Rihanna, the Backstreet Boys and New Kids On The Block are set to give American Music Awards viewers a surprise with their performances.
According to producer Larry Klein, Rihanna will open the show “with a song no one’s ever heard her do before,” along with a track from her new album.
Closing the show will be New Kids On The Block and the Backstreet Boys in their first-ever TV performance together. “It’s like a mash-up. They’re throwing lyrics back and forth, trading off songs,” Klein said. “It’s something that no one’s ever seen before.”
Pink is also set to take to the stage in Los Angeles, with skateboard ramps, skateboarders and aerial artists involved in her performance.
Klein added one artist will appear on an industrial set with moving boxes and elevator lifts.
Carlos Santana and Gavin Rossdale will also perform, while other performers scheduled to take the stage include Kid Rock, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Christina Aguilera, Ne-Yo and Usher.
Santana said he was eager to see Ne-Yo perform: “He’s the closest to Michael Jackson without wanting to be Michael Jackson, and I love Michael Jackson.”
Bon Jovi will perform an extended set to celebrate the band’s 25 years in music. In between all the singing, awards will be presented in nine popular genres, including pop and rock, rap/hip-hop, country, Latin and soul/R&B.
Eminem and country trio Lady Antebellum lead nominees with five apiece. Bieber is up for four awards, while Ke$ha and Perry have three bids each.
Nominees were determined by radio play and music sales, but fans voted online for the winners.