Last year, Britney Spears angered the parents of her impressionable young fans by yanking off layers of clothing as she did a bump and grind to the Rolling Stones’ "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” on the MTV Video Music Awards.
No telling what surprises are in store tonight when the 18th annual show, which begins at 8, is overseen by host Jamie Foxx at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House.
For most viewers, nominations are never quite as important as the outrageous fashions and lineup of performers, which includes Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Ja Rule, Staind, Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys and U2. Jimmy Fallon, Macy Gray, Will Ferrell, Jewel, Nelly, Shaquille O’Neal and Mark Wahlberg are among the presenters.
For those keeping score at home, Fatboy Slim leads the field with nine nominations for “Weapon of Choice,” a video in which a frisky Christopher Walken dances in an empty hotel lobby. “Lady Marmalade,” which brought together Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink in a video for the film “Moulin Rouge,” received six nominations, as did ‘N Sync’s “Pop” and Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On.”
Tied with five nominations are Eminem’s “Stan,” featuring Dido, U2’s “Beautiful Day” and Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor.” Janet Jackson picked up four nominations for the upbeat “All for You.”
If your social calendar is open, you can catch a pre-awards show, beginning at 6:30 p.m., in which Kurt Loder and colleagues ask celebrities lots of inconsequential questions.