MTV Networks International has added Kanye West and U.K. urban artist Estelle to its line-up of performers at the MTV Europe Music Awards at Liverpool Echo Arena on Nov. 6.
The pair will duet on Estelle's hit "American Boy" (Homeschool/Atlantic), while West will also perform his own material.
West will be performing for the first time at the MTV Europe Music Awards, following his win for best hip-hop at the 2006 ceremony in Copenhagen. The rapper was also responsible for an infamous moment that year when he took to the stage to protest after losing out in the best video category for "Touch The Sky" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) to Justice vs. Simian's "We Are Your Friends" (Ten Records).
"We are obviously very pleased to have him back, as a performer this time, and also with Estelle as well because 'American Boy' has been one of the songs of the year," Richard Godfrey, senior VP, music and production & executive producer, MTV Europe Music Awards, told Billboard.biz. "They have never performed it together on a big, proper TV [awards] show, so that's quite a coup, and of course Kanye's going to do other stuff, too, so it's great to have him there."
Godfrey said the pair have only previously performed together once before on a French music TV show. Other performers include Pink, Duffy, The Killers, Take That, Kid Rock and Beyonce.
The event, hosted by Katy Perry, is broadcast live across Europe and is sponsored by edc by Esprit, Sony Ericsson and Dell. Fans can vote online at http://ema.mtv.co.uk.
"Last year we had over 70 milion votes by the end of it and we're well on the way to beating that," said Godfrey. "I think we get more votes than the EU manages to get for the European elections."
The site is also a multi-platform experience including a live Webcast from the red carpet before the show, followed by a live simulcast of the awards and specific Web-created content during the television commercial breaks. There will also be post-show content such as on-demand performances.
"There will be a live streaming Webcast of the show and [blogger] Perez Hilton is our digital host, so there will be loads of material with him interviewing all the artists," said Godfrey. "I just think it's the way people view stuff."
He added: "Obviously the TV broadcast is the most important thing for us and we want as many people to watch it live.“
He said the mobile WAP site is "another big area of growth," adding that U.K. TV viewing figures are also up.
"I think part of the credit crunch is that people are staying at home a little bit more and watching TV," said Godfrey.