exception that proves that rules, on occasion, are made to be broken.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was the official U.S. policy on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving in the military. Former President Bill Clinton announced the policy on July 19, 1993. It took effect on Feb. 28, 1994.

Sexual orientation was covered by DADT. Gender identity was covered by separate Department of Defense regulations.

Congress voted to repeal DADT in December 2010 (the House on Dec. 15, 2010, and the Senate on Dec. 18, 2010). On Dec. 22, 2010, Former President Barack Obama signed the repeal into law. 

DADT banned gay, lesbian and bisexual people who were out from serving in the U.S. military. Under DADT, it was not permitted to ask if servicemembers were LGB. But, LGB servicemembers couldn’t be out. They couldn’t talk about their partners, carry photos of their girlfriends or boyfriends or list their same-sex partner as their emergency contract.

It took nearly a year for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to go into effect. On Sept. 20, 2011, Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff “certified to Congress that implementing repeal of the policy {DADT} would have no effect on military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion or recruiting and retention,” Osburn writes.

Before DADT, out LGBT people weren’t permitted to serve in the military. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was intended to be a compromise—a policy that would be less onerous on LGB people, but that would pass muster with people who believed that gay servicemembers would destroy military readiness, morale and unit cohesion.

Like many in the queer community, I knew that DADT was a horror-show from the get-go. Over the 17 years that DADT was in effect, an estimated 14,000 LGB servicemembers were discharged because of their sexual orientation, according to the Veterans Administration.

But, I had no idea how horrific “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was until I read “Mission Possible.”              

In “Mission Possible,” Osburn, who with Michelle Benecke, co-founded the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), pulls off a nearly impossible hat trick.

In a clear, vivid, often spellbinding narrative, Osburn tells the complex history of the DADT-repeal effort as well as the stories of servicemembers who were pelted with gay slurs, assaulted and murdered under DADT.

Hats off to SLDN, now known as the Modern Military Association of America, for its heroic work to repeal DADT! (Other LGBTQ+ organizations worked on the repeal effort, but SLDN did the lion’s share of the work.)

You wouldn’t think a 450-pager about repealing a policy would keep you up all night reading. But, “Mission Possible” will keep you wide-awake. You won’t need the espresso.

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