Get ready: In 111 days Newark will host MTV’s Video Music Awards for the first time in the annual award show’s 35-year history.
It’s a first for the city — and a first for the state.
“This is a big deal,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday as he welcomed MTV’s iconic moon man (now renamed moon person) to the Prudential Center where the awards will take place on Aug. 26.
Murphy said bringing the VMAs to New Jersey “celebrates the music tradition in this state,” building on the success of native talents like Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and My Chemical Romance.
“If it changes the trajectory of even just one young life, one young guy or gal, who are looking up aspiring to be one of the stars … then it will have been worth it,” Murphy said.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said it was an incredible day for his city.
“They chose to land the moon guy right here in the city,” Baraka said, nodding to the Prudential Center’s success. “I would have never imagined that we’d be getting the VMAs.”
The VMAs recognizes the best music videos of the year and includes live performances from celebrities.
“We’re in the home state of so many iconic musicians,” said Bruce Gillmer, executive producer of the VMAs. He called the Prudential Center “the perfect venue.”
The Prudential Center, one of the top 10 grossing arenas in the world, recently added the Grammy Museum Experience to its repertoire. The Grammy Museum is one of four that exists across the country displaying exhibits and memorabilia centered around the Grammy Awards.
Murphy and Baraka on Monday also unveiled a large countdown clock, marking the days until the August awards ceremony.