MTV Video Music Awards: 5 Things To Know


The annual event, hosted by Kevin Hart, will feature performances by Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Green Day and Lil Wayne.

The MTV Video Music Awards will invade the Los Angeles Staples Center on Thursday night, bringing together some of music’s biggest names for a night that promises to provide plenty of surprises.

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There are quite a few big changes to this year’s show, which will be hosted by Kevin Hart. Originally scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 9., the show was moved to Thursday in order to avoid conflict with Sunday night football’s first week. The broadcast has also been moved an hour earlier -- to 8 p.m. -- to avoid conflicting with President Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Here are five things to know about this year’s MTV Video Music Awards:

1. A Double-Decker Red Carpet
Before the show, stars will walk a whole new carpet this year: a double-decker. As THR caught on video, the new red carpet outside the Staples Center is two levels, so that the audience around the red carpet will be able to see the stars as they enter the arena. Hopefully, the stars -- and the press -- aren’t afraid of heights.

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2. Performers Galore
Performers during the show include Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Frank Ocean, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Green Day, Pink and One Direction. Rihanna will open the show, performing “Cockiness” featuring A$AP Rocky and her hit song “We Found Love.” Lil Wayne will be debuting his new song “No Worries.”

3. A Show for the People
By moving the VMAs to Staples Center, the show is set to have the feel of an insane concert. The arena has 20,000 seats, and MTV executive vp Dave Sirulnick says they plan to take advantage of the energy that many people will create. Then entire floor will be filled with audience members. “There’s a great energy to that, and so that’s part of the dynamic to this year’s show -- a lot of the performances are interacting with the audience in one way or another,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter.

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4. Kevin Hart on the Offense
The first-time host, who says Chris Rock is one of his favorite past hosts, tells THR that he wants his performance to be memorable. "I want to basically set myself apart from the pack,” says Hart. “How do I make this event mine? How do I make this event talked about for years to come? The only way to do that is to offend people. ... That’s what people talk about. That's what people remember.”

5. Expect the Unexpected
If the VMAs are famous for anything, it would be the surprises that happen during the broadcast, from Beyonce announcing her pregnancy to Kanye West stealing Taylor Swift’s mic during her acceptance speech. “The VMAs to me are about planned and unplanned,” says Sirulnick, who adds that they put some surprises -- like Kanye and Jay-Z’s performance at last year’s show -- into the schedule, and others -- such as Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley’s infamous awkward kiss -- are complete surprises even to the showmakers. We’re sure 2012’s show will be no different.

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