Janet Jackson will open this weekend’s 2009 MTV Video Music Awards with a musical tribute to her late brother Michael, MTV announced yesterday after rumors of Janet’s involvement began circulating. Janet, a nine-time Moonman winner herself, will honor her brother in a “special appearance” that will a look back over his life and career — a career that also helped attract viewers to MTV when the network was in its formative years. The VMAs will air live this Sunday, September 13th from New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
According to TMZ, the performance will feature more than 20 backup dancers and choreography from some of the biggest names in the dance world. (Contrary to reports, however, choreographer Frank Gaston is not involved, MTV says.) Kryiss Grant, one of the dancers who will appear at the VMAs and an usher at Jackson’s funeral last week, told TMZ the performance is being rehearsed almost 15 hours a day and that when all is said on done, “there won’t be a dry eye in the house” after Janet is finished honoring her brother.
As Rolling Stone previously reported, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Green Day, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Wale will also perform when MTV storms Radio City Music Hall this weekend. The festivities will once again be hosted by Forgetting Sarah Marshall star Russell Brand, and presenters include Katy Perry, Nelly Furtado and select members of the Gossip Girl crew.
Rolling Stone will be on the red carpet and at the big show this weekend, so be sure to check back for our full coverage.
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