When we say that MTV’s Video Music Awards is filled with unscripted surprises and guest appearances, we aren’t joking.
The most unexpected moment of the awards ceremony definitely belongs to Michael Jackson, who popped out from behind a giant Etch-A-Sketch screen on the cartoon-inspired set at the end of 'N Sync’s performance.
"We begged and begged and begged [to get Jackson to come onstage]," 'N Sync’s Chris Kirkpatrick said during the after-party broadcast. "We couldn’t tell friends, family or anybody," JC Chasez said.
Jackson was also one of the many artists who comedian Jamie Foxx, this year’s host, refused to let get away without a bad joke at their expense.
"Michael is charging $2,500 for his concert, but kids get to go for free," Foxx said. "He loves children."
Oh, but believe me, that was nothing compared to what came next.
While commenting on the recent penchant among artists for shortening their names, like Sean "Puffy" Combs to "P. Diddy" and Jennifer Lopez to "J.Lo," Foxx took the liberty of renaming Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean to "Long Island Ice-T."
When the Backstreet Boys came on stage to present the Best Rap Video award, McLean thanked MTV and his fans for supporting him through his recent stay in rehab.
"Today is 64 sober, and I’m proud of it," he said.
But Foxx didn’t feel so proud of it, as he offered McLean champagne as the group left the stage. "It's apple cider," he said. "Apple cider! You can drink apple cider, can't you?"
Without a doubt, that was the most tasteless, evil joke I have ever heard.
About a half-hour through the show, Janet Jackson read a letter that a fan had written about R&B singer Aaliyah, where she said the world had gained an angel.
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot was accompanied by Aaliyah‘s brother, Rashad Haughton, who thanked friends and fans for supporting the singer in her career.
U2’s lead singer Bono dedicated the band’s MTV Michael Jackson Vanguard Award to the remaining members of the Ramones, who joined U2 onstage to greet the fans.
"If it weren’t for the Ramones," Bono told the audience, "a lot of bands would have never gotten started."
Many artists used the evening as free publicity, asking fans to buy their new albums. Such was the case with Macy Gray, who asked fans to "take a minute and concentrate on my dress," which read "My new album drops Sept. 18, 2001. Buy it."
While some have complained in the past that MTV didn’t play enough hip-hop, Thursday night's Video Music Awards certainly over did it.
While Jay-Z, J.Lo, and Nelly performed onstage, the only two rock performances were those of Staind and Linkin Park. Hard rock nominees like SUM 41 and Incubus went virtually unnoticed; they should have gotten the same amount of attention.
"The next guy kisses strippers on the mouth," Foxx said as a pissed-off Kid Rock came onstage and told him to "shut up" (we’ve omitted the bad words). The Kid was obviously defending his new girlfriend, Pamela Anderson, who openly told MTV’s Kurt Loder about their sex life. Some things never change.
Christina Aguilera was joined by the team "Lady Marmalade," who won the Best Video of the Year for the Moulin Rouge-inspired video. "Thank you to everyone who thought we’d make great whores," said Pink. She must have have read my mind.
And those of us who didn’t know what to expect from Spears, who promised to top last year’s strip-tease performance, were terribly disappointed this year. The look of fear on her face as she placed a snake around her neck was painfully obvious--so obvious that she couldn’t concentrate on singing the lyrics to her own song and relied instead, on her lip syncing abilities.
"You need to put your shirt back on," Foxx told Spears after her performance. You know, that might have been the only clever thing he said the entire night.
'N Sync heartthrob Justin Timberlake told Rolling Stone magazine on Tuesday that he wants to do a duet with pop princess girlfriend Britney Spears." "I feel like we still have artistic growth to show, and maybe after that, then I'll think about it. It definitely would be a spectacle. It would be huge," he said.
