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26.9M tune in for MTV VMAs

26.9M tune in for MTV VMAs
Russell Brand arrives in the press room for the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York on September 13, 2009. UPI/Laura Cavanaugh | License Photo

NEW YORK, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Sunday's 2009 MTV Video Music Awards show in New York was watched by 26.9 million total viewers, the cable television network said Monday.

Viewership on MTV, MTV2 and VH1 was up 17 percent from the previous year when 23 million people tuned in for the prize presentation's premiere, MTV said.

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The 2009 event began with a tribute to the late pop star Michael Jackson. Other highlights of the show included Beyonce winning the award for video of the year for her song "Single Ladies" and Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech after she picked up the prize for best female video for her clip "You Belong With Me."

The ceremony also featured performances by Janet Jackson, Katy and Joe Perry, Pink, Lady Gaga, Green Day, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. British comedian Russell Brand served as host.

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