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Wednesday, 1 August, 2001, 18:42 GMT 19:42 UK
Stars gather for MTV party
P Diddy, AKA Puff Daddy
P Diddy is to feature in a hip-hop medley
MTV's 20th birthday gala concert takes place on Wednesday with a stellar line-up from the music TV channel's history.

But the extravanganza will be without its original headliner Mariah Carey who pulled out after suffering an "emotional and physical breakdown", according to her publicist.

The finale of the show will be a surprise, even to us


The MTV extravaganza will go ahead with appearances by P Diddy, Fred Durst, Billy Idol and a reunited TLC.

Organisers have been working to create a new climax for the event.

"The finale of the show will be a surprise, even to us," the channel said in a statement.

Billy Idol
Billy Idol will open MTV's gala concert
MTV's three-hour concert will celebrate the success of the satellite and cable channel since launching on 1 August 1981.

It will feature a hip-hop medley featuring P Diddy, Run DMC, Busta Rhymes and Salt 'n' Pepa, plus performances from Kid Rock, Ja-Rule, Naughty By Nature and Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford.

Original VJs from the channel's history will make appearances at the concert - as will cartoon heroes Beavis and Butthead, who began their careers on the channel.

Billy Idol will kick off the show, while Boy George, Huey Lewis, Joan Jett and Rob Zombie are among the other stars of the last 20 years due to appear.

Beavis and Butthead
Beavis and Butthead started out on MTV
Taking place at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, the show will be broadcast around the world.

It can be seen live on MTV UK and Ireland from 0100 BST on 2 August.

The concert is part of a range of special programmes to mark the channel's birthday, including a count-down of the best 100 videos of the last 20 years and MTV's 20 most outrageous moments.

The list of the top 100 videos, compiled by viewers' votes, is headed by Fatboy Slim's Praise You, followed by Michael Jackson's classic Thriller and Eminem's The Real Slim Shady.

MTV's president of programming Brian Graden says the channel's success amounted to a "cultural and musical revolution" that few of its founder programmers could have imagined.

More than 342 million homes worldwide now have access to one of its regional services.

There are five MTV channels in the UK alone, each dedicated to a different style of music - from hip-hop to pop - as well as screening non-music youth shows like Jackass.

See also:

05 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Mariah released from hospital
27 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Mariah Carey wows the stars
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