There was only one Jewish winner at this years VMAs

Jewish singer Doja Cat took home an award for her song 'Attention'


NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 12: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains partial nudity.) Doja Cat attends the 2023 Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on September 12, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for MTV)

Jewish musician Doja Cat has won an MTV Video Music Award for her song ‘Attention’ at Tuesday's star-studded ceremony. 

Nominated for five awards, the rapper, singer-songwriter and record producer came away with the gong for Best Art Direction for the video for her June-released song at the 40th Video Music Awards. The 27-year-old was a star performer at the nearly four-hour event at the Prudential Centre in New Jersey, playing the hypnotic, nineties hip-hop, and harp-infused ‘Attention’, as well as ‘Paint the Town Red’ and ‘Demons’, while backed by female dancers.

Doja Cat was born Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini in Los Angeles, to a Jewish American mother Deborah Sawyer, a painter and graphic designer, and a South African father, Dumisani Dlamini, an actor, composer and film producer who starred in the original Broadway cast of the 1987 musical Sarafina! and its screen adaptation.

Ten years ago, in an episode of YouTube show The Hotbox, she expressed her Jewish identity: “I lived in New York for the first five years of my life. My mum was kind of a hip-hop head, really ironic because I’m Jewish, my grandma’s Jewish, she’s white, and she was never exposed to music like that until she started meeting people and she was like ‘wow, I really love this’. So once she had me, she would play a lot of Erykah Badu, a lot of Fugees, Jamiroquai, Seal, Earth, Wind & Fire, Alice Coltrane and John Coltrane.”

The star began her music career in 2012, releasing her debut album Amala in March 2018. It was a few months later that she shot to fame when in August 2018 her breakthrough novelty single ‘Mooo!’ went viral on YouTube. Her online success continued with ‘Say So’, from her second album Hot Pink, which sparked a dance trend on TikTok.

Last year, Doja Cat won Female Rapper of the Year and Performer of the Year at the 2022 XXL Awards and performed at Coachella, while 2021’s Planet Her was the sixth best-selling album in America, and the fifth most-streamed album globally on Spotify that year. Her latest album Scarlet is set for release later this month. 

With her nine awards, Taylor Swift tied the record for the most VMAs won in one night in a ceremony that also celebrated 50 years of hip hop.

Drake, PInk, and David Guetta, whose father is Moroccan Jewish, were the other big-name Jewish nominees but didn't come home with any awards. Drake’s four nominations included Show of the Summer and Album of the Year for Her Loss.

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