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Superstars Jay-Z, Eminem and Black Eyed Peas ... they're all heading for this year's Oxegen

Rap sensations Jay-Z, Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas are the superstar attractions at this year's Oxegen festival.

The two biggest rappers in history, and the world's biggest pop band, will perform at the country's biggest music event at Punchestown Racecourse this summer.

Also performing at the event will be Paulo Nutini, straight from his Irish Meteor success.

This year's event takes place from Friday, July 9 to Sunday, July 11 at the Co Kildare venue, and tickets will go on sale March 12.

And the announcement later today that Jay-Z and Eminem will headline the festival are set to ensure a sellout.

Eminem and Jay-Z are the most successful rap artists in history with more than 100 million album sales between them.

Jay-Z is often considered the most successful hip hop artist of all time, with 10 number-one-selling rap albums and a string of number-one hits under his belt. The Empire State Of Mind rapper is no stranger to drawing in mass crowds. The performance at Punchestown will be his biggest show in Europe since the historic 2008 Glastonbury festival.

And fresh from his contribution to the We Are The World remake in aid of Haiti and scooping a Brit award for Best International Male Solo Artist, the rapper's next Irish appearance has been confirmed.

Although both rappers are no stranger to Irish performances, their July appearance would mark their debut at a homegrown festival.

Rumours have been circulating since the festival wrapped up last year that Eminem would be appearing after his former protege The Game was one of 2009's headliners.

Slim Shady famously pulled out of an appearance at Slane Castle in 2005 -- disappointing some 80,000 fans and was forced to answer to a High Court judge to explain his actions. However, the rapper has since performed in Dublin and compensated his fans for being a no-show.

But after a much-needed hiatus from the music industry, Eminem, real name Marshall Mathers, is gearing up to wow Irish audiences once again.

The appearance of the Black Eyed Peas will add to the anticipation of this year's event. The pop supergroup have been a global success thanks to such hits as I Got A Feeling and Where Is The Love?

Tickets for the event will officially go on sale March 12, and are available from normal ticket retailers.

Since being voted the Best Overseas Festival at the UK Festival Awards and being crowned Top International Festival at The Billboard Touring Awards, Oxegen has become the number one must-see event for all music fans.

With some of the world's hottest talent performing in Punchestown last year -- including Snow Patrol, Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon and The Killers, guests are expecting a similar stellar line-up to appear this July.

cmcbride@herald.ie


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