Berlin hosts the MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday, where German pop rock band Tokio Hotel will perform alongside U.S. rapper Jay-Z and Latin pop star Shakira.

The event is one of pop's biggest nights outside the United States and is being held in the German capital to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the Cold War that split the city and Germany.

Music channel MTV invites fans to decide the winners by voting for their favorite acts via the website, and last year it said 100 million online votes were cast.

While the awards are based in Europe, they tend to be dominated by big names in U.S. pop music and this year is no exception with New Yorker Lady Gaga and Nashville-based Kings of Leon leading the way with five nominations apiece.

Compatriot Beyonce is up for four nominations, while Detroit rapper Eminem and Californian punk rockers Green Day are short listed for three awards each.

U.S. pop singer Katy Perry, who is nominated for Best Female and Best Video, will be hosting the awards for the second year in a row, while British soul singer Joss Stone will be talking to guests on the red carpet.

MTV says the star-studded cast presenting awards at the show will include Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, French actor Jean Reno and the Backstreet Boys.

Meanwhile, Irish rock band U2 will perform a free concert in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, a historical landmark that symbolized the division between East and West Germany.

The Berlin Wall opened on November 9, 1989 and the two Germanys reunited 11 months later. Many events are taking place this week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.


Lady Gaga, renowned nearly as much for her extravagant outfits as for her electro-dance pop, is nominated for Best Song (Pokerface), Best Live Act, Best New Act, Best Female and Best World Stage Performance.

The glam diva's 2008 debut album, The Fame, included the hit single Just Dance and was among the top five CDs in countries including the United States, Britain and Germany.

Kings of Leon, who initially achieved success in Britain before finding fame in their native U.S. with their fourth album Only by the Night in 2008, are up for Best Song (Use Somebody), Best Live Act, Best Group, Best Rock and Best World Stage Performance.

Pop star Beyonce, who has enjoyed a hugely successful solo career since leaving the all-female group Destiny's Child, has been nominated for the Best Female, Best Song (Halo), Best Live Act and Best Video (Single Ladies) awards.

Eminem will be vying for Best Male, Best Urban and Best Video with We Made You, which won Best Hip-Hop Video at the MTV music video awards in the United States in September. Green Day are nominated for Best Group, Best Live Act and Best Rock.

European acts U2, Pixie Lott and La Roux received two nominations apiece.