'N Sync fans are still having a hard time coping with the recently confirmed two-and-a-half-year romance between Timberlake and Spears. On July 21, MTV premiered Road to Celebrity, a listening party where the members of 'N Sync played some songs of their new album prior to release date. After fans asked Timberlake about his relationship with Spears and he said he loved her, they booed. "Hey, booing isn't going to change anything," Timberlake said to them.
The pair made a perfect match when they went public with their relationship last March, but it gets to be a bit irritating when both constantly talk about each other (Timberlake describes her as "the cream of the crop"). The big question is, will any of Timberlake's 12-year-old fans who are still upset about his romance with Spears buy his new single? Many fans who once liked Spears stopped liking her after they heard of the romance between the two. Sometimes a duet between musicians who are dating can be cute (gag), but how long does it last? We all remember Jessica Simpson's duet "Where You Are," (as well as her relationship) with 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey, don't we?
Jackson tribute causes family feud
Poor Michael, all he wanted to do was celebrate his music career. But a month shy of the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration show, the long-anticipated reunion of the original Jackson 5 brothers is slowly falling apart.
On July 20 Reuters reported a statement made by Jackson 5 members Jermaine and Randy saying they would not participate in the show because of "exorbitant" ticket prices. As fans (and media) began to doubt the reunion would take place, brother Marlon issued his own statement apologizing for the confusion caused by Jermaine's statement, which Marlon claimed was "totally false." He apologized and said that Randy had "never seen the statement" and confirmed his presence in the event.
Talk about brotherly love....The fact that the Jackson family constantly points fingers at one another no longer comes as a surprise to fans, who could care less who said what to whom or who's accusing whom, but who just want to know if there will be a Jackson 5 reunion or not. It's time to put the dirty laundry aside and give the fans something they want to see. It's the music that matters; maybe that's something the Jackson family still has to learn after all these years.
Hetfield joins McLean in rehab
Looks like rehab is the rock star's version of a summer spa. Only two weeks after Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean checked himself into an undisclosed location to treat his alcohol abuse and depression, Metallica frontman James Hetfield jumped onto the (band) wagon as well. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Hetfield entered a rehab facility to treat alcoholism and "other addictions." Ironically enough, alcoholism and drug abuse is the reason why Metallica fired their former lead singer (and now Megadeth lead singer) Dave Mustaine from the group in the early '80s.
In the meantime, Metallica has canceled all of its scheduled activities, including a July 29th party marking the relaunch of their official Web site, www.metallica.com, and the recording sessions for their first studio album since 1997's Reload.
We're not gonna take it...or are we?
Wait, is that Twisted Sister's Dee Snyder? Oh sorry, Christina, from behind you almost looked like him. The "Lady Marmalade" team of Christina Aguilera, Mya, Pink and Lil' Kim picked up six nominations for this year's MTV Video Music Awards, which airs on Sept. 6 at New York's Opera House. Some of the "Lady Marmalade" team's nominations include Best Dance Video, Best Pop Video and Best Video from a Movie (Moulin Rouge). As if the video didn't play enough on MTV, or the song on the radio. Well, I guess 30 pounds of makeup and very little clothing is what guarantees these performers a spot onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Beatles to release another greatest hits album
The surviving members of the Beatles are considering releasing yet another greatest hits album to follow the huge success of last year's compilation release 1, drummer Ringo Starr told the syndicated TV show Access Hollywood on Tuesday. "There's a couple of projects in the works," Starr said. "Nothing will be out until next year and we're all going to meet up again in October and finalize what it will be. I mean, everybody wants the No. 2s."
It makes sense for a band as famous as the Beatles to put out a greatest hits album to remember the best songs of their career, but haven't they done that enough times already? The Brit band released the two-CD sets 1962-1967 and 1967-1970 years ago, as well as the three Anthology albums in 1996--all including the same songs. Why would anyone want a 2--to own the same songs with a different album cover? It begins to defeat the purpose of a recollection album altogether. If the Beatles released an album featuring different versions of their songs that might be worth buying, but a sixth compilation CD featuring the same recycled music is clearly a rip-off.