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Jay-Z, Kanye, Rihanna to "Run This Town" On "Leno Show" Premiere

August 6, 2009 5:53 PM ET

Jay Leno has locked up an impressive first musical guest for the September 14th premiere episode of The Jay Leno Show, as Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rihanna will all take the studio stage to perform the newest single of Jigga's The Blueprint 3, "Run This Town." Unless something major happens between now and September 14th, the performance on the Leno Show will also mark Rihanna's first time holding a microphone onstage since her February 8th altercation with Chris Brown.

Leno himself broke the news at the NBC Critics Association panel yesterday when discussing his new show, which jumps from late night to a daily prime-time slot at 10 p.m. "I always come on strong!," Leno told Access Hollywood after revealing the trio of stars would perform on his opening night. When Leno left the airwaves and The Tonight Show in May, James Taylor served as his last musical guest; Pearl Jam performed on the debut episode of The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien.

(Click here for Jay Leno discussing his new gig with Rolling Stone.)

Jay-Z's "Run This Town" on Leno comes three days after The Blueprint 3 and its instrument-heavy artwork is released on September 11th. The performance will likely be the first time Jigga showcases the song on television — the track made its way onto his All Points West set list — as well as the first time audiences see the triumvirate of Kanye, Rihanna and Jay-Z perform the song together.

As Rock Daily previously reported, The Blueprint 3 will also feature guest spots from Kid Cudi, Drake and MGMT, as well as one track produced by Timbaland.

Related Stories:
Jay-Z Talks "Blueprint 3" Album Cover: "It's Still About Music"
Jay-Z Breaks Out Blizzard of Hits, Pays Tribute to Michael Jackson at All Points West
Rihanna Returns and Kanye West Shines on Jay-Z's "Run This Town"

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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