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Madonna Tops Video Awards List

July 15, 1998 12:00 AM ET

She has grabbed her crotch, belted out her most controversial ditties and basked in the media's blinding limelight at countless MTV Video Music Award shows over the years. On Tuesday, the cable music giant returned the favor with nine award nominations for Madonna's 1998 video contributions -- "Ray of Light" and "Frozen."

The MTV princess, who made her first video in 1982 for the song "Everybody," reeled in one nomination for "Frozen" -- her first video from the techno-infused Ray of Light -- and another eight for that album's title track. The innovative, provocative "Ray of Light" heads up the "Video of the Year" category with hopefuls Brandy & Monica ("The Boy Is Mine"), Puff Daddy & the Family ("It's All About the Benjamins"), Will Smith ("Getting' Jiggy Wit It") and the Verve ("Bitter Sweet Symphony") rounding out the category.

Trailing closely on Madonna's heels, the sonic architects in Garbage racked up eight nominations for the first video from their sophomore disc, Version 2.0. "Push It" will sock it out with Madonna's creations in the following categories: Special Effects, Editing, Cinematography and Breakthrough Video.

However, MTV viewers excluded Madonna and Garbage from the "Viewer's Choice" award, which is drafted based on consumer ballots and opinion. The artists nominated in that category likely came as no great surprise to the officials at Billboard, who have watched the songs dominate the charts all year. Lead diva Celine Dion tops the list with her Titanic epic, "My Heart Will Go On," followed by Green Day ("Time of Your Life"), Will Smith ("Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"), Matchbox 20 ("3 A.M.") and Puff Daddy & the Family ("It's All About the Benjamins").

Nominated five times for various collaborations, Puff Daddy faces unusual competition in the "Best Rap Video" category. Joining the illustrious producer and sampler in that corral is his best friend and former collaborator, Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G., who was shot to death at age 24 last year in Los Angeles. If Wallace wins the award posthumously, his wife Faith Evans will likely accept it with Puff Daddy on Sept. 10 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

Artists slated to take the stage at the awards ceremony include the Dave Matthews Band, Master P. and Hole, who may or may not have a new album by then.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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