AWARDS Let the girly backlash begin. Both Britney Spears and her fellow ex Mouse Club habitue Christina Aguilera were shut out of the MTV Video Music Awards last night, even while Britney bared a little more skin than usual in a racy performance at the show. Instead, Eminem and ‘N Sync took home three prizes each, the most awards for any artist. The Slim Shady snagged the Best Male Video and Best Video honors for his trademark hit, ”The Real Slim Shady,” and shared Best Rap Video for Dr. Dre’s ”Forgot About Dre,” while ‘N Sync scored the Best Pop Video, Best Choreography, and Viewer’s Choice awards. Anti-bombshell Macy Gray was crowned Best New Artist in a Video for her hit ”I Try.” Jennifer Lopez — who donned hip huggers instead of a green Versace sheath for this ceremony — took home the award for Best Dance Video, and Aaliyah was given the Moonman for Best Female Video.
MOB SCENE Meanwhile, the NYPD was out in force as fans gathered outside New York’s Radio City Music Hall for the VMAs. Five men were arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting women throughout the course of the night. Likewise, Rage Against the Machine bassist Timmy Commerford was given a taste of the law, reports the Associated Press. Commerford incited a ruckus by dangling for several minutes above the stage, during Limp Bizkit‘s acceptance for Best Rock Video. As he was hustled outside by plainclothes police officers, shoved against a limousine and handcuffed, he shouted, ”You’re hurting me, man. You don’t have to hurt me!” A Rage bodyguard who tried to keep the police off Commerford was arrested for obstructing justice, and the musician was taken in for assault and resisting arrest, according to police. Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst (who had encouraged the bass player to ”stage dive”) told AP he thought the strong arm behavior was ”well deserved.” Commerford was ”freaking out,” he said. Maybe Durst should consider a run for the New York Senate.
MISSING TLC‘s label Arista has confirmed that wild child member Lisa ”Left Eye” Lopes has been missing for a week, reports MTV Online. However, the band’s rep Matt Shelton played down a story in the New York Post which quoted him as saying he was ”very worried” about Lopes’ absence. ”We are confident she will turn up soon and make a grand entrance,” Shelton told MTV.
WEB NEWS MP3.com will relaunch its embattled MyMP3.com service, despite a recent court ruling that the Internet company must pay Universal Music Group hundreds of millions for copyright infringement. CEO Michael Robertson contends that his service — which allows users to listen to music from any computer, provided they have proved that they own the CD — is not illegal. He promises that it will be turned back on within a few weeks. ”Letting people listen to their own CD collection is fair use,” he said. And fairly useful, too.
REEL DEALS Madonna may have found a movie that suits her characteristic caprice. Variety reports that her production company, Mad Guy Films, has optioned a script entitled ”The Long Hair Depression” as a possible vehicle for the hit maker. The script is written by ”Low Life in High Heels” author Jeff Copeland…. The Rock may have bailed on one of his many big screen deals. The WWF behemoth was attached to an untitled Revolution Studios production for $5 million, but he has decided to ditch the project, according to the daily industry mag. Ah, yes, he is an island.
RADIO It appears that once unstoppable shock jock Howard Stern is losing some of his ratings magic. Reuters reports that listeners are tuning out of Stern’s show sooner than they used to. The King of All Media’s audience has shrunk 12 percent, from 1.2 mil weekly to 1.05 since 1998 in his hometown of New York and 20 percent in Los Angeles, according to an Arbitron Co. radio ratings report. This may be Garrison Keillor’s long awaited chance to get a foothold in the Big Apple.
LEGALESE Mary Poppins is singing a settlement song. Reuters reports that Julie Andrews has reached an agreement in a malpractice lawsuit over a 1997 throat operation that crippled her professional singing voice. Andrews’ publicist said that the ”Sound of Music” star was ”devastated” when an operation at New York’s Mt. Sinai hospital left her with permanent vocal chord damage. ”I am glad to have settled this case in a favorable manner and am glad to close this chapter on an event which was unfortunate for all concerned,” Andrews said. Mt. Sinai could not be reached for comment.