Music and mischief mix it up at MTV Awards Show
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By Donna Freydkin
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Thanks to the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, the night's big winner, Lauryn Hill, has four more statuettes to add to her already hefty collection. But music and some stellar performances aside, bums and breasts stole the show.
Hill's video "Doo Wop (That Thing)" took home best R&B; best female video; best art direction; and video of the year, the grand prize of the evening. She was among the cast of usual suspects who paraded across the stage as they accepted their winnings at this year's show, held at New York's Metropolitan Opera House and hosted by caustic comedian Chris Rock.
Ricky Martin picked up four awards (best dance, best pop and two international awards) for "Livin' la Vida Loca" and dance king Norman "Fatboy Slim" Cook took home three, including breakthrough video, for his video "Praise You."
"Now, I'm officially welcomed into the big-time Hollywood star-studded set ," Cook said, "and so now that means that I get upgraded hotel rooms."
Eminem took home the best new artist in a video award for the single "My Name Is." The Beastie Boys collected a best hip-hop video award for "Intergalactic."
Will Smith grateful for what he got
And Will Smith took home a best male video statuette for "Miami" -- not for the heavily hyped "Wild Wild West."
"I take what I can get," said Smith. "When I sit down in the audience, I always enjoy the show. It's a great show. And it's not like 'Oh, I wanted to win for "Wild Wild West," not for 'Miami.' I put everything into both of those videos and it's not a specific thing I want to win.
"I'm excited any time I can get one because I'm always nervous that I'll be sitting there with a dumb face for the whole show."
And Madonna, who could be seen halfheartedly applauding during the evening, earned a trophy for best video from a film for "Beautiful Stranger," featured in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me." Madonna thus became the most honored artist of the MTV awards. Her entrance was preceded by men costumed in the various images she's used for her albums, from the soft-punk of "Like a Virgin" to the Marilyn Monroe guise of "Material Girl," to the camp of "Vogue" and the Peron character of "Evita."
"It takes a real man to fill my shoes," she said, and took home her 18th MTV trophy.
The Maternal Girl joined Paul McCartney to present Hill with the night's video of the year award.
The night was perhaps most disappointing for Korn, a band that went into the ceremony with a whopping nine nominations. Despite a fan's heartfelt poster in the arrivals area announcing that lead singer "Jon Davis is the sexiest," the band took home only two awards, for best rock video and best editing.
Actress-turned-singer Jennifer Lopez, nominated for four awards, went home empty-handed.
Fashion sense, sexual nonsense
Between Rock's biting commentary about Jennifer Lopez's rear end and rapper Lil' Kim's breast-baring sequined bodysuit, music sometimes seemed to play second fiddle to eye-popping attire.
Per the norm, when it came to fashion, louder was clearly better. And in keeping with that sentiment, Korn's Davis arrived in an all-white suit, complete with hat. Kid Rock wore sweatpants.
Kudos for most outrageous attire went to rapper and presenter Lil' Kim, who let it all hang out. Wearing a skin-tight purple sequined body-stocking suit and sporting hair dyed to match, Kim had half her chest in the suit. She wore a matching purple pasty on her left breast.
"I like to be daring and I like to be different," said Kim. "You think anyone out here looks like me? It's pretty different, right?"
Former Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, never one to be shy about letting it all hang out, showed up wearing a trench coat, hat, sneakers and little else. And while his wife Pamela Anderson Lee was in the press tent talking about the new season of her show "V.I.P.," he dashed up to the stage and flashed her. Giggling and announcing her inability to concentrate, she ran from the stage, fast.
TLC's Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes proclaimed that the band has been trying to get on the cover of Rolling Stone for nine years.
We can dance, we can dance
During his often hilarious stint as host, Rock wasted no time digging into Lopez and Martin, spending much of his time commenting on Lopez' backside and calling Martin the "Puerto Rican Al B. Sure." But Martin took Rock's ribbing with good humor. He says he was focused on the music.
"It was weird seeing people all over the world, daring to suck" in live performance, said Martin. "It's so beautiful. It doesn't matter if you're Italian, Russian, Chinese. You know, shaking your hips and doing whatever you want. So keep dancing!"
Presenters ran the gamut from teen icons Christina Aguilera and 'N Sync to Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, singing legend Diana Ross, and, somewhat inexplicably, talk-show host Regis Philbin.
The evening was marked by some memorable performances. Kicking off the night, Kid Rock, Run-DMC and Aerosmith delivered a rendition of the original rock-rap hit "Walk This Way." At the end of the show, Eminem was joined on stage by Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre to perform his hit "My Name Is."
The night did have a few serious moments. The mothers of slain rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. served as presenters.
The Beastie Boys' MCA (Adam Yauch), accepting his band's award for best hip-hop video, condemned the sexual assaults widely alleged to have taken place at this year's Woodstock '99, and implored musicians to work with promoters and security staff to ensure that concerts are safe for women.
"Why should I just feel mad about it and not do anything about it? I think we can do something about it as musicians," MCA said.
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