Britney Spears will kick off the 2008 MTV Video Music awards (VMAs), the channel has confirmed.

The Toxic star put in an unforgettable performance at last year's ceremony, stumbling her way through dance routines and miming poorly as fears grew for her mental state.

However, since her hospitalisation earlier this year - as well as her family being granted control of her estate - the 26-year-old is on the road to recovery and is "excited" to open the 2008 awards.

"MTV has long played an important role in my career. How can I not be there to kick off their 25th VMAs?" she told People magazine.

"I'm excited to open the entire show, to say hi to my fans and to be nominated."

The singer has been nominated 16 times for an astronaut-shaped VMA but has never been successful.

However, she has another shot at glory this year with nominations in the best female video, best pop video and video of the year categories, all for her hit Piece of Me.

MTV Networks' music president Van Toffler commented: "Britney has done everything from perform with a snake, lock lips with Madonna and prove that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas.

"I can't wait to see what she does to kick off this year's show."

British comedian and actor Russell Brand is hosting this year's event, which takes place on Sunday in Los Angeles.

04/09/2008 08:42:39