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MTV Video Music Awards 2007: Justin Timberlake wins big

Justin Timberlake in Alpha Dog

Story by Jack Foley

JUSTIN Timberlake emerged as the big winner at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas, winning four awards including top male artist.

The singer turned actor also walked away with awards for quadruple threat of the year, best choreography in a video and best director (for What Goes Around… Comes Around and its helmer Samuel Bayer).

Although the night belonged to him, the headlines from the evening were largely dominated by the comeback performance of Britney Spears, which was largely written off as “a disaster”.

In her first live performance for three years, the troubled singer delivered a version of her comeback single Gimme More dressed in a sequinned bikini and knee-high boots – but drew widespread disapproval from just about all who watched.

Other notable success stories on the night, however, belonged to R&B singer Rihanna, who won two awards for her monster smash hit Umbrella featuring Jay-Z – namely, monster single of the year and video of the year.

Commenting on her video prize, she said: “This was definitely the most important one for me of the night… the most unexpected for me.”

The best new artist gong went to hip hop collective Gym Class Heroes, Fall Out Boy were named best group, Fergie (of the Black Eyed Peas) was named best female artist and Beyonce and Shakira took the award for most earth-shattering collaboration for Beautiful Liar.

However, self-proclaimed genius and rapper Kanye West threw a tantrum in front of reporters after missing out on the five awards he was nominated for.

Lamenting the fact he’d missed out for two years in a row, he added: “Give a black man a chance – I’m trying hard, man, I have the… number one record, man.”

The singer, who had previously gatecrashed the stage at the MTV Europe Awards after failing to win the prize for best video, said he would never return to MTV.

And further off-stage drama came from rockers Kid Rock and Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, who tussled in the audience, and had to be separated by security officials.

Both men are former husbands of actress and model Pamela Anderson, who was a presenter at the show, and the issue was resolved with rapper Kid Rock being allowed to stay for the rest of the ceremony and Lee being dragged out.

Timberlake, however, was determined to revel in his moment and paid tribute to the otherwise healthy state of the music industry at the moment, saying: “I think music is in a great place right now because we’re all doing what we want to do. So thank you for this award, MTV.”

The main winners (in bold):

Video of the year:
Beyoncé – Irreplaceable
Justice – D.A.N.C.E.
Rihanna f/ Jay-Z – Umbrella
Justin Timberlake – What Goes Around… Comes Around
Kanye West – Stronger
Amy Winehouse – Rehab

Monster single of the year
Daughtry – Home
Fall Out Boy – Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
Avril Lavigne – Girlfriend
Lil Mama – Lip Gloss
Mims – This Is Why I’m Hot
Plain White T’s – Hey There Delilah
Rihanna f/ Jay-Z – Umbrella
Shop Boyz – Party Like A Rock Star
T-Pain f/ Yung Joc – Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)
Timbaland f/ Keri Hilson, D.O.E. & Sebastian – The Way I Are

Female artist of the year:
Beyonce
Fergie
Nelly Furtado
Rihanna
Amy Winehouse

Male artist of the year:
Akon
Robin Thicke
T.I
Justin Timberlake
Kanye West

Best group:
Fall Out Boy
Gym Class Heroes
Linkin Park
Maroon 5
The White Stripes

Best new artist:
Lily Allen
Gym Class Heroes
Peter, Bjorn and John
Amy Winehouse
Carrie Underwood