MIAMI – As Tropical Storm Katrina (search) targeted South Florida, MTV (search) said it had plans in place to deal with rough weather ahead of its Video Music Awards. The pre-awards bash officially began Wednesday afternoon at the opening of Hotel MTV on trendy South Beach.
Diddy — also known as Sean "Puffy" Combs (search) — is playing host to Sunday's awards show and was present at the ceremonies kicking off the four days of pool parties, musical performances and night clubs at the Doubletree Surfcomber.
MTV spokesman Graham James said show planners were monitoring the progress of Tropical Storm Katrina, which had top sustained winds of 45 mph and was about 200 miles east-southeast of Miami on Wednesday. It was expected to affect South Florida as early as Friday, with the potential to wash out some pre-show events.
The storm could bring rain, lightning and gusty winds to the Miami area, and many outdoor events are scheduled around the hotel's pool area that was spruced up for the awards. Other parties tied to the awards but not directly sponsored by MTV also could be affected.
James said decisions would be made on an event-by-event basis for the various Hotel MTV pre-awards festivities, depending on how bad the weather is.
The white-carpet arrivals in luxury yachts or tricked-out cars were still planned, and James did not expect the show to be affected if the current forecast holds. The theme of the show is water, but organizers are hoping Katrina doesn't crash the party.
"We're hoping it misses us completely," James said.
It's the second straight year Miami hosts for the annual parade of celebrities, memorable musical performances and wacky antics.
Among the pre-show festivities planned at the hotel are performances by hip hop acts Black Rob, 8-Ball and the Ying-Yang Twins; Latin acts Yerba Buena, JD Natasha and Javier Garcia; dance hall act T.O.K.; and the rock band The Bravery.
Puerto Rican crossover singer Ricky Martin is set to celebrate the release of his new album "Life," on Friday, and listening parties for new albums from Lil Kim, Sean Paul and Outkast's Big Boi were scheduled.