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Alicia Keys and Eminem recruited for VMA 2009

September 10, 2009 2:01 PM ET

With three days to go until the Video Music Awards, MTV announced that Eminem will also appear on the show in a "special appearance." Details are sketchy regarding Eminem's role — Janet Jackson will also make a "special appearance" in a tribute to her brother Michael, so the term denotes something more than a standard performance — "but the last time Slim Shady made a "special appearance" on MTV, he was at the butt end of a Bruno gag, literally. Maybe Eminem will exact revenge on some unprepared member of the audience? Maybe he'll debut a track from his upcoming Relapse 2? We'll find out live September 13th when the VMAs invade New York's Radio City Music Hall.

MTV also revealed that Alicia Keys will join Jay-Z when Hova debuts his The Blueprint 3 song "Empire State of Mind" for the VMA audience. A whole cavalcade of presenters were also announced, including Megan Fox, Jimmy Fallon, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, 50 Cent, Jack Black, Andy Samberg, Kristin Cavallari, Pete Wentz, Gerard Butler, Tracy Morgan, Adam Brody, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Alexa Chung, Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship and Justin Bieber.

As Rolling Stone previously reported, the VMAs will also include performances by Green Day, Beyoncé, Muse, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Wale and Pink, trailers for This Is It and New Moon, the Jackson tribute, Russell Brand's controversial hosting plus hints of Britney Spears' possible involvement. We're sure MTV has much more surprises in store, so keep it locked to Rolling Stone all weekend for our full coverage of the event, which conveniently is taking place right next door to our office.

Related Stories:
Michael Jackson's "This Is It" Trailer to Premiere During VMAs
Janet Jackson to Pay Tribute to Michael at MTV's VMAs
Britney Spears Gets Into Russell Brand's Head in VMAs Commercial

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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