With five nominations, OutKast leads the field running up to the 2004 MTV Europe Music Awards, which will be held Nov. 18 in Rome, Italy.

With five nominations, OutKast leads the field running up to the 2004 MTV Europe Music Awards, which as previously reported will be held Nov. 18 in Rome, Italy, for the first time.

The eclectic Atlanta-based duo is nominated in the best group and best R&B categories. Its Arista double-set "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" is up for best album, while single "Hey Ya!" is nominated in the best song and best video categories.

R&B singer Usher logs four nominations, including best male and best R&B. His "Confessions" (LaFace/Arista) is nominated as best album and the single "Yeah!" (featuring Ludacris and Lil Jon) is up for best song. Usher will perform at the awards.

Seven artists -- Anastacia, Beyoncé, Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Franz Ferdinand, Jay-Z and Maroon 5 -- each received three nominations.

Performers on the night will include Eminem, who will deliver a rendition of "Just Lose It," the first single from his upcoming Interscope set "Encore," due for international release Nov. 15. Gwen Stefani will perform "What You Waiting For?" from her solo debut album, "Love Angel Music Baby," due internationally Nov. 22 on Interscope. Other performers will include the Beastie Boys, Franz Ferdinand, the Hives and Nelly.

Nominations for the 11th annual event were unveiled at a press briefing in central London today. MTV Networks' Europe president Brent Hansen told guests that this year's gala will draw upon some of the strong points from last year's edition in Edinburgh, Scotland, which he said was a critical and financial success. Specifically, a custom-made tent structure will again be erected to house the event, this time in Rome's Tor Di Valle.

"You're going to see very adrenalized performances by the artists, and it's going to be very intimate, very intense, rather than a big arena-type gig," Hansen tells Billboard.biz. "I think we'll be able to use quite a bit of Rome, not just for build-ups to the show but hopefully for part of the show as well," he adds.

A week-long series of performances showcasing Italian music will run up to the event and a simultaneous live outdoor concert will be held on the night of the gala.

Sponsors of this year's event include Replay Blue Jeans, L'Oreal Paris Studio Line, Hewlett Packard and Foot Locker.

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