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MTV music awards back in LA
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The MTV Video Music Awards, scene of a disastrous performance by Britney Spears last year, will return to Los Angeles for the first time in a decade on September 7, the lifestyle cable network said on Monday.

The high-wattage event, now in its 25th year, will take place on the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood, and will air on the channel that evening. Los Angeles last hosted the event in 1998. Since then, the awards have been held mostly in New York, but traveled to Miami in 2004 and 2005, and then Las Vegas last year.

MTV said this year's ceremony would use the city streets, rooftops, and sound stages all over the Paramount lot. The host, performers, nominees, and presenters will be announced at a later date. MTV and Paramount are units of Viacom Inc.

Last year, 7.1 million MTV viewers watched the festivities, according to Nielsen Media Research. Spears, embarking on a comeback of sorts, was ridiculed for dressing as a stripper and badly lip-synching her way through her new single. Jaws dropped among mystified stars in the audience.

While viewership was up from 5.8 million the year before, the numbers are a far cry from the record 12 million viewers for the 1999 version.

(China Daily/Agencies June 25, 2008)

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