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MTV Video Awards Controversy-less

By:
Aug 29, 2003 | 11:02am EDT

The annual MTV Video Music Awards, hyped as being crazy and unpredictable, took place last night at New York's Radio City Music Hall, but if anything was lacking, it was controversy.

This year's opening act featured former Mouseketeers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera rolling around the stage dressed in white wedding gowns while performing Madonna's "Like a Virgin," in homage to the pop icon's infamous 1984 VMA performance.

Then Madonna herself, dressed in a black groom's getup, joined the two for a rendition of her new single "Hollywood," which ended with the 41-year-old singer planting an openmouthed kiss first on Spears and then on Aguilera.

The Madonna-Spears kiss, however, had a manufactured feel; it lasted just long enough for photographers to freeze the Kodak moment, which will no doubt appear everywhere in the press today with an accompanying caption containing the word "controversy."

Then, rather than show the Christina smooch, the MTV cameras cut to Justin Timberlake's deadpan reaction of his ex-girlfriend Britney making out with the Material Mom. (It's a shame the cameras didn't cut to Spears' reaction when Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" video, which features the former 'N Syncer exacting revenge on a cheating Britney look-alike, won for best male video.)

The show had some much better moments, including a skit in which Fred Durst and Jack Black made fun of last year's most embarrassing moment, when Michael Jackson thought a birthday trophy presented to him was actually an award for "Artist of the Millennium."

Black, wearing a Jackson-like outfit with metallic shin guards, gave a mock speech to accept a funniest man award: "If someone had told me, when I was a kid, that I was going to win the super-genius of the century award, I would have never have believed it."

But it was host Chris Rock, who returned to host the show for the third time, who churned out some of the best moments. The brutally honest comic slipped in a quip about each of the presenters before introducing them:

"Our next presenter is being sued by more people than the Catholic church. Give it up for P. Diddy!"

"Our next presenter saves a lot of money on Mother's Day. Give it up for Eminem!"

But Rock pointed out that he wasn't going to make too much fun of the rapper because too many things "rhyme with Rock."

As for the awards portion of the show, there were no big winners this year. Missy Elliott won two awards including best hip-hop video for her single "Work It," which also won her the award show's top honor: best video of the year.

Beyoncé Knowles, Justin Timberlake and Coldplay, meanwhile, won three apiece. Knowles won best female video, best R&B video and best choreography; Timberlake won best pop video, best dance video and best male video; and Coldplay won best group video, best direction in a video and breakthrough video.

50 Cent walked away with two awards, including best rap video and best new artist.

Other winners were Eminem for best video from a film, Linkin Park for best rock video, Radiohead for best art direction in a video, and The White Stripes for best editing in a video.

Johnny Cash's video "Hurt," a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song, was nominated for video of the year, best male video and best direction, and won for best cinematography.

The biggest surprise of the night was rockers Good Charlotte taking home the coveted viewers' choice award over 50 Cent, Kelly Clarkson, Eminem, Beyoncé Knowles and Justin Timberlake. A pool of music industry executives, producers and journalists voted on the other awards.

Kelly Osbourne and Avril Lavigne, meanwhile, presented British pop band Duran Duran with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Here is the list of winners:

Best Video of the Year

50 Cent, "In Da Club"

Johnny Cash, "Hurt"

Winner! Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, "Work It"

Eminem, "Lose Yourself"

Justin Timberlake, "Cry Me a River"

Best Male Video

50 Cent, "In Da Club"

Johnny Cash, "Hurt"

Eminem, "Lose Yourself"

John Mayer, "Your Body Is a Wonderland"

Winner! Justin Timberlake, "Cry Me a River"

Best Female Video

Christina Aguilera (f/Redman), "Dirrty"

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, "Work It"

Winner! Beyonce Knowles (f/Jay-Z), "Crazy In Love"

Avril Lavigne, "I'm With You"

Jennifer Lopez, "I'm Glad"

Best Group Video

B2K (f/P. Diddy), "Bump Bump Bump"

Winner! Coldplay, "The Scientist"

The Donnas, "Take It Off"

Good Charlotte, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"

The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army"

Best Rap Video

Winner! 50 Cent, "In Da Club"

Eminem, "Lose Yourself"

Ludacris (f/Mystikal), "Move"

Nas, "I Can"

Tupac (f/Nas), "Thugz Mansion"

