Justin Timberlake, Beyonce shine at 2003 MTV Video Music Awards

By on September 4, 2003

MTV’s 2003 Video Music Awards, hosted by Chris Rock, took over New York’s Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center last Thursday night.

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera kicked off the annual event with a racy rendition of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.”

Madonna joined the sexy singers on stage in a performance of her new single “Hollywood.” Just before Missy Elliot joined the singers the threesome got steamy and jaws dropped when Madonna kissed Spears and Aguilera.

The lip-locking didn’t end there. Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden planted one on bassist Paul’s cheek during their performance of “The Anthem.” The band later won MTV’s Viewers Choice Award for “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

Other performers of the night included Mary J. Blige featuring 50 Cent, who was the winner of three awards, including Best New Artist. A scantily clad Christina Aguilera appeared on stage a second time to perform “Dirrty” and “Fighter.”

Coldplay, whom pop star Justin Timberlake deemed “the greatest band in the world” slowed things down with their soulful ballad “The Scientist.” The band, awarded MTV’s Best Group Video, was also named UK’s Best British Breakthrough Artist.

Beyonce was flying high in her performance of “Baby Boy” and “Crazy in Love.” The diva hung upside down suspended from the ceiling and was lowered to a couch where she was joined by dancers and rapper Jay-Z. Beyonce, who did more dancing than singing, won three awards, including Best R&B Video for “Crazy in Love.”

Kelly Osbourne and Avril Lavigne shocked Duran Duran with the surprise presentation of MTV’s Lifetime Achievement Award before honoring Justin Timberlake with the Best Dance Video Award for “Rock Your Body.”

Timberlake’s solo career proves to be taking off, as he also walked away with Best Male Video and Best Pop Video for “Cry Me a River.”

Comedian/actor Adam Sandler and rapper Snoop Dogg teamed up in a hilarious presentation (or “present-izzle,” according to Snoop Dogg) of Best Video of the Year, awarded to Missy Elliot for “Work It.”

Elliot also took the award for Best Hip Hop Video. She dedicated both of her awards to Aaliyah, the singer who was killed in a plane crash two years ago.

Other winners of the evening include Eminem with Best Video from a Film for “Lose Yourself” from the film “8 Mile.” Linkin Park’s “Somewhere I Belong” took the award for Best Rock and Roll Video, and the legendary Johnny Cash was awarded the Best Cinematography award for his version of “Hurt.”

Metallica wrapped up the show with an instrumental tribute to 20 years of music videos. The medley opened with Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way” and shifted into Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” followed by a version of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”

The medley ended with a take on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” After a quick instrument change Metallica went on to play their roaring song “Frantic,” their newest single from St. Anger.

Although rowdy and crowd-engaging, Metallica’s performance had trouble competing with the tantalizing performances earlier in the night.


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