Eminem's 'Without Me' Dominates MTV VMAs

With four awards, Eminem's "Without Me" dominated as the big winner at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) last night (Aug. 29) at New York's Radio City Music Hall. "Without Me" won the awards for

With four awards, Eminem's "Without Me" dominated as the big winner at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) last night (Aug. 29) at New York's Radio City Music Hall. "Without Me" won the awards for video of the year, best male and best rap video, and best direction. In the "Without Me" clip, directed by Joseph Kahn, Eminem plays a comic superhero and parodies Moby, the late Elvis Presley, and Osama bin Laden. The Web/Aftermath/Interscope album from which it is drawn, "The Eminem Show," is No. 1 this week on The Billboard 200.

The White Stripes' animated clip "Fell in Love with a Girl" received three awards: breakthrough video, best special effects, and best editing. Other multiple winners, with two each, were Pink's "Get the Party Started" (best female video, best dance video), and No Doubt's "Hey Baby" (best group video and best pop video). Michelle Branch won the viewer's choice award for "Everywhere," while Dashboard Confessional took home the MTV2 award for "Screaming Infidelities."

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opened the 19th annual show with an outdoor performance of "The Rising" amid steady rainfall. Host Jimmy Fallon ("Saturday Night Live") set a light-hearted mood right off the bat with a hilarious medley which found him impersonating Eminem, the White Stripes, Avril Lavigne, Dave Matthews, Nelly, and Enrique Iglesias (complete with a fake facial mole). Toward the end of the number, James Brown made a surprise appearance to duet with Fallon on "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine."

Britney Spears presented Michael Jackson, celebrating his 44th birthday, with the artist of the millennium honor. Jackson, making his first major public appearance since decrying Sony Music for their alleged failure to promote his "Invincible" album, made no mention of the controversy in a short speech that thanked various Motown legends, his parents, and magician David Blaine, among others.

Noteworthy live performances came from Eminem (running through a medley of "White America" and his newest hit, "Cleaning Out My Closet"), and an elaborately staged medley from P. Diddy that featured Usher and Busta Rhymes. Emerging from a giant boombox, 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake unveiled his maiden solo single, "Like I Love You." Other performers included Ja Rule (with Ashanti and Nas), Shakira, and, in a battle of upstart rock outfits, the Hives and the Vines.

Although it was a total surprise, Guns N' Roses' offered a weak show-closing performance, as a dreadlocked Axl Rose screeched through renditions of "Welcome to the Jungle," the new song "Madagascar," and "Paradise City." The group, which now features only Rose and Dizzy Reed from its original multi-platinum incarnation, has performed sporadically in recent years while working in earnest on its comeback album, "Chinese Democracy." Backstage, a breathless Rose said of the long-delayed set, "you'll see it, but I don't know if soon is the word."

During the show, "Total Request Live" host Carson Daly introduced the creation of an AIDS scholarship sponsored by MTV in the memory of late TLC vocalist Lisa Lopes, who died in a car accident last summer. The group's surviving members, Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas, fought back tears as they gave an emotional thank you speech.

In one of the lone references to the terrorist attacks of last Sept. 11, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani thanked artists for supporting the city amid "this very, very difficult year." He then introduced Sheryl Crow, who performed "Safe and Sound" while images of New York played on the video screens behind her.

The two major shutouts of the evening were P.O.D. and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott. Both acts received six nods each, tying Eminem for the most nominations this year. However, P.O.D.'s "Alive" and "Youth of a Nation," and Elliott's "One Minute Man," failed to score any awards. Latin star Shakira received four nominations for "Whenever, Wherever," but also went home empty handed. A similar fate befell Elliott last year, when she earned six nominations but won no awards.

Eligible videos for the 2002 MTV VMAs were promotional clips that premiered on MTV between June 9, 2001, and May 31, 2002. The viewer's choice award and the MTV2 award were determined by phone and online voting. The rest of the awards were voted on through ballots sent to about 500 music industry professionals and 500 MTV viewers.

Here is a complete list of winners:

Best video of the year: Eminem, "Without Me" (Web/Aftermath/Interscope)
Best male video: Eminem, "Without Me"
Best female video: Pink, "Get the Party Started" (Arista)
Best group video: No Doubt, "Hey Baby" (Interscope)
Best rap video: Eminem, "Without Me"
Best R&B video: Mary J. Blige, "No More Drama" (MCA)
Best hip-hop video: Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule, "I'm Real" remix (Epic)
Best dance video: Pink, "Get the Party Started"
Best rock video: Linkin Park, "In the End" (Warner Bros.)
Best pop video: No Doubt, "Hey Baby"
Best new artist in a video: Avril Lavigne, "Complicated" (Arista)
Best video from a film: Chad Kroeger featuring Josey Scott, "Hero" (from "Spider-Man") (Columbia/Roadrunner)
Viewer's choice: Michelle Branch, "Everywhere"
MTV2 award: Dashboard Confessional, "Screaming Infidelities"
Best direction in a video: Eminem, "Without Me"
Best choreography in a video: Kylie Minogue, "Can't Get You Out of My Head" (Capitol)
Breakthrough video: the White Stripes, "Fell in Love with a Girl" (Third Man/V2)
Best art direction in a video: Coldplay, "Trouble" (Capitol)
Best cinematography in a video: Moby, "We Are All Made of Stars" (V2)
Best special effects in a video: the White Stripes, "Fell in Love with a Girl" (Third Man/V2)
Best editing in a video: the White Stripes, "Fell in Love with a Girl" (Third Man/V2)