MTV Promises to 'Outdo Ourselves' at VMAs

The MTV Video Music Awards (search), known for shocking surprises and sexual shenanigans, promise to be no different this year.

Hosted by newly renamed "Diddy" (formerly P. Diddy and Puff Daddy and also known as Sean Combs), Sunday's show set for 8 p.m. EDT at the AmericanAirlines Arena (search) in Miami was going on even as Hurricane Katrina (search) pummeled South Florida.

R. Kelly (search), the 38-year-old R&B singer who faces multiple child pornography charges in his native Chicago, will perform in what may be his most mainstream performance since his 2002 arrest.

Celebrities again will pull up to the bay-front arena in gleaming yachts. But they will receive competition from other stars who will arrive in souped-up cars for an auto show on a white carpet.

As the celebrities arrive, viewers will get tours of those cars from the talent themselves.

MTV President Christina Norman said: "Every year we have to outdo ourselves and this year is no exception."

Kelly is set to join a lineup of performers that includes Coldplay, Kelly Clarkson, Green Day, 50 Cent, Shakira, Mariah Carey, The Killers, Kanye West, Ludcris and others.

As for the awards themselves, Green Day, Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliott lead the nominees going into Sunday's show. Green Day received eight nominations, Stefani and Elliot had six and U2 got five.

Water will be the show's theme, and MTV promised to create the most elaborate water effects ever produced in an awards show. The water show will be engineered by the same production company that built the Bellagio Hotel's fountain in Las Vegas.

This year's show promises to be different from last year's, when politics played a part because of the presidential campaign: The daughters of Democratic candidate John Kerry and President Bush made appearances to urge people to vote — and were roundly booed.

While there was plenty of sex appeal last year, there was little shock value compared to the 2003 show, which featured the famous Madonna-Britney Spears kiss (search).

The performers, presenters and Diddy will each receive a $26,000 gift basket courtesy of the network.

Also, for the first time, the VMAs will be scored with original music composed by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and hip-hop producer Lil Jon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.