Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" was nominated for video of the year, as was Timberlake's ambitiously cinematic "What Goes Around ... Comes Around," which co-starred Scarlett Johansson. Also competing in the category are Amy Winehouse's "Rehab," Kanye West's "Stronger," Rihanna's "Umbrella" (featuring Jay-Z) and Justice's "D.A.N.C.E."
Timberlake was also nominated for male artist of the year and "most earth shattering collaboration" for pairing with Timbaland for "Sexy Back." Beyonce was nominated for female artist of the year and for her collaboration with Shakira on "Beautiful Liar."
West landed five nominations, including male artist of the year. He has often appeared prickly about losing awards, and on Tuesday he was still sore over being snubbed last year for his Evel Knievel spoof video "Touch the Sky." (In 2005, he did win best male video for "Jesus Walks.")
"I come to win. I don't come to lose," West told MTV Tuesday on "TRL," where the awards were announced. "I think there's some really strong competition this year."
Rihanna also received five nominations, propelled by her hit single, "Umbrella," which is up for "monster single of the year."
Also nominated for male artist of the year was Akon, T.I. and Robin Thicke. Rounding out the nominees for female artist of the year were Fergie and Nelly Furtado.
Amy Winehouse, whose album "Back to Black" was her second disc but her first released in the U.S., was nominated for best new artist. She received three nods, including female artist of the year. In the best new artist category, Winehouse will compete with her compatriot Lily Allen, as well as Carrie Underwood, Gym Class Heroes and Peter Bjorn & John.
Up for best group are Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes, Linkin Park, Maroon 5 and the White Stripes.
The 24th annual VMAs will be handed out during a live two-hour show on Sept. 9 in Las Vegas at the Palms Hotel and Casino. Only eight categories will be awarded on the broadcast. Performers will include Kanye West, Fall Out Boy, Amy Winehouse, Chris Brown, the Foo Fighters and Rihanna.
Timbaland will be the "maestro" of the award show, serving essentially as the evening's DJ. Last year, the Raconteurs played a similar role.
"By me being maestro," said Timbaland, "I am the show."