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.
Electronic artist Fatboy Slim was the big winner at the 18th Annual MTV Video Music Awards with five awards, including Best Direction for the video "Weapon of Choice," featuring actor Christopher Walken dancing in a hotel lobby.
For a full list of winners, click here.
Boy band 'N Sync took home four moon-men statuettes for their single "Pop." The group was also responsible for the biggest highlight of the night, when the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, joined 'N Sync onstage after their performance.
Jackson received a standing ovation after popping out of an Etch-A-Sketch at the end of 'N Sync’s performance. He is currently in Manhattan for his 30th Anniversary Celebration concert this weekend in Manhattan.
Comedian Jamie Foxx warmed up the audience with a bit of rather tasteless patter, after he spoke of not making jokes about celebrities who have recently spent time in rehab centers across the country.
Foxx went as far as offering champagne to Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, who was still onstage after presenting the first award of the night with his group.
"It's apple cider, apple cider! You can drink apple cider, can't you?" he said after the audience started booing him.
Foxx may be bad news, but No Doubt’s beauty Gwen Stefani was apparently very good news for artists Moby and Eve, who won best male video for "South Side," and best female video for "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," respectively. Stefani is featured on both songs.
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott dedicated her performance to the late R&B Singer Aaliyah, who was killed on Aug. 25 in a plane crash returning from the Bahamas.
Elliott, who wore a white leather jacket with the imprint of Aaliyah’s face on the back, was joined onstage by Janet Jackson and Aaliyah‘s brother, Rashad Haughton, to pay tribute to the 22-year-old singer.
"On behalf of my family I want to thank her friends and her adoring fans that supported her throughout her career," said Haughton. This was his first public appearance since the death of his sister.
Rock band U2 was awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award for their video history of MTV. After performing their latest hit "Elevation," U2’s Bono paid tribute to Joey Ramone, who died earlier this year of lymphoma, as he invited the remaining members of the Ramones to join him onstage.
Among the night’s performances was a duet between Jennifer Lopez with rapper Ja Rule for "I’m Ready," Linkin Park’s "One Step Closer," and Staind’s "Fade."
Britney Spears took advantage of what some call MTV’s most special night of the year to debut her new song, "I'm a Slave 4 U," as she danced onstage with live cheetahs and a snake.
But Spears might have irritated some activists, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. According to the New York Post, the organization is angry that the teen singer performed with live animals onstage.
After Anne Heche's heartfelt interview with Barbara Walters on ABC's 20/20 Wednesday night, where she talked about her own mental illness due to years of sexual abuse by her father, it was revealed by Walters that Heche is indeed 3 months pregnant. She and the baby's father, Coleman Laffoon, were married Saturday.
On the other side of town, Ellen DeGeneres is keeping tight-lipped about her ex-girlfriend's recent news. Instead, DeGeneres is concentrating on promoting her new CBS sitcom The Ellen Show, as well as hosting the upcoming Emmy Awards, Sept. 16. "My life is back on track now and I'm really grateful and thrilled to be working again. I've got so much going on right now that I don't need to be distracted. I'm just working on me," DeGeneres told reporters during a press conference yesterday.
Super model Cindy Crawford has given birth to her second child with husband Rande Gerber, a girl, Kaya Jordan Gerber. The baby was born Monday in Los Angeles and weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces. The couple already has a son, Presley Walker Gerber, 2.
Country singer Trace Adkins and his wife, Rhonda, had their second daughter, Brianna Rhea Adkins, Tuesday. The couple has another daughter and Adkins has two teen-age daughters from a previous marriage.
The Kennedy Center announced Wednesday the recipients to their prestigious 23rd annual Kennedy Center Honors, including actors Julie Andrews, 65 and Jack Nicholson, 64; opera star Luciano Pavarotti, 65; composer and music producer Quincy Jones, 68; and concert pianist Van Cliburn, 67. The gala event will take place on Dec. 2.
Rapper mogul Sean Combs has had a series of incidents with the court system. Most recently Combs was ordered to pay $350 for pleading guilty to clear-cutting environmentally protected plants around his East Hampton estate, which he also had to restore. As well, he is being threatened with arrest for failing to appear in New York City's family court, where he is being sued for child support by Kim Porter, mother of Combs' three-year-old son. And finally, he was cleared of charges in Miami of passing several cars in a motor scooter last April 14; the case was dismissed.
A federal grand jury indicted country singer LeAnn Rimes' former bodyguard and personal trainer, Robert Lavetta Iadevaia Jr. for extortion. He allegedly threatened to sell personal information and photos of Rimes to the tabloids if he wasn't paid off. Lavetta has pleaded innocent.
Aaliyah's family will make their first public statement about the tragic death of the R&B singer at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday night at New York's Lincoln Center. Aaliyah's brother, Rashad Haughton, is scheduled to make the address following a tribute to his sister. As well, Michael Jackson is reportedly going to perform at the show with a surprise guest. The show will air on MTV at 8 p.m. ET.
Carlos Santana and Spanish recording artist Hevia will perform at the 2nd Annual Latin Grammy Awards, joining Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony, Nelly Furtado and many others. The show airs on CBS Sept. 11 at 9 p.m. ET.
VH1 and VH1.com announced the return of My VH1 Music Awards, the first only fully interactive music awards show. The first show aired in November 2000; music fans were able to design the show from start-to-finish by logging onto VH1.com to suggest and vote for categories, nominees, winners and more. The second show will air on VH1 Dec. 2 at 9 p.m. ET from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
25,000 specially-made Harry Potter coins were sold out in under five hours in London. Fans of the novels revolving around a teenage wizard and his adventures scrambled to get a hold of the collector's coin, which on one side features Harry casting a spell and on the other the image of the British monarch, which was apporved by Queen Elizabeth herself. The coins are official legal tender on the Isle of Man only.
The world's longest-running musical, The Fantasticks, will finally shut down production Jan. 6, 2002, due to dwindling grosses and the rising cost of production. The show, a classic boy-meets-girl love story with some memorable tunes including "Try to Remember," had been playing the Sullivan Street Playhouse, a theater in Greenwich Village, since May 3, 1960.
Anchorwoman Paula Zahn, who was recently fired from Fox News Channel for breach of contract, landed a job anchoring a new morning broadcast on CNN. According to Fox News, Zahn, whose contract with them was to last through February 2002, was let go when it was discovered her agent, Richard Leibner, had been talking with CNN.