Slim pickings for rivals as Fatboy scoops six at MTV video awards

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The Independent Culture

The DJ Fatboy Slim has proved he continues to reign supreme in the era of dance and club music, scooping six prizes at MTV's annual Video Music Awards in New York.

The platinum-selling king of the remixers had been nominated in nine categories for the video accompanying his single "Weapon Of Choice", including best direction and best art direction.

But he failed to sweep the board, as the American boy band 'N Sync won three of the main prizes, while the best video of the year honour, for which he had been nominated, went to four female pop stars, Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink.

Their prize was for the video accompanying the single "Lady Marmalade", used in the soundtrack to the film Moulin Rouge, which opened in Britain this week.

Robbie Williams, who was not at the ceremony, won the best special effects award for the video to his single "Rock DJ", but there was disappointment yet again for fellow Briton Craig David, who failed to win any of the prizes. David also drew a blank at the Brits this year, despite being nominated in several categories.

The show, held in New York on Thursday night, featured a surprise appearance from Michael Jackson, a day before a concert in the city marking his 30th anniversary as a solo performer, which is being used to relaunch his career.

Fatboy Slim, real name Norman Cook, received awards including best direction, choreography and art direction for the "Weapon of Choice" video. He had flown to New York with his wife, Zoe Ball, for the show, playing a surprise set at a club in the city earlier in the week.

The director of Fatboy Slim's winning video, Spike Jonze, paid tribute to the DJ and Christopher Walken, the cult American film actor, who had danced in the video.

U2, who performed live at the show, had been nominated for five awards and were presented with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award. The band promptly dedicated it to the surviving Ramones, who joined them on stage for a brief eulogy to Joey Ramone, lead singer of the New York punk pioneers, who died in April.

Guitarist The Edge said: "We felt quite humbled. We felt they deserved it."

Britney Spears, seemingly wanting to move away from her nice girl image, defied animal rights campaigners by appearing on stage with a tiger and a snake, the latter draped around her as she performed her new single "I'm a Slave 4 U".

The campaign group Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) had written to the 19-year-old star, calling on her not to use big cats on stage, but the appeal failed and the singer performed a raunchy routine in a bikini top and low-cut hot pants.

Her choreographer, Wade Robson, defended the use of the animals, insisting there had been no mistreatment. Of their co-performer, he added: "She was not afraid of the tiger. But the snake freaked her out."

'N Sync said they were "amazed" to win three honours, including best pop and R&B videos, and Justin Timberlake, who is engaged to Spears, said: "It is still kind of a blur to us."

The three-hour show included a tribute to Aaliyah, the American singer who died aged 22 in a plane crash last month, and who had been due to perform last night. Janet Jackson read a letter from one of Aaliyah's fans and said: "We have gained an angel."

The Winners

Hip Hop Video OutKast, "Miss Jackson"

Direction in a Video Spike Jonze for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice"

Breakthrough Video Fatboy Slim, "Weapon of Choice"

Cinematography Fatboy Slim, "Weapon of Choice"

Best Editing Fatboy Slim, "Weapon of Choice"

Best Choreography Fatboy Slim, "Weapon of Choice"

Best Art Direction Fatboy Slim, "Weapon of Choice"

Dance Video 'N Sync, "Pop"

Male Video Moby, featuring Gwen Stefani, "Southside"

Female Video Eve, featuring Gwen Stefani, "Let Me Blow Ya Mind"

New Artist in a Video Alicia Keys, "Fallin"'

MTV2 Award Mudvayne, "Dig"

Group Video 'N Sync, "Pop"

R&B Video Destiny's Child, "Survivor"

Rap Video Nelly, "Ride With Me"

Pop Video 'N Sync, "Pop"

Video From a Film Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, Pink, "Lady Marmalade", from Moulin Rouge

Best Rock Video Limp Bizkit, "Rollin"

Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award U2

Viewer's Choice Award 'N Sync, "Pop"

Best Video Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, Pink, "Lady Marmalade", from Moulin Rouge