September 5 [00:30 EDT] -- The night of the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards began with MTV Online's Meredith Brooks cybercast concert and the televised pre-show special featuring live performances by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones joined by Blues Traveler John Popper, and the Foo Fighters "Everlong" with Pat Smear announcing his departure live [See "Pat Smear Leaves The Foo Fighters, On Live MTV"] during the broadcast.
The big show kicked off soon after. Sting provided additional vocals for Puff Daddy and Faith Evan's tribute to the late Notorious B.I.G. Busta Rhymes and Martha Stewart succeeded (barely) in presenting a Moon Man to the Spice Girls.
Madonna came onstage and introduced Prodigy , who performed a raging version of "Breathe" via satellite from England. Both Madonna and Elton John mentioned the passing of Princess Diana... Madonna suggesting that public interest in tabloid news and gossip could lead to future tragedies; Elton John announced that MTV was donating money to an AIDS charity that Diana supported.
With host Chris Rock moving things along, Bruce Spingsteen joined Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers, and a costume fest ensued when Wu-Tang Clan introduced the All-Star Female Hip-Hop Ensemble, featuring Lil' Kim, Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopez, Missy Elliot and Angie Martinez, while U2 performed "Please" without the Pop show trappings. The Spice Girls performed (for real), and Marilyn Manson closed the show ripping into "The Beautiful People"
For a full list of winners, consult the Tubescan section of MTV Online.
Catch all the sizzlin', star-packed VMA action direct from Miami on August 28. MTV News' preshow kicks things off at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT, followed by big show at 8 p.m.
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