Are artists above the law? Consider the tribulations of Ol' Dirty Bastard, Scott Weiland, Suge Knight and Tommy Lee, and the answer is obviously no. But that doesn't stop some from behaving badly in their videos.
So while it's cool to want to roll up in a sleek silver Porsche like Justin, or box like Christina, don't let your "Becoming" drive steer you in the wrong direction. Consider what would happen if the scenes in these MTV Video Music Award-nominated videos were acted out in real life. ...
VIDEO: Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River"
SCENE: Justin Timberlake sneaks into his ex's pad to remind her why she left the psycho in the first place.
CHARGE: Third-degree breaking and entering.
PENALTY: Up to six years in prison in California.
COMMENTS: Given the emotional turmoil caused by his breakup with Britney, a sympathetic judge may let JT dance away with probation, a fine and a restraining order if it's his first offense. If his next video features a Cameron Diaz look-alike, however, his second strike could double his time behind bars.
VIDEO: Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty"
SCENE: While getting nasty enough to make a pro blush, Christina's ass-kicking is as criminal as her suggestive dance moves.
CHARGE: Unsanctioned combative fighting.
PENALTY: Participating in your own "Fight Club" is a Class D Felony in most states, punishable by up to seven years in the pen.
COMMENTS: The #1 rule in "Fight Club" ("You do not talk about fight club") obviously didn't apply here, since Christina's controversial clip was on the tip of everyone's tongue when it came out. Had the video been closer to the film, it might have been worse, however. Like Meat Loaf in "Fight Club," Christina's opponent could have been 6'2" and worn a larger bra than she.
VIDEO: Queens of the Stone Age's "No One Knows"
SCENE: Josh Homme and his Queens of the Stone Age cohorts go deer hunting with a pickup truck.
CHARGE: Illegal hunting.
PENALTY: "Spotlighting," or using lights at night to stun the prey, can carry a $1,000 fine and/or up to a year in the county pen. Hunting from a vehicle can cost $250-$500 and/or up to 90 days.
COMMENTS: Since the hunted got the best of the hunters in the end, paying the fine and doing the time would be getting off easy.
VIDEO: Good Charlotte's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"
SCENE: Disrupting the proceedings by breaking into song, Good Charlotte send a courtroom spinning out of order. Joel Madden provides the final insult by flipping off the prosecutor.
CHARGE: Contempt of court.
PENALTY: For being rude, disrespectful or creating a disturbance in a courtroom, a judge could punish these rock and roll Robin Hoods with fines and/or jail time of up to six months. The band's street clothes and Benji's liberty spikes aren't winning them any points with the judge.
COMMENTS: "You will need the help of the judge in seeking a disposition that is favorable to your client, so the last thing you want to do is misbehave or do something that is going to cause the court to lose any sympathy it may otherwise have for you," says defense attorney Peter Frankel, whose advice to client Ol' Dirty Bastard was to "stand there and don't say a damn thing" (he didn't listen).
VIDEO: Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi"
SCENE: Avril Lavigne climbs on a car roof to tell all within earshot that he's just a boy and she's just a girl, just in case her necktie and the creatively spelled title made it less than obvious.
CHARGE: Unlawful gathering, involuntary manslaughter.
PENALTY: Without a permit from the city, Avril and the boys would be fined. Assuming that the ballet-dancing pretty face got trampled to death in the melee, however, Avril could face up to seven years in prison on a Class D felony charge in the Big Apple.
COMMENTS: Rallying her Avrilutionaries to clog rush-hour traffic isn't the best way to convert frustrated commuters into fans, but at least 5 million of us watching at home loved the spunk rocker's act of rebellion enough to buy her album.
VIDEO: Jay-Z's " '03 Bonnie & Clyde"
SCENE: Smooth and sexy criminals Jay-Z and Beyoncé give the fuzz the slip and hightail it to old Mexico, where they can live their "life of sin" far from the prying eyes of John Law ... and the paparazzi.
CHARGE: It all depends on whether they've been arrested before, which isn't clear in the clip. If they have been, the hip-hop sweethearts would be considered fugitives from justice. If they've never been nabbed, however, all that would accrue would be charges for reckless driving and any other offenses that stemmed from their high-speed getaway.
PENALTY: It depends on the crime they're running from. If they truly take after the real OG lovebirds, fleeing armed robbery and murder charges would cost them up to seven more years on top of their sentence. Knowing that they left the feds with egg on their face, however, is priceless.
COMMENTS: In the ultimate display of defiance, Hov and B won't go down without a fight. If the charges against them are anywhere near the number of gold records they've racked up, what's another few years tacked on to life without parole? Besides, if Jay plays his cards right, Rocawear will be launching a line of sombreros in no time.
Catch all the sizzlin', star-packed VMA action direct from Miami on August 28. MTV News' preshow kicks things off at 6:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the big show at 8 p.m.