If awards bring happiness, then Madonna, Prodigy, Will Smith, and Aerosmith came away happy after Thursday night's MTV Video Music Awards.
Madonna lead the pack with six awards as "Ray Of Light" picked up honors for Best Female Video, Best Choreography in a Video, Best Editing in a Video, Best Female Video, and Best Video of the Year, and her "Frozen" picked up an award for Best Special Effects in a Video. In a night when heavy favorites ran amok, perhaps the biggest surprise of the night came when the artist formerly known as Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell, made her first public appearance since leaving that group. Halliwell was on hand to present the Video of the Year award to the woman that she described as her "idol," Madonna.
Will Smith was next in line, as he made his way to the podium two times to pick up kudos for two videos. His "Getting' Jiggy With It" nabbed Best Rap Video and his "Just The Two Of Us" picked up Best Male Video.
Prodigy also cashed in at least a few of the four nominations that it scared up with the much-debated clip for "Smack My Bitch Up." The band wound up scoring this year's Best Dance Video and Breakthough Video honors. Between his work on Prodigy's "Smack" and on Madonna's "Ray Of Light," Swedish director Jonas Akerlund would up responsible for eight of the awards handed out Thursday night.
Aerosmith also managed to bat .500, as the group turned four of its nominations into two awards for Best Rock Video for "Pink" and Best Video From A Film for "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" from "Armageddon." When the fans had their say, Puff Daddy walked off with the Viewers Choice Award for "It's All About The Benjamins (Rock Remix)" with the Family, the Lox, Lil' Kim, & Notorious B.I.G. and Fuzzbubble.
At the other, end of the spectrum, Garbage couldn't turn any of its eight nominations into a statuette and walked away from the shoe empty handed (see "Garbage Grabs A Donut At VMAs Despite Eight Nominations" for more).
Fellow multiple nominees Radiohead, who were up for four Video Music Awards for their acclaimed video "Karma Police " also wound up without a moonman.
Busta Rhymes also started the night with four nominations for his "Put You Hands Where My Eyes Could See" but had the misfortune to see those nominations come against Will Smith in two categories and Madonna and Prodigy in the other two. Busta didn't have to worry about his VMA shopping being in vein though as Puffy brought him up on stage when the Bad Boy mogul picked up his Viewers Choice award.
In one award that wasn't up for grabs, the Beastie Boys were welcomed into the Video Vanguard by old school rap kingpin Chuck D, who praised the Boys for turning rap on its ear with the impact of "Jackie Robinson in reverse." You can, of course, check out complete list of who won what right here at MTV News 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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