MTV Video Music Awards to open with a 'Bang'

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The MTV Video Music Awards will open with a “Bang.”

Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J will kick off Sunday’s awards show with their new song, “Bang Bang.” It will be the first time the trio performs the Top 10 hit.

Grande and Minaj will also perform separately during the VMAs, to air live from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

Beyonce is the top nominee and will compete for eight awards, including video of the year for “Drunk in Love.” She will also receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award.

Beyonce will take the stage Sunday night; other performers include Usher, 5 Seconds of Summer, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith and Iggy Azalea, who has seven nominations.

Eminem is also nominated for seven moonmen.

Country Crue

Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx have spent so much time hanging out with country artists for a Motley Crue tribute album that they know how to write the classic country song.

First, the subject of a country ballad isn’t that far from the life of a rock ’n’ roller, the blond lead singer said as he sat in a Nashville, Tennessee, hotel next to guitarist Sixx.

“You’re young and you go out drinking, drugging and writing songs,” Neil said. “Bad stuff happens: you lose your wife, your house, your car.”

“And you write a song about it,” Sixx chimed in.

Instead of a clash of cultures on the 15-song album, “Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Motley Crue,” released Tuesday, Nashville’s country crooners welcomed the teased-hair, leather-clad metal band whose rock anthems helped define the ’80s.

Backed by Big Machine Label Group CEO Scott Borchetta, who brought to the album his wide roster of artists including Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and Brantley Gilbert, the multi-genre approach fits right in with younger fans of country music whose tastes fall all over the radio dial.

Motley Crue, in the middle of their final tour in the United States and Canada, had no input on the artists or how the songs were performed. The standout performances sound very little like the electric guitar heavy originals, such as when LeAnn Rimes sings “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” with a horn section or when The Mavericks bring their Cuban country beat to “Dr. Feelgood.”

Big & Rich, Darius Rucker, Gretchen Wilson and Justin Moore also appear on the album. For some of the artists, it was the lyrics and emotions that drew them to the project.

“More than anything this song is country, but it’s Southern rock,” Moore said of his version of “Home Sweet Home,” the album’s lead single. “It’s something you don’t hear very often anymore, so I am very proud of it.”

For Neil, whose father was from Texas, this isn’t the country music he rebelled against as a teenager who loved rock ’n’ roll.

“I saw Florida Georgia Line, and one of the guys has a Mohawk and tattoos,” Neil said. “I mean, you can’t get any more rock ’n’ roll than that.”



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