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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

“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."

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