While the East Coast has spent the past two days steeling itself for (an ultimately overblown) Hurricane Irene, over on the West Coast preparations of a different sort have been underway, for the MTV Video Music Awards set for this evening. Already with a star-studded lineup — Lady Gaga is opening — E! Online reported late yesterday that two new names were quietly added to the performers’ roster since Thursday: Jay-Z and Kanye West, who are expected to perform numbers from their joint album Watch the Throne. (Reviewing the album, New York’s Nitsuh Abebe said it was “reliably good” but “could be so much better, more pointed, more coherent.”) The duo could easily become a trio if joined by Beyoncé, Jay-Z’s wife — featured on a Watch the Throne track — and also performing at the VMAs.
Also on the list of performers in this year’s no-host show: Lil Wayne, Adele, Pit Bull, Tony Bennett (taking part in an Amy Winehouse tribute), Bruno Mars, and Chris Brown. There’s also set to be a Britney Spears tribute, though we can’t quite figure out why.
Video of the Year: Katy Perry’s “Firework” vs. Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” vs. Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” vs. Beastie Boys’ “Make Some Noise” vs. Tyler, The Creator’s “Yonkers.” (Check videos here.)
Best Male Video: Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” vs. Cee Lo Green’s “F*** You” vs. Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” (featuring Rihanna) vs. Justin Bieber’s “U Smile” vs. Kanye West’s “All Of The Lights” (featuring Rihanna and Kid Cudi.” (Check videos here.)
The VMAs will air on MTV at 9 p.m. tonight. [HRP]