US and European music stars will be battling it out in Liverpool at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Newcomers and old hats take to the stage and the city's most famous son will be getting an award as the "Ultimate Legend."
Britain's Duffy is a hot contender for the most prizes
All eyes and ears are turned to Liverpool on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 6. For the 15th year, the MTV Europe Music Awards is honoring the best of its kind.
The favorites in the running are US star Beyoncé and British soul singer Duffy. Both will be giving live performances -- along with Pink, Kid Rock, The Killers and Kanye West.
Other leading 2008 nominees include Alicia Keys (for Album of the Year and Ultimate Urban) and Coldplay (for Album of the Year and Most Addictive Track for "Viva La Vida").
A highlight of the live show promises to be Take That, back onstage following their 2006 comeback album and their 2007 sell-out The Beautiful World Tour. The British group performed at the very first MTV Europe Music Awards at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in 1994. They then went on to win the award for Best Group.
"We can't think of a better way to celebrate 15 years of extraordinary live performances than with Gary, Mark, Howard, and Jason," MTV said on its Web site.
Honoring a Liverpool legend
It's the first time that the legendary home of the Beatles in northwest England is hosting the event. And this year, a special "Ultimate Legend" award will be going to the most famous Liverpudlian of all time: former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.
Paul McCartney is still going strong at age 66
The ex-Beatle's career started in the 1950s and he is now listed in the Guinness World Records as the most successful musician and composer in pop music history. He has sold millions of records and is considered one of the wealthiest musicians in the world.
In addition to his successful and ongoing music career, McCartney is also a lead patron and co-founder of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Opened in June 1996, it is now one of the foremost centers of artistic excellence in Britain.
"Now that we've made the pilgrimage to Liverpool, we couldn't resist honoring one of the men that made it the music Mecca that it is," MTV said.
Will Amy show up?
American singer-songwriter Katy Perry is hosting the event. She is also nominated for her hit "I Kissed A Girl."
Britney Spears put on quite a show at the US MTV Awards last year
There's a big question mark on whether Amy Winehouse, in the running for best act, will show up. Her well-publicized drug problems have repeatedly hindered her in various appearances.
But Britney Spears, who has surprised many of her critics with a remarkable comeback from her broken marriage and other personal problems, is expected to be there. She and newcomer Duffy are both nominated for three awards and the hottest contenders for the most prizes.
Tokio Hotel won as best newcomers at the US MTV Awards 2008
It's also old versus new in the category "Headliner" for the best live performance of the year. German teen rockers Tokio Hotel are competing against veterans such as Metallica and The Cure.
Altogether there are eight categories, with viewers voting for the winners via Internet except for Video Star. Last year, nearly 80 million votes were cast ahead of the event. A new category this year is "Best Act Ever," with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Green Day, Rick Astley, Tokio Hotel and U2 vying for the prize.
An estimated 30 million viewers are expected to be watching around the world.