Rock was resplendent at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night, as veteran rockers Green Day took home seven moonmen and newcomers The Killers and Fall Out Boy won one each.
Green Day, who arrived at the venue in the vintage green convertible from their gritty “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” video, won best rock video and video of the year for the clip — two of their leading eight nominations. They also won the viewer’s choice award, best group and several technical categories, losing only to Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For?” for art direction.
In previous years, hip-hop or pop acts have dominated the show, especially in the major categories. Not this year: My Chemical Romance and Coldplay were among the showcase performances, and Kanye West was the only rapper to win an “all-genre” award, with his “Jesus Walks” taking best male video.
“It’s great to know that rock music still has a place at MTV,” said Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong.
The Killers won for best new artist. Fall Out Boy won the MTV2 award for their song “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” beating out artists like Mike Jones, My Chemical Romance and Daddy Yankee.
But Pete Weintz of Fall Out Boy downplayed the “rock is resurgent” angle. “Whatever is going to happen is going to happen organically,” he told The Associated Press backstage. “The return of rock doesn’t mean anything else is going away.”
Show must go onBefore the awards began, MTV dodged two major disasters — one from nature, the other from the barrel of a gun.
The annual bash was briefly overshadowed by Hurricane Katrina, which hit southern Florida on Thursday and killed several people. As the storm passed, a celebratory mood took over the city — until early Sunday morning, when rap mogul Suge Knight was targeted by gunfire at a Kanye West party. Knight was shot in the leg and set to undergo surgery at a Miami hospital; his lawyers would not release his condition, which was not expected to be life-threatening.
MTV vowed that neither event would affect the ceremonies — and they didn’t.
“The theme of tonight is, anything can happen,” proclaimed host Diddy, whose entrance included dancers, pyrotechnics and a cascading waterfall — a spectacle that rivaled the show’s actual performances.
Ludacris managed to turn his hedonistic “Pimpin’ All Over the World” into a multicultural Mardi Gras-like extravaganza, complete with steel drummers, African dancers and, of course, around-the-way booty-shaking girls. Miami booty king Luke of 2 Live Crew fame brought a bevy of girls for his cameo appearance. But one of the biggest surprises was MC Hammer, recapturing some of his glory while shaking to his ’90s hit, “U Can’t Touch This.”
Speaking of booty, Eva Longoria of showed hers — and a lot more — with a skimpy one-piece pink bathing suit that featured a plunging neckline reminiscent of J.Lo back when she was dating a guy named Puff Daddy.
“Hey Diddy, you said anything goes, and I wasn’t going to let a little hurricane prevent me from wearing my bathing suit!” said the “Desperate Housewives” star.
Not to be outdone, Paulina Rubio wore a skintight lace Dolce & Gabbana vintage gown that showed off her thong. She calmly eluded the reaching arm of co-presenter Lil Jon.
Another flashback came in a tribute to Diddy’s protege, the late Notorious B.I.G., that featured Diddy “conducting” a string orchestra as the legendary rapper’s songs played. Snoop Dogg came out at the end and delivered a verse on the B.I.G. hit “Warning.”
West and Kelly Clarkson were among the early winners: Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” for best female video; West’s “Jesus Walks” for best male video.
“I guess they’re saying, ’We’re going to give him his award early so we don’t have to worry about nothin’,” said West, referencing his infamous American Music Awards tantrum last year.
The evening’s most inexplicable moment may have come from R. Kelly, who remains a chart-topper while awaiting trial on child pornography charges.
On a bedroom set that looked like a scene from a way-off-Broadway play, Kelly deliberately lip-synced highlights of his five-part soap opera infidelity song, “Trapped In The Closet,” then debuted a new chapter involving a cheating wife, a cheating husband and his boyfriend.
One if by Rolls, two if by yachtSome of the night’s more decadent moments came during the pre-show arrivals. Lil Jon came by sea on what looked to be a three-story, pimp-my-yacht contraption. The prison-bound Lil’ Kim arrived on the white carpet in a Rolls Royce Phantom, though she looked somewhat demure in her low-cut mauve dress — no pasties or dangling appendages this year from the diminutive rapper.
“I might show some leg,” teased the star, who is due to start serving a year-and-a-day sentence in September on a perjury conviction. When MTV personality Sway delicately asked if she had anything to say to fans who “might not see you for a while,” Lil Kim said: “You can write me letters.”
“Entourage” star Jeremy Piven couldn’t help but tease Kim as they presented best rap video, which was won by Ludacris.
“You know, she’s about to go to the big house, for lying,” he said. “I’d like to place a call to the warden and upgrade your situation.”
The much-hyped white carpet was one of one of the Diddy-designed elements of the show. Another was the “Diddy Fashion Challenge” — in which he vowed to give away $50,000 each to the charities of the best dressed female and male at the event, won by Snoop and Stefani.
Diddy himself was out of the running, though you wouldn’t know it — he made three wardrobe changes in the first half-hour alone.