August 29, 2005

Green Day rock MTV awards amid offstage drama

By Deborah Wilker

MIAMI (Hollywood Reporter) - Resurgent punk rockers Green
Day swept the MTV Video Music Awards in Miami Sunday, as their
Grammy-winning album "American Idiot" yielded seven awards at
an event marred by pre-show violence and Hurricane Katrina.

The Bay Area trio, which went into the evening with a
leading eight nominations, won the video of the year, group and
rock video races for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," one of
several hit singles from the album. It also took home the
viewers choice prize for the album's title track.

Additionally, "Boulevard" dominated the professional
categories with wins for editing, direction and cinematography.
The only category it lost was art direction for "American
Idiot," which was won by Gwen Stefani.

The group's performance of "Boulevard" opened MTV's live
broadcast of the show at the American Airlines Arena.

"It's nice to know rock music still has a place at MTV,"
singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong said while accepting the
rock video award.

The show -- presented from Miami's Biscayne Bay waterfront
for the second consecutive year -- was thrown into chaos late
last week when Hurricane Katrina rode through South Florida,
forcing MTV to pull down elaborate outdoor sets, cancel
numerous promotional events and location shoots, reroute
incoming talent and reschedule rehearsals.

The near-weeklong festivities also were marred by violence
when rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight, founder of Death Row
Records, was shot in the leg at a private party at the Shore
Club on Miami Beach early Sunday morning. He was rushed to
surgery at nearby Mount Sinai hospital with injuries that were
said to be non-life-threatening.

In a statement, MTV decried the violence, saying it has "a
zero-tolerance policy in regards to weapons," and assured that
"appropriate precautions" were being taken to ensure the safety
of guests at the arena Sunday evening.

On several occasions during the show, host Sean "Diddy"
Combs proclaimed "anything could happen," and at one point
handed his own wristwatch to a member of the audience. Among
the unannounced segments were a brief performance from '80s
rapper MC Hammer and a sequence were Diddy conducted a large
orchestra while the video for the late Notorious B.I.G.'s
"Juicy" played on the arena screens. Snoop Dogg then appeared
to rap live along with the video for Biggie's "Warning."

In a first, MTV gave prominent airtime to Latin music,
specifically, a reggaeton segment with performances from Don
Omar, Tego Calderon and Daddy Yankee. Latin superstar Shakira
also performed her single "La Tortura" with a bleached-blonde
Alejandro Sanz.

Other performances were turned in by 50 Cent, My Chemical
Romance, Mariah Carey, Kanye West with Jamie Foxx, Coldplay,
Ludacris, Las Vegas alt-rockers the Killers, and comedian Dane

Earlier, R. Kelly lip-synched highlights from of his
multi-chaptered, soap opera-style single "Trapped in the
Closet" on a set made out to look like a bedroom.

First-season "American Idol" champ Kelly Clarkson, who has
been riding a huge wave with her current album, "Breakaway,"
won trophies for pop video and female video for "Since U Been
Gone." Clarkson closed the show, performing "Since U Been Gone"
under a rainshower that fell from the rafters of the venue.

Stefani, who went in with six nominations, triumphed in
professional categories, winning for choreography and art
direction for the singles "Hollaback Girl" and "What You
Waiting For," respectively, from her solo debut "Love. Angel.
Music. Baby."

MTV perennial Missy Elliott, who also came in with six
nominations, won for yet another highly visual rap tour de
force -- "Lose Control," featuring Ciara and Fat Man Scoop,
from the album "The Cookbook," which took the dance and hip-hop

Notable shutouts included U2 with five nominations,
Coldplay with four, rising R&B singer-songwriter John Legend
with three and Carey, whose clip for current singles
chart-topper "We Belong Together" was bested by Clarkson in the
female video category.

West won best male video for "Jesus Walks," Alicia Keys
took the R&B category with "Karma" and the Killers were named
best new artist.

(With additional reporting from New York by Jonathan Cohen

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter