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Madonna Kicks off MTV Europe Awards
2005-11-04 10:33:45      Reuters
Madonna kicked off the MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday in Lisbon, where she gave the first live televised performance of her new single "Hung Up" in a show beamed to millions of homes across the world.

(Madonna performs at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2005 ceremony at Lisbon's Atlantic Pavilion November 3, 2005. Madonna gave the first live TV performance of her new single "Hung Up". )

Wearing purple leather boots and a matching jacket, the 47-year-old queen of pop rocked the Atlantic Pavilion on one of the music industry's most important nights outside the United States.

She will be joined on stage by British performers Coldplay and Robbie Williams, who have both released new albums this year that are selling well.

Rock quartet Foo Fighters, hip hopsters Black Eyed Peas and punk-pop icons Green Day round up the action on a night MTV hopes will combine the strength of traditional live rock performance with cutting-edge technology.

Leading the nominations this year are Coldplay and cartoon group Gorillaz who have five nominations each, ahead of Gwen Stefani with four and 50 Cent, Green Day, James Blunt, Snoop Dogg and U2 with three nominations apiece.

Gorillaz are due to "appear," using hologram-style technology to beam three-dimensional, performing cartoon characters on stage.  

Billed as the world's most successful virtual band, the human artists behind Gorillaz traditionally appear at live gigs as silhouettes on a giant screen combined with images of their cartoon alter egos.


Madonna will be hoping "Hung Up," and the new album "Confessions on a Dancefloor," put her back on top of the charts after her last three albums failed to sell well.

The Material Girl has sold more than 160 million albums throughout her career, and there was little doubt who was the fans' favorite in Lisbon.

A small number of people camped out overnight for a front-of-stage view of the American.

"We are only here to see Madonna," said Cilla Felix, a 33-year-old businesswoman who waited outside the MTV venue with a friend since Wednesday morning. "She's the only one there is. It's been 20 years that I've been following her."

Hosting the event will be spoof Kazakh television presenter Borat, a guise adopted by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen who is renowned for his risque, politically incorrect humor.

Judging by his jokes in broken English to reporters on the eve of the awards, he threatens to steal some of the artists' thunder.

"My 13-year-old son is traveling here by foot, with his two wives and his three childrens," Borat said.

MTV has created an African award this year after it launched a new music video channel on the continent earlier in 2005.

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