Bieber Surprises Lunchers With Pre-VMAs Show

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September 12, 2010 | 7:15pm EST

Pop sensation Justin Bieber prepared for his performance at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night by thrilling fans with an unannounced free show in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon.
The Baby hitmaker took to an outdoor stage near the Nokia Theater, where the VMAs will be held, for a surprise show.

Tourists and lunchers were stunned when they realized they were watching the star, but fans largely stayed away.

The gig was organized by the MTV bosses behind the VMAs, who opted to keep the gig a surprise, so Bieber, who has recently been battling illness, could rehearse without attracting an out-of-control crowd.

The star has been forced to scrap two free shopping mall shows this year after security and police lost control of the swarming fans.

Bieber showed up for the impromptu gig in a red 1957 Chevy Bel Air, chased by a pack of hired girls. He’s expected to make a similar arrival at the VMAs later today, when he’ll join Drake, Kanye West and Eminem among the performers.