When it comes to throwing parties for itself, no TV network does it quite like MTV. The network's 20th anniversary celebration -- which took place last Night (Aug. 1) at New York's Hammerstein Ballroo

When it comes to throwing parties for itself, no TV network does it quite like MTV. The network's 20th anniversary celebration -- which took place last Night (Aug. 1) at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom -- was part concert, part reunion, part pop-culture spectacle. MTV televised the special live, and repeats of the program have been, and will continue to air, through the week.

Arguably the highlight of the event was an unforgettable hip-hop medley that brought together Run-DMC ("Walk This Way"), Salt-N-Pepa ("Push It"), Naughty By Nature ("O.P.P."), Busta Rhymes ("Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See"), Ja Rule ("Holla Holla"), and P. Diddy ("Mo' Money, Mo' Problems"). Shout-outs to the late Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur were augmented by poignant video footage of the slain artists.

Scores of stars performed live, including Kid Rock, Jane's Addiction, Mary J. Blige, Billy Idol, and TLC. Ex-Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford and ex-Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee joined Sum-41 during a medley of old favorites, while the Red Hot Chili Peppers made an impromptu show-closing appearance for "Give It Away." Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Depeche Mode, and Janet Jackson, who were all in the midst of North American tours, contributed songs from their own stages via satellite.

One MTV star fans probably expected was not on hand. Madonna, who was in the New York area and had an off night from her Drowned World tour, was visible in many retrospectives but did not appear in the flesh or a taped message. Sources tell Billboard that Madonna is currently having "issues" with MTV, but declined to say what those issues might be.

For a full review of the event, visit Billboard.com's Live Reviews section. Click here to read an excerpt of Billboard's salute to MTV's 20th anniversary.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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