R&B singer Victoria Monét shared why she didn't perform at the MTV Video Music Awards, and her fans (including myself) were upset.
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.
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.
— m a y a (@KioshiWarrior) September 9, 2023
There’s is no reason why VICTORIA MONET should not be on the stage tonight.
— Dae’Kwon. (@boywiththelooks) September 13, 2023
why is victoria monet in the audience but not on the stage
— RK Jackson | Atlanta 🛸 (@theerkj) September 13, 2023
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.
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.
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's work with Ariana includes songs like "Honeymoon Avenue," "Alright," "34+35," and the Grammy-nominated hits "Thank U, Next" and "7 Rings."
After the ongoing support, Victoria explained why she didn't perform, which didn't sit well with the fans, or me, for good reason.
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!"
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! I’m grateful for YOU, for my tour starting this Friday and for the ability to see some of my…
— Victoria Monét (@VictoriaMonet) September 13, 2023
"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."
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.
not to go full yeezy but Victoria Monet “On My Mama” video was better than any video nominated at the VMAs this year, n any video i seen this year period
— #MOST (@jeandeauxmusic) September 13, 2023
Your team was told some bullshit and we ain’t stupid. But of course you’re gonna handle it with grace as you always do.Have a killer SOLD OUT tour, babes 💛
— Homo spirit Activate! (@durandbernarr) September 13, 2023
nah the building would have shut down had you performed On My Mama! Everybody know that song and would have been standing for it period! i don’t see where they was coming from with this one.
— Ace Milan (@_papiace) September 13, 2023
“Too early”?! Oh, queen they played in your face with that one. On my mama would’ve been perfect and everybody would’ve known every word! 👏🏽 But your time will come and we will be there when the time comes! 🤧❤️
— 𝔏𝔢𝔞𝔥.❁ | 𝒜𝓃𝑔𝑒𝓁 👼🏽 (@redforjanet) September 13, 2023
too early? doesn’t sound right with me. but we’ll be patiently waiting to see you on that stage🤎
— allegra♡ (@theegrandeheels) September 13, 2023
I love you and your beautiful positive SWEET ASS SELF OMG but also they’re full of shit lol
— Lauren Jauregui (@LaurenJauregui) September 13, 2023
Fans also alluded to the fact that other artists who were "early in their story" performed, which contradicts the apparent excuse given to Victoria.
Too early but they had some people performing on that B stage who only have one album and a prayer. pic.twitter.com/3t8FeFIgRD
— Beyoncé’s Summer Renaissance Mic Chain 🏳️🌈🚺 (@LenaVandross) September 13, 2023
30-year-old Kelsea Ballerini released her debut album, The First Time, in 2014.
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.
20-year-old Olivia Rodrigo only released her first single, "Drivers License," in 2020 and her debut album, Sour, in 2021.
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.
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.
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.
if what is happening to victoria monet doesn’t show you how much parkwood fights for these girls… chlöe performed at the vma main stage with no album out and only one single that was 3 days old. https://t.co/2eS2j4FNfn
— lesego. (@LeeLovesBey) September 14, 2023
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.
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.
I’d much rather y’all say that the vmas don’t prioritize R&B than make it seem like Victoria Monet would be a waste of space on that stage y’all looked at last night
— Mel Smith (@iamMelsmith) September 13, 2023
The VMAs problem is it’s living off nostalgia instead of trying to be fresh. Telling Victoria Monet it’s too early in her story is crazy considering 10 years ago she would’ve been perfect for a pre show feature at the least.
— Stephen (@TheStevenDwayne) September 13, 2023