The MTV Video Music Awards never fail to entertain, thanks in no small part to its roster of epic performers. Everyone remembers when Britney Spears emerged to sing “Slave 4 U” with a live python draped around her neck. Or how about when Eminem rapped “The Real Slim Shady” with a cohort of blonde Marshall Mathers lookalikes? Thankfully, this year’s crop of musical talent is no exception. From Rihanna to Nick Jonas, here’s who we’re excited to see belt it out onstage and cement their place in pop culture history.
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The pop star sent the Internet into a tizzy when she announced via Instagram that she’ll be gracing the VMA stage for the first time since 2007 to give a debut performance of her new song “Make Me…” featuring G-Eazy, off her new album Glory. If the teaser is any indication, it’s going to be one for the books.
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The youngest JoBro is slated to perform his new single “Bacon” with Ty Dolla $ign—and it promises to be sizzling.
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The Atlanta rapper will make his first appearance ever on the VMA stage, presumably to “take the beat places that the beat never thought it could go,” according to his promo clip.
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Rihanna will accept the coveted Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award with a speech and a medley of her greatest hits, along with songs from her latest album, Anti.
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Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty
ARIANA GRANDE AND NICKI MINAJ
Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj started the 2014 VMAs off right with a performance of their collaborative single, “Bang Bang,” with Jessie J, and the duo will make their triumphant return this year to perform “Side to Side” off Grande’s third album, Dangerous Woman.
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THE CHAINSMOKERS AND HALSEY
The Chainsmokers had an epic year, and the New York-based DJ duo will memorialize it by teaming up with Halsey for a rendition of their chart-topping melancholy banger “Closer.” Get your Kleenex ready.