About the Show
Thursday, September 07, 2000
From hundreds of Slim Shadys to an "Is she naked?" Britney to a rage against the stage set, the 2000 edition of the MTV Video Music Awards was the one that you might say got a little bit out of hand.
We can't really blame hosts Shawn and Marlon Wayans, who kept the audience at New York's Radio City Music Hall laughing hard. Or maybe we can. What? Oh, the legal department says we can't. Well, then it has to be the performances!
Fresh from his Best New Artist win the previous year, Eminem proved that he was an artist to be reckoned with, taking three Moonmen, including Video of the Year, for "The Real Slim Shady." When accepting the award for Best Male Video, Em went into his pocket looking for his speech, he dumped out a bunch of pills. Shocking!
But it was his performance of the "The Real Slim Shady" that was actually memorable, with Eminem starting out on 6th Avenue surrounded by an army of blonde, white t-shirt-and-jeans wearing clones, who dutifully followed him through the aisles of Radio City and onto the stage. Frankly, we were frightened!
Macy GrayThe Best New Artist award went to Macy Gray for "I Try," and she accepted the award in a pink outfit and matching giant pink afro that could be seen from the surface of Neptune. *NSYNC won the Viewer's Choice Moonman for "Bye Bye Bye."
Napster founder Shawn Fanning -- hero to the masses and the man in 2000 most reviled by the music industry suits -- took the VMA stage to present an award in a Metallica t-shirt that a friend "shared" with him. It is rumored that it was the straw that sent Metallica, who sued their fans as a result of file sharing on Napster, into group therapy.
In the most shocking moment of the night, then 18-year-old Britney Spears started her performance of "Satisfaction/Oops ... I Did It Again" in a tuxedo that she tore off midway through the performance. For a few seconds, we and every pre- and post-pubescent male in the viewing audience believed that she was naked. In fact, she was wearing a skin-tight flesh-colored outfit that was really just a whole lot of naughty!
Other performers included Janet Jackson, Rage Against the Machine, Sisqo, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nelly, Blink-182, and the unlikely pairing of Christina Aguilera and Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst.
And Durst was onstage for what may be the night's most memorable incident. While accepting the award for Best Rock Video ("Break Stuff"), Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford climbed up the fake palm tree behind the podium and refused to come down, despite the crowd's "jump" chant. Chaos ensued, the show cut to commercial and Commerford spent a night in jail. His actions are widely believed to be the impetus for singer Zach De La Rocha's exit and the end of Rage. Until 2007, of course, when heads cooled and Audioslave (Rage without Zach but with Chris Cornell) dissipated into the ether.
The VMAs is not your average awards show, that's for sure.