MTV VMA Awards Preview: Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Beyonce and More Big Moments to Watch For
MTV VMA Awards Preview: Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Beyonce and More Big Moments to Watch For
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
MTV's 2011 Video Music Awards air this Sunday, August 28 at 9/8pm, and once again, some of the biggest stars of music, movies and TV are slated to make appearances at the network's biggest annual award show.

Among the night's most anticipated appearances? Britney Spears will be there to receive a fitting 30th birthday present: A tribute to her own super-stardom. Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars will each perform, among many others, and iconic crooner Tony Bennett will lead a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse.

More on what to expect, what to watch for and how to vote for the 2011 VMAs:


As you may have heard ... there is no host. VMAs executive producer Ann Doyle told Billboard earlier this week, ""It's going down to the wire. ... Hosting is such a unique element. We feel we got it right by putting new talent on the stage like Chelsea [Handler] and Russell [Brand]. We're really challenging ourselves to find the right person so that the show feels complete."

Well, whether by mistake or last minute decision-making, they never found the perfect galvanizing figure to helm the ship this Sunday. Starlet/Bieber-squeeze Selena Gomez will host the awards' pre-show black carpet special.


The lack of a host (hopefully!) doesn't mean there won't be plenty of jokes and personality between awards. Among Sunday's presenters are known funny men Seth Rogen, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Jonah Hill, JB Smoove and Will Ferrell. Teen heartthrobs and hotties Jared Leto, Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, Selena Gomez and Victoria Justice will all lend their faces to the stage throughout the show, as will rising Hollywood stars Jennifer Lawrence and Zoe Saldana. Rounding out the eclectic presenter group are four entertaining, enigmatic rappers Drake, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross and members of Odd Future, and, still riding the high of her "royal wedding" last weekend, Kim Kardashian. Because no event is complete without Kim Kardashian.


Plenty of music's biggest names will perform, along with lesser-known but growing artists, crossing almost every musical genre from indie rock to hip hop. Artists known as much for their music as their theatrics, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Chris Brown will almost definitely put on the biggest, most buzzed-about performances. Gaga will open the show -- with a bang, we're sure.  Adele, Bruno Mars and Jessie J (who is the show's "house artist" for the evening) will each put their powerful vocals on display. Lil Wayne and Pitbull with represent for the rap community. R&B star Ne-Yo and Nicaraguan singer-songwriter Nayer will take the stage with Pitbull to perform their smash hit, "Give Me Everything." Rounding out the show's musical spots will be indie rockers Young the Giant.

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The saddest tribute of the evening will be the Tony Bennett-led all-star homage to the recently deceased Amy Winehouse. Shortly before her untimely death, Bennett worked with the late R&B singer, whose MTV Movie Awards performance of her hit "Rehab" in helped rocket her to stardom, on a duet track called "Body and Soul." The tribute will feature footage of the two performing together. The single will be released September 14 -- Winehouse's birthday.

Britney Spears will also receive recognition from MTV with her own tribute during Sunday's show. Details of the tribute are under wraps, but Spears has been a part of many memorable VMA performances, most notably her "Slave 4 U" display with an albino python in 2001, and her infamous liplock with Madonna in 2003. Fans can bet that those moments, along with many of Spears' hits, especially those with iconic music videos like "Toxic" and "...Baby One More Time," will be featured in the tribute.


Jennifer Lawrence will be on hand to debut the first footage from the highly-anticipated movie adaptation of The Hunger Games, which hits theaters in March. For once, Taylor Lautner won't be there to promote a Twilight film. Instead, he's hyping his role in the upcoming thriller, Abduction. Whether that means he'll show off his abs(-duction) remains to be seen.


Here are the nominees for three of the biggest awards of the evening: Best New Artist, Best Pop Video, and Video of the Year. See the rest of the awards and nominees (and VOTE!) here.

Best New Artist:
Big Sean f. Chris Brown, "My Last"
Foster the People, "Pumped Up Kicks"
Kreayshawn, "Gucci Gucci"
Tyler, the Creator, "Yonkers"
Wiz Khalifa, "Black and Yellow"

Best Pop Video:
Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"
Britney Spears, "Till the World Ends"
Bruno Mars, "Grenade"
Katy Perry, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)"
Pitbull f. Ne-Yo, Nayer and Afrojack, "Give Me Everything"

Video of the Year:
Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"
Beastie Boys, "Make Some Noise"
Bruno Mars, "Grenade"
Katy Perry, "Firework"
Tyler the Creator, "Yonkers"

Get More: 2011 VMA, Music


The reigning baby-king and baby-minded-queen of pop, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, are both nominated for a slew of awards. It will probably be a big night of wins for both, so you can expect them to show up. Keep your eye on Lady Gaga -- she's known for her frequent and bizarre costume changes, and we doubt she'd dare disappoint fans, who are still talking about her 2009 meat dress, with anything less than outrageous. The casts of MTV's two hit summer shows, Teen Wolf and Jersey Shore, will all be in attendance and sitting in the front row. The cast of Awkward. will be there, too.

No word on whether Kanye West will be there -- or if anyone will plan an uncomfortable "Kanye Moment" in his absence -- but he is nominated for the "Best Hip Hop Video" award, so that means they had to invite him, right?

(Image courtesy of MTV)