It’s hard to believe that all the action of the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards can possibly be contained in just a few hours of prime time — especially considering that the first half hour alone will feature a hotly anticipated performance from Lady Gaga, another from Taylor Swift, a show-opening tribute to Michael Jackson featuring sister Janet Jackson, plus appearances from Eminem, Pete Wentz, Justin Bieber, Jack Black, Shakira, “Twilight” star Taylor Lautner and Kristin Cavallari.
A year after he needled the Jonas Brothers, Madonna and then-President George W. Bush, host Russell Brand has promised a kinder, gentler hosting stint
for his second go ’round. This time, he says, it’s all about the love — we’ll see!
The action will take place at the historic Radio City Music Hall, on an enormous stage, where the show will kick off with a tribute to the late Michael Jackson hosted by sister and VMA royalty Janet. The tip of the fedora to the musical legend who passed away in June will feature dancing from a group of renowned choreographers including Dave Scott, Cris Judd, Brian Friedman, Wade Robson, Tyce Diorio, Travis Payne, Jeri Slaughter, Laurie Ann Gibson, Mia Michaels and Tina Landon, who collectively have worked with Janet, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, ’NSYNC, Celine Dion, Prince and MJ himself.
The stage itself, festooned with towering video screens and a series of “West Side Story”-inspired scaffolding, will play host over the course of the night to performances by Beyoncé, Green Day, Pink, and Jay-Z with Alicia Keys; there will also be performances from Taylor Swift and Muse.
When it comes to the elusive, fashion-fast-forward Gaga, though, no one will even tell us just what her performance will be like. But good pal Perez Hilton has promised it will be “next level”
and VMA Creative Director Lee Lodge predicted it would be a “classic VMA performance”
that he compared to Madonna’s iconic set piece from 1984.
And the excitement won’t just be happening at Radio City. For MTV News’ VMA Preshow, “Twilight” star Ashley Greene will be our fashion correspondent, iJustine will serve as the official Twitter correspondent, and Kim Stolz will help Fefe Dobson get her outfit together for the big night. And Justin Bieber has promised to shout-out the winner of his biggest-fan contest during the preshow.
This year’s VMA house band
will be rocking thanks to rapper Wale, who will be leading the funky go-go band UCB all night, with some help from Solange Knowles, Kid Cudi, 3OH!3 and Pitbull. And there will also be the premiere of the trailer for the eagerly anticipated documentary “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” as well as a first look at the extended trailer from the second installment of the “Twilight” vampire franchise, “New Moon” — check out a sneak peek here!
All that in just a few hours? The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards promises to be one for the record books!
Watch the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Preshow this Sunday, September 13, at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the big event, live at 9 p.m. Check out our interactive map of New York to see how the city is celebrating the VMAs all week long, and stay tuned for party coverage, concert reports, behind-the-scenes updates and more.