Avril Lavigne, Ludacris, Disturbing Tha Peace Are VMA Opening Acts

Teen rocker, Atlanta rapper get MTV Video Music Awards party started.

Teenage pop rocker Avril Lavigne, Atlanta rapper Ludacris and Disturbing Tha Peace will prime the crowd anxious for the start of the VMAs next Thursday, as they've been tapped to perform during the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards Opening Act.

Lavigne, who's also nominated in the category of Best New Artist in a Video for "Complicated," will be head and shoulders above all the other artists that night, literally. She's poised to perform atop the Radio City Music Hall marquee (click here for photos of this year's VMA lineup).

Ludacris — in contention for Best Rap Video for "Saturday (Oooh! Oooh!)" and Best Video From a Film for "Area Codes" — and Disturbing Tha Peace will keep their routine strictly street. They're setting up directly in front of the famed venue in the middle of Sixth Avenue.

In addition to the performances, Opening Act will offer a glimpse of how an artist prepares for what, to some, is the biggest night of their careers. Before the verdict is delivered on how Michelle Branch will fare in the Viewer's Choice, Best Female Video and Best Pop Video categories with her clips for "All You Wanted" and "Everywhere," she needs to decide on what to wear. Starting Monday, MTVNews.com will give fans a chance to vote on which outfit they think Branch should wear when she makes her entrance on the red carpet, and the winning outfit will be unveiled live on Opening Act.

Opening Act will also provide profiles on producer extraordinaire Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes and hip-hop mogul P. Diddy.

Catch all the sizzlin', star-packed VMA action direct from Miami on August 28. MTV News' preshow kicks things off at 6:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the big show at 8 p.m.

Vote for the Viewer's Choice Award, see a timeline of MTV Video Music Awards history, and more at our VMA web site.

Check out red carpet highlights, backstage reports, and all our VMA news in the VMA News archive.