Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande said they are “so grateful” after scoring a joint-most nine nominations ahead of the MTV Video Music Awards.

The pop superstars collaborated on UK number one single Rain On Me, which is nominated in seven categories.

Gaga, who released the album Chromatica in May, is also up for artist of the year and best quarantine performance, one of two new awards to reflect the post-Covid-19 world.

Responding to the news, Gaga said she is “so grateful and so blessed”, adding on Instagram: “This is such a difficult time for people all over the world, I really honour how lucky I am to have a day like today.

“I hope you all will celebrate yourselves in this moment, everyone should be nominated for an award right now. For bravery, for courage, for the strong human spirit. God bless you and I love you thank you for this gift today.”

Writing on her Instagram Story, Grande tagged Gaga and said: “Congratulations!!! i love u so much! u and the entire team deserve them all. Thank u for including me in this and to @MTV for the nominations. So grateful.”

The dance-infused Rain On Me’s nominations included video of the year, song of the year and best collaboration.

Elsewhere, Canadian singer The Weeknd and pop sensation Billie Eilish, who swept the big four categories at the Grammys this year, both secured a total of six nominations.

Following the surprise release of her eighth album Folklore in July, Taylor Swift was nominated five times, with four nominations going to Drake, Dua Lipa, J Balvin and Justin Bieber.

Former One Direction star Harry Styles secured three nods as did K-pop group BTS.

One of the biggest prizes at the VMAs, which does not separate categories by gender, is artist of the year.

Gaga will compete against rappers DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion and Post Malone, and singers Bieber and The Weeknd.

In the coveted video of the year category, Rain On Me goes up against Everything I Wanted by Eilish, Godzilla by Eminem featuring Juice Wrld, Life Is Good by Future featuring Drake, The Man by Swift and Blinding Lights by The Weeknd.

This year the VMAs will feature two new categories reflecting the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the music industry – best music video from home and best quarantine performance.

The best music video from home category includes Grande and Bieber’s lockdown ballad Stuck With U and Drake’s viral video for Toosie Slide, among others.

The MTV Video Music Awards will air live from the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn on August 30.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo previously said the ceremony “will follow all safety guidance, including limited or no audience”.

Fans can vote for winners online.