UNIVERSAL CITY, California — Metallica, Eminem and Deftones were among the winners when the cream of the extreme sports crop honored their favorite musicians at the first ESPN Action Sports & Music Awards on Saturday (April 7) at the Universal Amphitheatre.
The event — which climaxed with a performance by heavy metal gods Black Sabbath — saw the best athletes in snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding and other sports salute the musical artists who inspire them and award their daredevil peers.
Metallica frontman James Hetfield said the two rebel breeds honored at the ceremony have a lot in common.
“I think there are parallels, as in, we’re going where we’re not supposed to be — beyond the limits,” he said. “I feel a lot of the people out here ignore the rules of what should be. We’re all connected in that way.”
Though Hetfield joked that he thought he was there to accept the award for “Best Female Snowboarder,” Metallica took home the Artist Contribution Award for “raising the enjoyment of action sports.”
Among the night’s other musical honorees were NOFX, Linkin Park, Moby and newcomer Jack Johnson, who is touring with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. All the winning artists were present except Moby and Eminem, who were voted Artist of the Year by skiers and skateboarders, respectively.
“I grew up skateboarding since I was 10 years old, and I would always do it with music on — it just gives you motivation — so it’s cool to be recognized,” said Deftones frontman Chino Moreno, whose band was voted Artist of the Year by BMX riders.
The night’s highlight for many attendees was seeing Black Sabbath seize the stage. The legendary rockers turned in a lashing performance of their metal classic “Paranoid,” while artists in the crowd — including Cypress Hill’s B-Real and members of the Offspring and Metallica — cheered them on.
For Rob Zombie, who introduced Sabbath, it was the only justifiable reason to come. “I normally would never do anything like this because it’s kind of out of my element, but to introduce Black Sabbath is good,” he said.
Incubus, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, De La Soul featuring Busta Rhymes and Crazy Town also performed.
“I never participated in sports in high school, so I figured I should start now,” Crazy Town vocalist Shifty Shellshock said.
The show will air on ESPN Tuesday (April 10).
Musical Winners at the ESPN Action Sports & Music Awards:
- Artist Contribution Award – Metallica
- Music Artist of the Year, snowboarding – NOFX
- Music Artist of the Year, skateboarding – Eminem
- Music Artist of the Year, Motocross riding – Linkin Park
- Music Artist of the Year, surfing – Jack Johnson
- Music Artist of the Year, skiing – Moby
- Music Artist of the Year, BMX riding – Deftones