WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. (AP) - The MTV Video Music Awards were saluted by the likes of party girl Ke$ha, daring rapper B.o.B, hip-hop cat Deadmau5 and a "Jersey Shore" duo at a series of soirees held along the Sunset Strip on the eve of Sunday's big show downtown at the Nokia Theatre, where Lady Gaga and Eminem are poised to win multiple moonman trophies.
Partygoers kicked off Saturday evening with rounds of pingpong at Spin magazine's pre-VMA party inside the chic Mondrian Hotel. Dan Black, the lanky British musician nominated for two moonman trophies for his video for "Symphonies," served as guest DJ while wayward pingpong balls sporadically tapped across the hotel floor between attendees' legs.
Next door at the House of Blues, Ke$ha started the party with a raucous concert benefiting Lifebeat, the music industry organization promoting HIV and AIDS awareness. She strutted across the stage in glittery hot pants and gold face paint, later donning long fuzzy animal hats with her band and back-up singers for "Your Love is My Drug."
Ke$ha ended her performance with her hit "Tik Tok" as she attempted to smash a pinata while confetti rained down on the crowd. Afterward, as stagehands prepared for a performance from B.o.B., concertgoers watched _ and some played _ "Dance Central," an upcoming groovy Xbox 360 choreography game that uses a camera to detect players' hip-hop moves.
Farther away at a sleek mansion in the Hollywood Hills overlooking a cloud-covered Los Angeles, hundreds of revelers crowded around Deadmau5 inside the transformed V-Moda Fortress. The showy DJ, who will be performing with the likes of Jason Derulo and Robyn at Sunday's show, only occasionally donned his iconic mouse headgear at the packed party.
Dancers clad in itty-bitty black bikinis swayed their hips atop a nearby pool table while chefs cooked crepes in the kitchen. Paul "DJ Pauly D" Del Vecchio and Vinny Guadagnino from "Jersey Shore" held court outside the party. At one point during the evening, Del Vecchio chatted up DJ Paul Oakenfold, proving anything is possible when the VMAs are in town.