With four awards, the Dave Matthews Band reigned supreme as the big winner at the second annual My VH1 Music Awards, presented last night (Dec. 2) at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The rock band won for my favorite group, coolest fan Web site (nancies.org), must-have album (“Everyday,” RCA), and the damn I wish I wrote that award (also known as the best song of the year honor) for “The Space Between.”
The categories, nominees, and winners were chosen by fans who voted online at VH1.com. The cable music channel telecast the Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”) -hosted event live and will air repeats of the program over the next several weeks.
Coldplay was among the multiple winners, with the British rock band winning two awards: big in Japan (aka the international award) and best-kept secret. Also winning two awards was “Lady Marmalade” (from Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink), which received the honors of my favorite video and is it hot in here or is it just my video?
U2 shared the most nominations (six) with the Dave Matthews Band going into the ceremony, but ultimately the Irish supergroup didn’t score any of the prizes. Train and Moby, who received three nominations each, were also shut out of the awards.
The bad news is that the awards show had no real outrageous moments (unless you count awards show presenter Tommy Lee doing an impromptu stage dive into the audience), and the onstage quips by the host and some of the awards show presenters were downright dull. But the good news is that the event ran smoothly and it was a definite improvement over last year’s show, which was plagued by disorganization, production mistakes, and a host (John Leguizamo) who didn’t quite win over the audience.
This year’s event included a few unannounced performances, including Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi opening the show with a touching acoustic version of “Here Comes the Sun,” the Beatles tune written by the late George Harrison. A montage of photos of the former Beatle in various stages of his life appeared on the stage’s video screens during a tasteful tribute that was emotional without being overblown. Harrison, who died of cancer on Nov. 29, was very much on the minds of the artists at the awards show.
Dave Matthews said backstage, “I don’t think there was anyone who affected me more musically than the Beatles. [George Harrison] left a beautiful mark [in this world] and we should be grateful for that.”
Matthews also shared his thoughts about his band’s victories at the awards show, saying, “It’s an honor for the fans to give us these awards.”
Jewel, who performed her song “Standing Still,” at the show, remarked backstage about the impact the Beatles had on her: “What I appreciated about the Beatles was there was a lot of whimsy and a great sense of humor in their music, and that came from a love of [the music] not from trying to make hits.”
Creed, last year’s big winner, returned to the awards show to perform its current single “My Sacrifice” in a pyrotechnic-fueled performance that received an enthusiastic reaction from the audience.
Other performers at the awards show weighed in with their recent singles: Lenny Kravitz (winner of my favorite male artist) performed “Dig In”; No Doubt (whose lead singer Gwen Stefani won the my favorite female award) bounced through “Hey Baby”; Mick Jagger was joined by Kravitz for a sizzling rendition of “God Gave Me Everything”; and Nelly Furtado gave a high-energy performance of “Turn Off the Light.”
Mary J. Blige did a passionate medley of her hits “Family Affair” and “No More Drama,” and in one of the evening’s surprise collaborations, Sting performed with Blige on his hit “(If You Love Somebody) Set Them Free.”
Sting told Billboard.com that it was his idea to perform a duet with Blige at the awards show. “I was deeply honored because she’s one of my favorite artists,” he said.
Simply put, there wasn’t a bad performer in the bunch and the above-average offerings by all the artists resulted in one of the strongest live shows seen at a recent awards show ceremony.
Lifehouse and India.Arie performed relatively low-key sets during the pre-awards show program, which VH1 also televised.
Here is the complete list of My VH1 Awards winners:
My favorite group: Dave Matthews Band
My favorite male artist: Lenny Kravitz
My favorite female artist: Gwen Stefani
Must-have album: Dave Matthews Band, “Everyday” (RCA)
Damn I wish I wrote that (song of the year): Dave Matthews Band, “The Space Between”
Best live show: Bon Jovi
Coolest fan Web site: Dave Matthews Band (nancies.org)
My favorite video: Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & Pink, “Lady Marmalade”
Best actor in a video: Christopher Walken, “Weapon of Choice” (Fatboy Slim)
Is it hot in here or is it just my video?: Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & Pink, “Lady Marmalade”
Navel Academy (best bellybutton appearance): Britney Spears
There’s no “I” in “team” (best collaboration): All Star Tribute (various artists), “What’s Going On”
Your song kicked ass but was played too damn much: Staind, “It’s Been Awhile”
Welcome to the big time: Alicia Keys
Big in Japan (international award): Coldplay
Best-kept secret: Coldplay