Britney Spears may not sing at this weekend’s MTV’s Video Music Awards, but Christina Aguilera will.
Aguilera will join other top-name performers, including the Jonas Brothers, T.I., Pink, and Kid Rock, awards host, British comedian Russell Brand announced today.
Speaking on the backlot of the Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Brand bantered with Aguilera, who emerged from a limousine, and rapper T.I., who shimmied down a fire escape on a street made to look like New York.
“It’s going to be, actually, bloody exciting,” Brand said of the awards show, which will celebrate its 25th year on Sunday.
Brand, largely unknown to US audiences, displayed his brand of humour best described with one word: cheeky.
During the presentation, he described the Jonas Brothers as “God’s favourite virgins” and racily commented on Aguilera’s physique.
Aguilera touted her upcoming appearance as her first televised performance since giving birth to son Max in January.
The comedian also poked fun at himself, saying that bulldozers were working overtime to keep his wild mane of hair in check.
Brand laced his remarks with “bloody” and “’ell” and a few unprintables. But he also kept the buzz going about the VMAs, an awards show known for creating infamous pop culture moments. Almost as a footnote, he noted that Kanye West had signed on to close the show with a performance.
West has apparently mended his volatile relationship with MTV.
Last year, he famously promised not to return to the VMAs during a tirade he threw after losing in all five categories he was nominated for. The year before, he crashed the stage at the MTV Europe Awards after not winning for best video.
Brand, for his part, seems willing to deliver what MTV has described as a show that will be heavy on music and mischief.
Grabbing a megaphone, Brand led reporters through the Paramount backlot, delivering them at a soundstage where Kid Rock exploded on stage – in a pair of white slippers – for a rehearsal.
He also praised troubled pop princess Spears, who will open the show, but will not be performing.
Spears, 26, has been nominated for three VMAs, including for video of the year for 'Piece Of Me'.
And a strong performance by her could erase some of the sting from her disastrous performance of 'Gimme More' at last year’s show.
There was no mention today of Michael Jackson, who promoters have tried to lure to the show.