NEW YORK — Thursday’s 2002 MTV Video Music Awards should have been renamed “The Eminem Show.”
The controversial rapper’s latest video, “Without Me,” took home four of the kudocast’s signature moon-walker figurines: video of the year, male video, rap video and direction. Wins mark the latest in a series of successes for the rapper whose most recent Interscope Records release, “The Eminem Show,” has sold more than 5.2 million copies in just three months.
Gotham’s Radio City Music Hall served as the home of the awards, although the broadcast started with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing “The Rising” for a crowd outside the American Museum of Natural History. Before rolling inside the fabled movie palace, rapper Ludacris performed atop a bus outside Radio City with scantily clad dancers jumping on cars; censors bleeped his performance several times.
“Saturday Night Live” funnyman Jimmy Fallon hosted the event and opened the show by spoofing videos of rappers Eminem and Nelly, Enrique Iglesias, teen rocker Avril Lavigne and others.
Evening was a good one for Detroit rock duo the White Stripes and singer Pink. The Stripes drew kudos for breakthrough video, special effects and editing for the clever Lego-animation vid for “Fell in Love With a Girl.” Pink won in the female video and dance video categories for her dance-pop anthem “Get the Party Started.”
The White Stripes weren’t the only rockers to represent on the podium: No Doubt was feted with the group video award for its perf in “Hey Baby” featuring Jamaican dance-hall talent Bounty Killer. “Hey Baby” also took home the pop video nod.
Rap-rockers Linkin Park grabbed the rock video for “In the End” and Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger took the trophy for video from a film for his track “Hero” (featuring Josey Scott) from Columbia Pictures’ summer blockbuster “Spider-Man.”
New artist award went to Lavigne for her hit Arista single “Complicated,” which she performed Thursday atop the Radio City marquee in a light rain. The 17-year-old’s debut album “Let Go” hit a sales-chart high of third place last week; publicity from the VMAs could push the young singer’s disc even further.
Mary J. Blige took home the R&B video nod for the decidedly dramatic “No More Drama.” Hip-hop video went to Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule for the remix version of their collaboration “I’m Real.”
Kylie Minogue’s infectious pop piece “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” won for choreography, while Coldplay’s “Trouble” took art direction and Moby’s “We Are All Made of Stars” won the cinematography statue.
Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott and the rock band P.O.D. were shut out, despite having six nominations each.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)