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MTVU Woodie Awards honors college students favorites
The 4th annual mtvU Woodie Awards took place on Nov. 8 at Roseland Ballroom in New York City, where thousands of college students packed the house, presented awards and joined artists on stage as they performed.
This is the only awards show that honors music based on the online votes of college students. A total of 4.6 million votes were cast, up more than 40 percent from last year.
The show started promptly at 8 p.m. with a performance by Lupe Fiasco. He, along with Matthew Santos and a surprise vocal appearance by Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump performed Fiasco’s latest “Superstar.” (Fall Out Boy themselves made a surprise appearance, and yes, Pete Wentz sported a cast on his foot after breaking it recently. If you see him, he said, “sign it!”)
The first award of the night, Woodie of the Year (Artist of the Year), went to fan-favorites Gym Class Heroes, who received the loudest applause of all when the nominees were read.
“It’s partially a whirlwind, but we’ve kind of been doing it steadily. Four years ago, we were a crappy band, and we kept touring until we started blowing up. People think we blew up over night, but like you said, we’re still together after four years,” said Gym Class Heroes’ guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo of the band’s rapid rise to stardom. (For the record, Gym Class Heroes formed in 1997).
There was a special appearance by Annie Lennox, who presented the award for Good Woodie (Greatest Social Impact), the award for the artists whose commitment to a social cause has effected the greatest change this year. Though they lost to Guster, members of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus were passionate about their advocacy for Mental Health Awareness, standing on the table as the band was mentioned.
“It’s nothing we set out to do, but once we realized we were getting successful and stuff, we realized there was no reason to not be responsible and do things like this,” guitarist Duke Kitchens said.
Lead guitarist Elias Reidy chimed in and said, “We realized how much of an impact and influence we have on these kids so we realized it’s our responsibility to take advantage of that and give back and set a good example instead of just blending in like everyone else.”
Following that award, Viral Woodie (Most Streamed, Blogged, etc) winners The Academy Is performed “We’ve Got a Big Mess on Our Hands” and “Everything We Had” backed on the “latter by a 12 piece string section comprised of college students from The Julliard School of Music.”
Radio darlings Boys Like Girls took home the award for Breaking Woodie (Best Emerging Artist). Their single, “The Great Escape” has been played on radio stations around the country.
“We were in a van, probably eight months ago on tour with Cartel, and we were in the desert, listening to Sirius hits and the song came on and I started screaming,” said lead singer Martin Johnson of the first time the band heard their song on the radio.
“The guys thought I was about to crash the car, they were like, ‘are you listening to the CD, dude?’ and I was like, ‘no dude it’s on the radio.’ And everyone freaked out. It was like a ‘That Thing You Do!’ type of moment,” Johnson said.
The 2007 mtvU Woodie Awards will premiere simultaneously on mtvU and mtvU.com on Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.
A half-hour special, “Best of the 2007 mtvU Woodie Awards” will air on MTV on Nov. 17 at 10 p.m. and MTV2 Nov. 18 at 12:30 a.m.
For a full list of winners and performers, check www.mtvu.com.