The VMAs will return to New York City's Radio City Music Hall on September 13th for the first time since 2006, with last year's controversial host Russell Brand once again serving as the Video Music Awards emcee. Making their MTV VMAs performance debuts are Taylor Swift — who last year served as a VMA red carpet interviewer — and U.K. rockers Muse, who will debut their new single "Uprising" during the show. This year's VMAs marks the 14th time in the show's history that the Big Apple has served as host for the ceremony.
While Swift is an award show force spanning all genres, Muse seem like an unlikely choice for MTV, given that the U.K. prog-rockers haven't exactly been TRL staples in their decade-plus career. Still, frontman Matt Bellamy is excited about the prospect of playing in front of music's biggest names, saying in a statement, "We are honored to be invited to play at the VMAs which will be our first ever U.S. TV performance, and the first ever U.S. performance of our debut single from our new album The Resistance coming out September 15th in the U.S., and of course another great excuse to hang out in New York City for a few days!" American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert has been talking up Muse a lot in interviews lately, and is performing one of their songs on the Idols live tour.
Even more shocking the addition of Muse, perhaps, is the return of Brand, who last year caused an uproar with controversial comments about everything from promise rings — which drew the ire of Jordin Sparks — to the Jonas Brothers' genitals. As Rock Daily wrote in our VMA live blog last year, "Is flopping Russell Brand's whole schtick? Because if it is, that makes him the British Norm Macdonald." Still, Brand's performance in Forgetting Sarah Marshall has only aged like fine wine in the past few years, so hopefully American audiences will have an easier time embracing the British comic.
• The 2008 MTV VMAs Live Blog: It Has To Be Better Than Last Year
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• Backstage at the VMAs: Britney Basks in Her Wins, Brand Condemns Sex, Linkin Park Rate the Night