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The Ultimate 2010 Video Music Awards Playlist

Listen to tunes by Lady Gaga, Eminem and more

September 10, 2010 10:15 AM ET

Lady Gaga leads this year's Video Music Award nominees with thirteen nods, with Eminem in second place with eight nominations. Check out tunes by these acts — along with music by other VMA nominees including Katy Perry and B.o.B. — to get ready for the big night and keep up with Rob Sheffield's live blog of the night's festivities and the rest of Rolling Stone's coverage right here.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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