Best R&B Video

Aaliyah, "Miss You"

Ashanti, "Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)"

Winner! Beyonce Knowles (f/Jay-Z), "Crazy In Love"

Nelly (f/Kelly Rowland), "Dilemma"

R. Kelly, "Ignition (remix)"

Best Hip-Hop Video

Busta Rhymes (f/Mariah Carey), "I Know What You Want"

Winner! Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, "Work It"

Jay-Z (f/Beyonce), "'03 Bonnie and Clyde"

Nelly, "Hot In Here"

Snoop Dogg (f/Pharrell & Uncle Charlie Wilson), "Beautiful"

Best Dance Video

Christina Aguilera (f/Redman), "Dirrty"

Jennifer Lopez, "I'm Glad"

Mya, "My Love is Like Wo"

Sean Paul, "Get Busy"

Winner! Justin Timberlake, "Rock Your Body"

Best Rock Video

Evanescence, "Bring Me To Life"

Good Charlotte, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"

Winner! Linkin Park, "Somewhere I Belong"

Metallica, "St. Anger"

The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army"

Best Pop Video

Christina Aguilera (f/Redman), "Dirrty"

Kelly Clarkson, "Miss Independent"

Avril Lavigne, "Sk8er Boi"

No Doubt, "Underneath It All"

Winner! Justin Timberlake, "Cry Me a River"

Best New Artist in a Video

Winner! 50 Cent, "In Da Club"

The All-American Rejects, "Swing, Swing"

Kelly Clarkson, "Miss Independent"

Evanescence (f/Paul McCoy), "Bring Me To Life"

Sean Paul, "Get Busy"

Simple Plan, "Addicted"

Best Video From a Film

JC Chasez, "She's Blowin' Me Up"

Winner! Eminem, "Lose Yourself"

Madonna, "Die Another Day"

Britney Spears, (f/Pharrell of N.E.R.D.), "Boys Co-ed Remix"

MTV2 Award

Winner! A.F.I., "Girls Not Grey"

Common (f/Mary J. Blige), "Come Close"

Interpool, "PDA"

Queens of the Stone Age, "No One Knows"

The Roots (f/Cody ChestnuTT), "The Seed 2.0"

Viewer's Choice

50 Cent, "In Da Club"

Kelly Clarkson, "Miss Independent"

Eminem, "Lose Yourself"

Winner! Good Charlotte, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"

Beyonce Knowles (f/Jay-Z), "Crazy In Love"

Justin Timberlake, "Cry Me a River"

Breakthrough Video

Winner! Coldplay, "The Scientist"

Floetry, "Floetic"

Keena, "Freetime"

Queens of the Stone Age, "No One Knows"

Sum 41, "The Hell Song"

Best Direction in a Video

Johnny Cash, "Hurt"; director, Mark Romanek

Winner! Coldplay, "The Scientist"; director, Jamie Thraves

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, "Work It"; director, Francis Lawrence

Sum 41, "The Hell Song"; director, Marc Klasfeld

Best Choreography in a Video

Christina Aguilera (f/Redman), "Dirrty"

Winner! Beyonce Knowles (f/Jay-Z), "Crazy In Love"

Jennifer Lopez, "I'm Glad"

Mya, "My Love is Like Wo"

Justin Timberlake, "Rock Your Body"

Best Special Effects in a Video

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, "Work It"

Floetry, "Floetic"

Winner! Queens of the Stone age, "Go With the Flow"

Radiohead, "There There"

The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army"

Best Art Direction in a Video

Johnny Cash, "Hurt"; art director, Rudy Guidara

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, "Work It"; art director, Charles Infante

Jennifer Lopez, "I'm Glad"; art director, Chad Yaro

Queens of the Stone Age, "Go With the Flow"; art director, Tracey Gallagher

Winner! Radiohead, "There There"; art director, Chris Hopewell

Best Editing in a Video

Johnny Cash, "Hurt"; editor, Robert Duffy

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, "Work It"; Editor, Chris David

Keena, "Freetime"; editors, Vem & Tony

Radiohead, "There There"; editor, Ben Foley

Winner! The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army"; editor, Olivier Gajan

Best Cinematography in a Video

Winner! Johnny Cash, "Hurt"

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, "Work It"

No Doubt (f/Lady Shaw), "Underneath It All"

Radiohead, "There There"

Lifetime Achievment Award

Duran Duran

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