MTV plays very little rock music these days, but the genre sure made a resurgence during the 2005 Video Music Awards, held Sunday at Miami’s American Airlines Arena. Green Day won seven of the eight moonmen for which they were nominated for “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” In accepting the Best Rock Video prize, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong summed up his thoughts about MTV playing primarily hip-hop and R&B videos. “Thanks a lot,” he said. “It’s great to know that rock music still has a place at MTV.”
During the band’s acceptance for Video of the Year, bassist Mike Dirnt shifted the focus to global concerns. “Outside of everyone who worked on the video, I think there’s a lot of people to thank in this world . . . Here’s to this [award], and let’s bring the soldiers home safe.”
Chicago’s Fall Out Boy pulled out a surprise victory with the MTV 2 award for the rollicking pop hit, “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” a former TRL Number One video. Bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz modestly said he believed My Chemical Romance’s somber, well-choreographed video for “Helena” should have won. My Chemical Romance, who arrived to the event via Brinks Security truck, were shut out of the five awards for which they were nominated.
The very dapper Killers, who performed “Mr. Brightside” from a Miami hotel, were honored in the Best New Artist category. “I think we just made history because Snoop Dogg just gave the Killers an award,” lead singer Brandon Flowers said, curiously.
A shocked Kelly Clarkson picked up the prizes for Best Female Video and Best Pop Video for “Since U Been Gone.” “Oh God, I didn’t have a posse, so I brought my friend Ashley. But thank you so much,” the original American Idol champ said from the stage. “I didn’t know I was going to win. My vote was for Gwen [Stefani].”
Nominated for six VMAs, Stefani won only Best Art Direction in a Video and Best Choreography in a Video, for “What U Waiting For” and “Hollaback Girl,” respectively. She did, however, win the Diddy Fashion Challenge for being the best-dressed female. She earned $50,000 for her favorite charity, the Orange County Children’s Hospital. Snoop Dogg was her male counterpart and is putting his $50,000 toward his Snoop Youth Football League.
Kanye West, who complained publicly after losing out to Gretchen Wilson for Favorite Breakthrough Artist at last year’s American Music Awards, won Best Male Video for “Jesus Walks.” “Well, well, I guess they say, ‘We’re gonna give us this award early so we don’t have to worry about anything,'” he said referencing his reputation as a poor loser.
Hip-hop superstar Missy Elliott continued her winning ways from last year, earning two moonmen — Best Hip Hop Video and Best Dance Video — for her “Lose Control” with Ciara.
Green Day also set the musical tone for the show, performing the opening number, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” to cascading green-lit smoke and bursts of flames. Other highlights included My Chemical Romance, whose performance of “Helena” featured audience members unfolding white umbrellas, and Bobby Valentino and Ludacris, who seasoned “Pimpin’ All Over the World” with Caribbean steel drummers and dancers.
The lowpoint was R. Kelly’s lip-synched performance — without a mike, no less — of his multisegmented “Trapped in the Closet.” The R&B star managed to act out all the parts — the wife, the husband, the lover — even if he didn’t quite mouth all the words. 50 Cent unleashed a profanity-laced tirade after his medley of “Disco Inferno,” “Outta Control” and “So Seductive.” Most of it was silenced, leaving in question what he actually said, but it was clear that the rapper was not happy.
Shortly after Green Day’s set, host Diddy (formerly known as Puff Daddy and P. Diddy), promised a night of unexpected surprises. He handed an audience member a Jacob the Jeweler diamond-studded watch. Omarion and Uncle Luke from 2 Live Crew joined Diddy during a dance segment. Long-gone MC Hammer offered a remixed version of his Nineties hit, “U Can’t Touch This.” Donning a white jacket with tails, Diddy conducted an orchestra during a Biggie Smalls tribute of “Warning,” on which Snoop Dogg guested.
Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx showed off his vocal chops, performing an a cappella opening to Kanye West’s number, while Entourage actor Jeremy Piven made light of Lil Kim’s forthcoming prison sentence by saying he could make a call and hook her up with a “ghetto fabulous” set-up.
The VMAs ended with surprise winner Clarkson’s return to the stage to perform an intense rendition of “Since U Been Gone.” Midway through her hit single, the singer was soaked by a downpour of water, with show-closing drama.
The 2005 Video Music Awards winners:
Video of the Year: Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
Viewer’s Choice: Green Day, “American Idiot”
Best Male Video: Kanye West, “Jesus Walks”
Best Female Video: Kelly Clarkson, “Since U Been Gone”
Best Group Video: Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
Best Rap Video: Ludacris, “Number One Spot”
Best R&B Video: Alicia Keys, “Karma”
Best Hip Hop Video: Missy Elliott featuring Ciara and Fat Man Scoop, “Lose Control”
Best Dance Video: Missy Elliott featuring Ciara and Fat Man Scoop, “Lose Control”
Best Rock Video: Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
Best Pop Video: Kelly Clarkson, “Since U Been Gone”
Best New Artist: The Killers, “Mr. Brightside”
MTV 2 Award: Fall Out Boy, “Sugar, We’re Going Down”
Breakthrough Video: Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.”
Best Video Game Soundtrack: “Dance Dance Revolution Extreme”
Best Direction in a Video: Samuel Bayer, Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
Best Choreography in a Video: Kishaya Dudley, Gwen Stefani, “Hollaback Girl”
Best Special Effects in a Video: Passion Pictures, Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.”
Best Art Direction in a Video: Zach Matthewes, Gwen Stefani, “What You Waiting For?”
Best Editing in a Video: Tim Royes, Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
Best Cinematography in a Video: Samuel Bayer, Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”