About the Show
Thursday, September 06, 2001
For a second time, the 2001 Video Music Awards were at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Our trip back to Radio City Music Hall the year before must have sent a message, as the Met asked us back, even after the spectacle, erm, we mean show, that we staged there in 1999.
Jamie FoxxHost Jamie Foxx, known for his own musical abilities as well as his acting chops and comedic skills (is there anything he can't do?), drew inspiration from the venue to kick off the show. His operatic medley of the year's most popular songs undoubtedly set the bar for the incredible performances to come.
Fatboy Slim was the king of Moonmen at the 2001 VMAs, taking home six awards for "Weapon of Choice." The video, which featured a dancing and gravity-defying Christopher Walken (who, it has been confirmed, has those powers in real life), won the award for Breakthrough Video and Best Direction, among others.
Shunning the notion that the boy band era would end, also winning big was *NSYNC, in all their frosty-locked glory. They walked with four awards for "Pop" -- Best Dance Video, Best Group Video, Best Pop Video and Viewer's Choice. And what could be more fitting than a surprise appearance by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, near the end of *NSYNC's performance of the song? Nothing, that's what. Jackson lit up the stage with some of his trademark dance moves while Justin Timberlake beat boxed. Incredible.
The Video of the Year award went to Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mya, and Pink featuring Missy Elliot for their work on "Lady Marmalade," which they recreated for the film Moulin Rouge. It was a win that was uncomfortable, at best, until it was decided that each woman would get their own award and would not have to share visitation rights with just one Moonman. In related news, the previous statement was a joke; those gals loooove one another.
Classin' the joint up a bit for us was Alicia Keys, who won the Best New Artist award for "Fallin'," and helped us prove, once again, that we really can spot talented artists.
Fabulously, Britney Spears continued in her tradition of "clothing optional" VMA performances when she took the stage for to belt out "I'm a Slave 4 U." Wearing what seemed to be three leaves Crazy Glued together, the future twentysomething double-divorcee's act featured a number of exotic animals, including a white tiger and a giant snake worn around her neck. Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals took offense on behalf of the critters.
Britney later issued this public apology: "I'm sorry for using animals in my performance. I've always thought that snakes liked loud noises and bright lights, ya'll." Actually, she didn't. What she really did was pledge to stop using animals in her touring act, and later that year she appeared in a pleather touting PETA ad campaign.
Jay-Z was also on hand to perform, as was Jennifer Lopez with Ja Rule, Linkin Park with the Executioners, Staind and Missy Elliot with Nelly Furtado , Ludacris, and Trina. U2 was also there to dish out "Elevation" and "Stuck in a Moment," but ran into power issue that had them stuck with out an elevator riser on stage, leading lead singer Bono to later quip that we "forgot to pay the electricity bill."
Well, Bono, if that is your real name (it's not), it's entirely possible that the MTV VMAs were powerful enough. We'd like to think so.