Rapper Eminem kick off the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards with his opening performance of “Not Afraid”. The Slim Shady started spitting his verses from the backstage, which was arranged to look like a small stage before he came out to get more spotlights. Rihanna surprised event-goers by appearing on the other side of the stage, setting off the performance for her collaborative single with Eminem called, “Love the Way You Lie”. The Barbadian singer, who donned a fairy-like dress, walked slowly to join the rapper on the center stage right when the song was about to end. Shortly after completing the gig, Rihanna tweeted, “SURPRISE!!! ….just had to do it guys!” Justin Bieber performed on the outside stage with his dancing entourage. Bieber entered the set, riding a red car with a number of female fans chasing him. He catered his fans with a medley of “Baby” and “Somebody to Love” and made a solo drum performance. Singer Taylor Swift performed a new song called “Innocent,” putting the past behind her and moving on. “It’s okay if life is a tough crowd / 32 and still growing up now / who you are is not what you did / you’re still an innocent,” barefooted Taylor sang while strumming a vintage guitar. Referring to the lyrics and the footage played just before her performance, people quickly speculated the track is an ode to Kanye West, the man who embarrassed her last year. And her rep confirmed that matter, saying “[it’s] about her feelings about last year’s VMAs.” Possibly answering Taylor’s song, Kanye who did not perform until the end of the show made “a toast for the douche bags,” in a new song called “Runaway.” “Let’s have a toast for the a**holes. Let’s have a toast for the scumbags. Every one I know,” West raps. Drake got support from Mary J. Blige and Swizz Beatz when performing “Fancy” for audience flocking inside the building. Usher, B.o.B and Linkin Park were some of the other musical guests of the September 12 live ceremony. The only performers who won more than one award that night was Eminem. Dominating the winners list, meanwhile, is Lady GaGa with eight prizes.
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