Berlin holds MTV awards, 20 years after fall of Wall

Tue Nov 3, 2009 5:55am EST
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By Sarah Marsh

BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin hosts the MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday, where German pop rock band Tokio Hotel will perform alongside U.S. rapper Jay-Z and Latin pop star Shakira.

The event is one of pop's biggest nights outside the United States and is being held in the German capital to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the Cold War that split the city and Germany.

Music channel MTV invites fans to decide the winners by voting for their favorite acts via the website, and last year it said 100 million online votes were cast.

While the awards are based in Europe, they tend to be dominated by big names in U.S. pop music and this year is no exception with New Yorker Lady Gaga and Nashville-based Kings of Leon leading the way with five nominations apiece.

Compatriot Beyonce is up for four nominations, while Detroit rapper Eminem and Californian punk rockers Green Day are short listed for three awards each.

U.S. pop singer Katy Perry, who is nominated for Best Female and Best Video, will be hosting the awards for the second year in a row, while British soul singer Joss Stone will be talking to guests on the red carpet.

MTV says the star-studded cast presenting awards at the show will include Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, French actor Jean Reno and the Backstreet Boys.

Meanwhile, Irish rock band U2 will perform a free concert in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, a historical landmark that symbolized the division between East and West Germany.   Continued...