There's really no substitute for experience. Such is the lesson to be gleaned from the crop of nominees for the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, where familiar faces like Gwen Stefani, Missy Elliott and seasoned punks Green Day lead the pack.
Nominees were unveiled in Miami on Monday morning (July 25), where it was also revealed that de facto Miami mayor P. Diddy will serve as host when the VMAs return to the city on Sunday, August 28.
Green Day will also be performing at the 22nd annual VMAs, along with 2004 fave Kanye West (who will perform a cut from his forthcoming Late Registration album) and Kelly Clarkson, whose "Since U Been Gone" scored nominations for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video.
For the first time, the live broadcast of the VMAs will be scored with original music, composed by Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda and the king of crunk himself, Lil Jon. Viewers will then have the opportunity to download the music as ringtones exclusively on *MTV on their Virgin Mobile phones.
Green Day head into the awards show with the most nominations, earning eight in all, including nods for Video of the Year, Best Group Video and Viewer's Choice (the dust has yet to clear in the online voting for this year's Viewer's Choice nominees, but Green Day have already secured a spot there in the early rounds of voting). The bulk of the group's nods, including the night's top honor, came for their "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" clip, while their "American Idiot" is in the running for Best Art Direction.
The group will face off against Coldplay ("Speed of Sound"), Kanye West ("Jesus Walks"), Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell ("Drop It Like It's Hot") and Gwen Stefani ("Hollaback Girl") for Video of the Year. Stefani's "Hollaback" clip will also vie for Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Best Choreography, while her video for "What You Waiting For?" is up for Best Art Direction and Best Editing, earning the No Doubt frontwoman six nominations in all.
Missy Elliott's latest oddball offering, "Lose Control," also turned up six noms, including Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Dance Video and Breakthrough Video. U2 also found themselves near the front of the pack with five nominations, while Coldplay, Jennifer Lopez, the Killers and My Chemical Romance each earned four. Ciara, John Legend, Kanye, the White Stripes, 50 Cent, Amerie, Destiny's Child, Eminem, Foo Fighters, Game, Gorillaz, Kelly Clarkson, Ludacris, Mariah Carey, Shakira, Simple Plan, Snoop and Usher all also earned multiple nominations.
But the night's surprising nomination magnet may well be Eric Roberts. The veteran actor ("Star 80," "The Pope of Greenwich Village") can claim at least a little piece of six nominations thanks to his work in the Killers' "Mr. Brightside" and Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together."
The night's hottest undercard bout could well be for Best New Artist in a Video, where brand-new heavyweights Ciara ("1,2 Step"), Game ("Dreams"), John Legend ("Ordinary People"), the Killers ("Mr. Brightside") and My Chemical Romance ("Helena") will duke it out.
More announcements regarding performers and presenters are expected in the coming weeks.