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Beyonce, Eminem, Azalea lead MTV Video Music Awards nods

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - R&B singer Beyonce and rappers Eminem and Iggy Azalea led the nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards, one of the industry's top televised showcases, the cable TV network said on Thursday.

Beyonce garnered eight nominations and will go up against Azalea in the coveted Video of the Year category at the Aug. 24 awards show, which attracts a young audience prized by advertisers.

Eminem and Azalea, an Australian rapper who has broken out internationally this year with the hit "Fancy," each scored seven nominations.

Beyonce's hit "Drunk in Love," featuring her husband, the rapper Jay Z, earned her nods for best video and best collaboration. Her songs "Partition" and "Pretty Hurts" also earned nominations in categories including best cinematography, direction, choreography and social message.

Pharrell Williams' "Happy," which has spawned fan videos worldwide, Sia's "Chandelier" and Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" are also up for best video. Pop singers Katy Perry and Ariana Grande, as well as New Zealand teenage singer Lorde and British R&B vocalist Sam Smith earned multiple nominations.

The awards show, which hands out "Moonman" statuettes of an astronaut planting and MTV flag, will also help unveil Madison Square Garden Co's revamped Forum arena in Inglewood, California.

The Video Music Awards began in 1984 and helped propel the young cable channel, now owned by Viacom Inc, as a player in the entertainment industry.

Grande, R&B singer Usher and Australian rock group 5 Seconds of Summer are slated to perform at the awards show.

At last year's show, Cyrus' sexually explicit "twerk" dance overshadowed the awards ceremony and dominated news headlines the following week.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Richard Chang)

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