2002 Video Music Awards
Host: Jimmy Fallon
Venue: Radio City Music Hall
City: New York City, NY
Date: August 29, 2002
Video of the Year: Eminem "Without Me"
2002 Video Music Awards
We let uber-fan Britney Spears do the honor of presenting Michael with a birthday cake. Amidst all of the laudatory comments in her speech, Brit, not incorrectly, referred to Michael as "the artist of the millennium." And that's where the confusion came in.
Michael apparently got confused, not understanding the concept of his birthday or the big birthday cake on stage, and instead thought that MTV was honoring him with an Artist of the Millennium award. Uncomfortable hilarity ensued as Jackson accepted the non-existent honor with a stirring speech about his childhood in Indiana. For this priceless moment in VMA history, we've been trying to give him the Awkwardness of the Millennium Award ever since, but he never shows up to get that one.
But that wasn't the only uncomfortable moment of the night. Nope, we've got more of those. There was the unlikely duo of former Van Halen singers David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar presenting the Best Rock Video award. When Dave called their planned joint live outing "the Celebrity Deathmatch tour," an annoyed Hagar stated flatly, "I don't need the money, Dave!"
Yet, we still have to recall the case of Eminem who had no less than three "moments." The man born Marshall Mathers was the big winner, taking four Moonmen -- including Best Rap Video and Video of the Year for "Without Me." When he won Best Male Video, his award was presented by Christina Aguilera, whom he had dissed in the lyrics of his hit, "The Real Slim Shady." Awkward!
Then Triumph the Insult Comic Dog used the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards to pick a fight with Eminem in the audience. The foul-mouthed pooch's bit was so offensive to Slim Shady that MTV later exorcized it from VMA rebroadcasts. We likewise removed the part where Eminem challenged Moby to a fight (the diminutive Moby had previously called the rapper's music misogynistic and homophobic). The audience sided with Moby on this one and rallied with a chorus of boos.
Truly, the 2002 VMAs featured a myriad of instant-classic moments:
• Justin Timberlake's first solo performance ("Like I Love You")
• Pink's "I'm too drunk for this" acceptance of the Best Female Video award ("Get the Party Started")
• Bruce Springsteen's show opening off-site performance outside and in the rain ("The Rising")
• Christina Aguilera's very revealing outfit, which Jimmy Fallon described as "her boobs wrapped in a napkin."
• And finally, the return of Guns N' Roses to the stage, highlighted by the sight of Slash's replacement, Buckethead (so nicknamed for the large KFC bucket he wears on his head), on guitar. Weirdly and despite a braided Axl Rose who was severely winded by the end of "Welcome to the Jungle," they still rocked.
Admit it, the VMAs are our own special brand of crazy, and you love it!
2002 VMA Winners
Video of the Year
Best Male Video
Best Female Video
Best Group Video
Best Pop Video
Best Rap Video
Best R&B Video
Best Hip-Hop Video
Best Dance Video
Best Rock Video
Best New Artist
Best Video From A Film
Chad Kroeger f/ Josey ScottClose
- Ludacris f/ Nate Dogg - Area Codes
- Nelly - #1
- Will Smith - Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)
Best Special Effects
Best Art Direction
2002 VMA Performances
Avril Lavigne "Complicated" (Pre-Show)
Bruce Springsteen the & E Street Band "The Rising"
Pink "Just Like a Pill"
Shakira "Objection (Tango)"
Eminem "White America" / "Cleaning Out My Closet"
Sheryl Crow "Safe & Sound"
The Hives "Main Offender"
The Vines "Get Free"
Guns n' Roses "Welcome To The Jungle" / "Madagascar"
2002 VMA Photos
2002 Highlights Just as it looks like boy bands are here to stay, Eminem shows up and sweeps most of the night's top awards. In a sign of things to come, indie rock innovators White Stripes and Dashboard Confessional make their first appearances.