The list of nominees for the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards includes a familiar mix of hip-shakers, funky Californians, ambitious blondes — and one group of tight-trousered gatecrashers.
Swivel-hipped Shakira and the rejuvenated Red Hot Chili Peppers lead the field with seven noms each, followed closely by the majestic Madonna and upstart Las Vegas rockers Panic! at the Disco, both with five nods. Christina Aguilera is next with four.
Videos from all five artists — Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie," the Chili Peppers' "Dani California," Madonna's "Hung Up," Panic's "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" and Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man" — will go head-to-head for the coveted Video of the Year Moonman at the 2006 VMAs, which will air live from New York's Radio City Music Hall on August 31.
Panic! are also one of the first artists confirmed to perform on the show, joining an all-star cast that also includes Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, T.I., Ludacris and the Killers.
Shakira's "Hips" scored nominations for Best Female Video (where it also faces off against Aguilera and Madonna, as well as Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You" and Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous"), Best Dance Video, Best Pop Video and the Viewer's Choice Award, plus a pair of technical nods — for Choreography and Art Direction — along with its Video of the Year nom.
In addition to their Video of the Year nom, the Chili Peppers' "Dani California" is up for Best Group Video and Best Rock Video (it also landed a host of technical nominations, for Direction, Editing, Cinematography and Art Direction).
"I found out we got [seven nominations] when my office paged me this morning," RHCP frontman Anthony Kiedis told MTV News. "And ironically enough, seven is the number my 4-year-old nephew predicted when he first saw the video. You know when you're getting through to the 4-year-old kids you're doing something right. Making a great video still means a lot to us — we look at it as a great opportunity and we put our hearts into it. So these nominations mean a lot to us."
VMA vet Madonna is up for Best Female Video, Dance Video, Pop Video and Choreography, while Panic! at the Disco — who less than two years ago weren't even a band — saw their "Sins" clip nominated for Best Rock Video, Best Group Video and Best New Artist (going up against Angels & Airwaves' "The Adventure," Avenged Sevenfold's "Bat Country," Rihanna's "S.O.S.," Chris Brown's "Run It!" and James Blunt's "You're Beautiful"), plus an Art Direction nom (see "Panic! At The Disco Carry Emo-Punk Banner Into VMAs With Five Noms").
"It was kind of mind-blowing when we heard that the Red Hot Chili Peppers got a few and then Madonna got a few, and we were right there with them," Panic! frontman Brendon Urie said Monday (July 31). "It's crazy to see us up there. It's been a year of firsts for us: We did our first album and we got our first big sales, and our first gold record, and now we got our first five VMA nominations. ... It's awesome to see all the success that's coming."
Aguilera's four nominations include nods for Video of the Year and Best Female Video, while a gaggle of artists — including AFI, Chris Brown and Gnarls Barkley — locked up three nominations apiece. Fall Out Boy, Kanye West, Rihanna and the Pussycat Dolls each scored two noms.
"It feels phenomenal," T.I. — whose "What You Know" clip is nominated for Best Male Video and Best Rap Video — told MTV News. "Lots of hard work and perseverance paying off, and I'm definitely look forward to that big night. It's going to be a monumental evening. I'm excited because it's going to be my first time performing [at the awards], and I'm nominated. So it's been a great year for me, and I'm just looking forward to doing my thing."
[This story was originally published at 11:00 a.m ET on 07.31.2006]