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Archive for Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Jay-Z leads nominees for MTV video awards

July 28, 2004

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— The MTV Video Music Awards are all about scene-stealing stunts, so it was fitting Tuesday when the network announced that stars will approach this year's red carpet on luxury yachts and the entire show will be host-free.

Oh, yeah -- Jay-Z's jarring video for "99 Problems," which depicts his own murder as a metaphor for his retirement from rapping, had a leading six nominations. Beyonce, No Doubt and OutKast had five nods each.

Hip-hop stars Missy Elliott and Usher braved the heat to announce nominations at the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel. The awards will be handed out Aug. 29 at the bayfront AmericanAirlines Arena.

Beyonce was up for her dance hit "Naughty Girl" and "Me, Myself and I." No Doubt was picked for Gwen Stefani's angry acting in "It's My Life" and OutKast for its Ed Sullivan Show-on-acid video of "Hey Ya."

Performers will include Usher, Jessica Simpson, newcomer Kanye West and a rock threesome of Jet, Hoobastank and Yellowcard.

"I've got a few ideas up my sleeve," Usher said of his performance. "Miami will be the light of life that night."

It's the awards' 21st year, but the first time it will be held outside Los Angeles or New York. MTV President Van Toffler joked that the awards were "finally legal" and promised more memorable moments, such as the Britney Spears-Madonna onstage kiss last year or the Neil Young-Pearl Jam performance of "Rockin in the Free World" from 1993.

OutKast and Jay-Z are joined in the video of the year category by Usher's nightclub ode "Yeah!", D12/Eminem's humorous "My Band" and Britney Spears' sultry "Toxic."

Elliott, whose "I'm Really Hot" was nominated for best dance video and best choreography, says she takes pride in her videos and enjoys watching what dance moves performers like Usher will create next.

"This man, he's one of the people I look forward to when I see a video," Elliott said of Usher. "The last person that I used to do that with was Aaliyah."

"You want to see what the new jump-off is, what the new dance is, what's going to blow up all over the world."

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