The term “kicked off” has rarely been put to better use than it was on Friday night when Gwen Stefani, the pogo stick of a pop star famous for her kicking ska dance, launched Europe’s biggest music awards, the MTV EMAs, in the German city of Frankfurt. Stefani, back with No Doubt, that band with whom she began her career, performed an intimate concert just outside Frankfurt which was aired live in more than 50 countries by MTV, rattling through their hits like a day hadn’t passed since “Don’t Speak”. Seriously — Stefani’s abs deserve their own YouTube channel.
No Doubt had the stage to themselves on Friday but come Sunday, they go up against Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Katy Perry in the Best Pop category, thanks to their return earlier this year with the album Push and Shove.
The show on Sunday night, hosted by hometown girl Heidi Klum, will see a few battles between Rihanna and Swift, the acts with the highest number of nominations, Rihanna with six and Swift with five. Bieber and Perry have four nominations each. Swift came up with an unusual way of getting more fan votes, tweeting “The voting for the EMA’s ends soon, so you can go here tswift.co/ts-ema if you want. Or if you just feel bad for me cause I’m sick”. Here’s hoping she gets better in time for Sunday’s show, where she is due to perform.
Of course it’s about the winning, and we have to hope that Psy, nominated for only one award, gets to take home what is likely to be the first of many international gongs. But the EMAs are also about the performances and presenters, with the likes of Kim Kardashian, The Killers, Ludacris (premiering his latest video), Carly Rae Jepsen, fun., Muse, Pitbull, Alicia Keys, Rita Ora and the aforementioned Psy due to take the stage at Frankfurt’s Festhalle to sing and give out awards.
One person we know is seriously excited about his nomination is Ahmad Sultan, the Moroccan singer who was voted through two rounds to reach the finals of the Best Worldwide Act, representing the Middle East, Africa and India against Rihanna from North America, Dima Bilan from Russia for Europe, Chinese pop star Han Geng for Asia Pacific and Restart from Latin America. Last year’s fan voted winner was K-pop band Bigbang.
Fashion, is, of course, high on the agenda: the host, Project Runway presenter Heidi Klum is certain to dazzle with some creative clothing, and finding out what the stars are wearing on the red carpet pre-show is Plain Jane presenter and stylist Louise Roe. Meanwhile a new category, Best Look, was introduced this year, with Swift, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky and Jack White nominated.
The show’s backstage reporter is German favourite David Hasselhoff (his pop music is massive here, didn’t you know). And of course, tabloid! will be there every step of the way.
*The MTV EMAs air live in the UAE, starting at midnight tonight [Sunday] with the red carpet show. Follow our live tweets on Twitter.com/GulfNewsTabloid for a minute-by-minute update.