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'Lady Marmalade,' 'N Sync Top MTV Video Awards

The video for the hit “Lady Marmalade” won best video of the year at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday in a ceremony largely devoid of the sort of unscripted disruptions that have marked the show in the past and which included a surprise appearance by Michael Jackson.

“Marmalade,” featuring pop and hip-hop divas Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, Pink and Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, won the top honor at the 18th annual awards given out by cable’s Music Television, beating out U2, Eminem and Janet Jackson among others.

The video also won best video from a film, from the musical “Moulin Rouge” which starred Nicole Kidman.

The night’s other big winner was the boy band ‘N Sync, which took four awards including best group video, best pop video, best dance video and viewers’ choice, voted on by the public, all for “Pop.”

The group seemed caught off-guard, saying fellow nominee “Fatboy Slim was robbed” in the best dance video category. When it later won the best group award, members remarked that fellow nominee “U2 was robbed this time.”

The awards, held at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York’s Lincoln Center and hosted by comedian Jamie Foxx, kicked off with Foxx’s riff on the name changes that seem to haveinfected the music business, such as P. Diddy, the new stage name of Sean “Puffy” Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy.

The first award in the three-hour-plus telecast, for best hip hop video, went to Outkast for “Ms. Jackson.” Following a performance by Jennifer Lopez of “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” the show featured a moving tribute to the rising star Aaliyah, last year’s best female video winner for “Try Again” who was killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas in August.

Other acts performing included U2, Snoop Dogg, Linkin Park and ‘N Sync, whose performance was punctuated by a surprise appearance by self-described king of pop Jackson, thrilling the audience. Jackson will be honored on Friday at a star-studded celebration of his 30th year in show business at Madison Square Garden.

The Fatboy Slim video “Weapon of Choice,” directed by Spike Jonze and featuring Christopher Walken, took the most awards with six, including best direction for Jonze as well as breakthrough video. Other awards to “Weapon” were for choreography, art direction, editing and cinematography.

Gwen Stefani proved to be a charm for the male and female video categories. Best male video went to Moby, featuring Stefani, for “South Side” while Eve, also featuring Stefani, took the prize for best female video for “Let Me Blow Ya Mind.” Moby remarked that “without Gwen the video never would have gotten shown in the first place.”

Rising R&B star Alicia Keys won the best new artist in a video award for her first single, “Fallin,” which she also performed on the show.

Other winners were Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me,” for rap video, Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” for R&B video, Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin,” which was named best rock video, and Robbie Williams’ “Rock DJ,” which won for best special effects in a video.

U2 was presented with the 2001 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award. The band, whose performance was briefly marred by a technical glitch, paid special tribute to The Ramones in its acceptance speech.

The first-ever MTV2 award, chosen by Internet users, went to Mudvayne, for “Dig,” who stood out with their green or red spiked mohawks set off by white dinner jackets splashed with what appeared to be blood.

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