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BY TALIA SOGHOMONIAN
MTV VMA Report 2001...
The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City's Lincoln
Center was as far from opera as it could get as it
played host to the 2001 edition of the MTV Video Music
Awards on September 6.
show was on outside before it began inside as stars
arrived on the red carpet. P. Diddy, The Artist
Formerly Known As Puff Daddy, made the most
spectacular entrance as he arrived on top of an 18-wheeler
truck rapping his appropriately-titled hit 'Bad Boys
Other artists - namely Alien Ant Farm, City
High and Eve - also performed outside,
giving the fans a taste of the upcoming events of
U2 arrived, The Edge commented on the
event - "this kind of laid-back setting" - was where
the band could relax.
Hosted by Jamie Foxx, whose choice of some
vocabulary words was bleeped by MTV, the star-studded
event included surprise performances, the inevitable
self-promotions, tributes and standing ovations.
Backstreet Boys, looking more like men, presented
the evening's first award (Best Hip-Hop Video). AJ
McLean took the opportunity to thank MTV and their
fans for their support during his his alcohol disintoxication
"Today is 64 days sober, and I'm proud of it." A sober
moment followed when a tribute was paid to the late
R&B singer/actress Aaliyah by fellow artists.
"In this time of love, I draw upon her example of
faith that we will be together again," said Janet
"Misdemeanor" Elliott, accompanied by Ginuwine
and Timbaland, also drew lessons from Aaliyah.
"I think what we've got to learn out of this is to
appreciate each other while we're here on earth."
final words of homage came from Aaliyah's brother,
Rashad Haughton, who had stood next to his
sister on the stage of last year's MTV Awards as she
accepted an award.
the night, she was not forgotten. Elliott dedicated
her performance (where she was joined by Nelly
Furtado, among others) to her, and Usher,
who presented an award, was wearing an Aaliyah T-shirt.
Many awards and performances followed. J-Lo,
The Artist Formerly Known as Jennifer Lopez,
was joined by rapper Ja-Rule for her performance
of a latino/hip-hop medley of 'Love Don't Cost a Thing'
and her latest single 'I'm Real'.
Sync's technicolor performance - introduced by
Christopher Walken - of the MTV Award-winning
'Pop' concealed the biggest surprise of the evening.
Jackson, the King of Pop, joined the band onstage
and showed the world that his mechanical dance moves
were still unparalleled. 'Pop' picked up several awards,
even beating U2. "U2 was robbed this time," Justin
only Irish act in competition this year, U2 were nominated
in five categories, including Best Video (for 'Beautiful
Day') and Best Video From A Film (for 'Elevation').
While they lost to 'N Sync, Fatboy Slim and
the Ladies Marmalade, they did pick up a Moonman
for the most coveted award of the evening, the Michael
Jackson Video Vanguard Award for lifetime achievement.
"So MTV weren't paying their electricity bill," Bono
said as he was accepting the award, in reference to
the technical problem encountered at the beginning
of the band's performance of 'Elevation/Stuck in a
Moment', forcing MTV to cut into a commercial break
until the problem was fixed.
MTV's own Carson Daly, who presented the award,
recalled how back in 1982, U2 had responded "Watch
us and see" to the question "What do you have that's
added that U2's secret to staying alive as a band
was relevance. Their music and videos have indeed
expanded throughout the years, as have their haircuts.
"We have made a lot of dodgy videos...a lot of dodgy
hairdos," quipped Bono. "Without MTV, we could've
kept the mullet to being a regional phenomenon."
early hairdos seem to have had an effect on Bono,
who had come to the ceremony with his wife Ali.
In an interview prior to the show, he referred to
the early U2 videos as the "neo-primitive school of
Irish film-making," adding that they were "celebrating
a lot of dodgy haircuts."
the Vanguards of 2001 celebrated U2's biggest influence
when they shared their award with the band "who are
going to appear in a very un-punk rock situation right
the three remaining members of the legendary punk
band The Ramones appeared on stage, Bono said,"They
lost Joey Ramone and I would like to give an
award to the remaining Ramones."
It was also a tribute to the Big Apple. "New York
City has given us a lot of things, but the best thing
it ever gave us was a punk rock group called The Ramones."
multi-nominated artists who won no awards were Eminem,
last year's star of the VMA's, and Janet Jackson.
But the big winner of the show was certainly Fatboy
Slim for the excellent video 'Weapon of Choice', picking
up the most Moonmen.
Another Brit who won an award was Robbie Williams'
'Rock DJ' for Best Special Effects. Louis Walsh
had complained last year that only American artists
had won at the MTV Europe Music Awards; the American
edition of the awards show appears to have been more
metal band Mudvayne beat Craig David
for the MTV2 Award spotlighting emerging artists.
They appeared in gory make-up that could rival that
of any horror film character but sounded surprisingly
like the boys next door. They perhaps quipped the
best speech when they said "Art is not competition."
Artists need, however, to promote their work, and
the evening was full of self-marketing tactics.
Macy Gray went as far as making a billboard
of herself. While presenting the award for Best New
Artist, she urged the audience "to take a moment and
focus on my dress", which advertised her upcoming
album: "My new album drops Sept.18, 2001" on the front
and "Buy it" on the back.
Walhburg, who presented an award with DMX,
promoted his new movie 'Rock Star', while the rap
star informed fans that his album 'The Great Depression'
was being released on October 21. Prior to the show,
Will Smith, accompanied by his son, showed
some exclusive footage of his upcoming film 'Mohammed
Ali', which also stars Foxx. "I don't even know how
to stand at a podium," said Alicia Keys as
she accepted the award for Best New Artist. But she
certainly knew how to sing, her earlier performance
of 'Fallin' having drawn a standing ovation.
with Gwen Stefani proved to be a good move
for both Moby and Eve. They won the awards
for Best Male Video and Best Female Video respectively,
and all three presented an award together later during
successful collaboration was that of the four Ladies
of Marmalade. "Big hair paid off," quipped Christina
Aguilera as they picked up the award for Video
of the Year. Britney Spears was even less dressed
than last year as she lip-synched to her new song
'I'm a Slave 4 U'.
stage was shortly transformed into a jungle with cheetas
and a snake, boldly used by Spears as a scarf for
about five seconds. Other performers included Staind,
Linkin Park and Jay-Z. Among the many
presenters were Destiny's Child, P.Diddy with
a very funny Ben Stiller, Jon Bon Jovi
with Jewel, Will Smith, Sheryl Crow,
Busta Rhymes and Kid Rock, who presented
a presenter - Mick Jagger, probably the oldest
representative of the music business attending the
kicked off the 2001-2002 awards season with panache.
Its sister channel, MTV Europe, will hand out awards
is the full list of winners: