Rihanna, Justin time for honours

Teenage R&B star and pop sensation were the big winners at MTV Video Music Awards; comeback performance from out-of-shape Britney Spears elicits more criticism than applause

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Published: Tue 11 Sep 2007, 11:24 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:48 AM

ririhaTEENAGE R&B star Rihanna and pop sensation Justin Timberlake were the big winners at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, in a star-studded evening that saw Britney Spears make her stage comeback.

Rihanna picked up the most-sought-after Video of the Year award and Monster Single of the Year for her 'Umbrella', notably beating R&B starlet Beyonce, Timberlake, rapper Kanye West, British soul singer Amy Winehouse.

"Wow. Video of the Year. This was definitely the most important one for me of the night... the most unexpected for me," Rihanna said, accepting the top Moonman, as the astronaut-themed statuettes are known.

Timberlake, whose 'What Goes Around... Comes Around' reached number one in the US charts earlier this year, picked up the Male Artist of the Year award.

"It's just exciting to see a new generation of artists really doing it and doing it well," he said. "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."

Despite not even being nominated for an award, all eyes had been on Britney Spears ahead of the 24th annual MTV Video Music Awards, being held this year at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

juThe pop princess looked visibly out of shape as she opened the evening, appearing on stage at a major event for the first time in three years, since when she has had two children and gone through a string of personal problems.

The pop diva marked her comeback with 'Gimme More' from her upcoming fifth album, set for release in November.

Spears performed in a dark sequined bikini and below the knee black boots and ended her performance perhaps appropriately with the lyric: 'I just want more'.

Other notable appearances of the evening were a risque introduction by comedian Sarah Silverman and performances by Alicia Keys, Chris Brown, Foo Fighters, Timberlake and Kanye West.

Underground Chicago foursome Fall Out Boy picked up the Best Group Award, as expected, beating alternative metal fivesome Linkin Park, modern rockers Maroon 5, indie/hip-hop band Gym Class Heroes and Detroit rock duo The White Stripes.

"We know that a lot of people tune into these awards to see who's wearing underwear, who's not, who's going to be a train wreck, but we want to thank all the people who are real fans of music out there," the band's Pete Wentz said.

eiBritish newcomer Amy Winehouse had been tipped for the Best New Artist Award, but lost out to New York crossover band Gym Class Heroes.

It was also a disappointing night for Beyonce, who was nominated for seven awards but had to settle with Most Earthshattering Collaboration, which she shared with Colombian-born pop singer Shakira.

Black Eyed Peas vocalist Fergie picked up the Female Artist of the Year but failed to show up to accept the award.

The organizers had shaken up this year's ceremony with a number of new awards, hoping to win back viewers after seeing numbers slump in recent years.

Perhaps the most unusual new award was the Quadruple Threat of the Year Award, in recognition of artists' work off stage. The award went to Timberlake, who has a number of restaurants and a clothing line.

Started in 1984, the MTV awards were originally launched to challenge the more traditional Grammy awards.

Among the more controversial episodes during that time, Madonna kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera live on stage during the 2003 show.

Oops! Britney bombs in MTV 'comeback'

bryBRITNEY SPEARS launched her highly anticipated comeback at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday, drawing ridicule by dressing up as a stripper and miming her new single.

The 25-year-old singer, whose professional achievements have been overshadowed by her personal crises in recent years, performed 'Gimme More' in a black sequined bikini and knee-high boots.

No longer boasting the buff body that helped drive her to international superstardom almost a decade ago, the mother of two moved sluggishly around the stage at the Palms casino, often with the support of a troupe of dancers. At one point, the camera panned to rapper 50 Cent, sitting in the audience, who looked bewildered by the action on stage.

"She blew it," gossip columnist Perez Hilton told Reuters. "Everybody knows Britney lip-syncs, but that's because she dances so much. She barely even danced in this. It was so bad. It was painful. It was embarrassing. And I loved it!"

Comedian Sarah Silverman also showed no mercy. She took to the stage when the performance was over, declaring that the singer's young children were "the most adorable mistakes you'll ever see."

Clash of the rockers

roKID ROCK and Tommy Lee tussled in the audience at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night.

MTV VJ Sway said during the post-show that he saw Kid Rock walk up to the Motley Crue drummer, who was sitting next to Diddy, and 'deck him'. The incident was confirmed by Palms Hotel and Casino public relations representative Larry Fink.

Both Lee and Kid Rock are ex-husbands of Pamela Anderson, who was a presenter at the show and delivered her lines from atop a table in the audience. Although it wasn't clear whether the two rockers were fighting over something related to Anderson, it was hard to imagine another scenario.

Another eyewitness, rap producer Rich Nice, said although Kid Rock threw the only blows that landed a backhand slap and a punch - Tommy Lee was the instigator.

"It looked like Tommy Lee initiated it because Kid Rock was ignoring him," said Nice, who was two tables away. "And Tommy Lee kind of antagonized him. And then when Tommy Lee stood up, it looked a little weird, like 'Yo, what?"'

"When Tommy stands up is when Kid hit him the first time with a backhand," Nice continued. "And then Tommy Lee looked like he was trying to get at him to aggressively retaliate and then Kid Rock hits Tommy Lee again - bong. And then security grabs Tommy Lee in a headlock and pulls him off."

It's notable that security guards let Kid Rock stay for the rest of the show while Lee was dragged out.

The incident inspired plenty of mock rebukes from the hip-hoppers in attendance.

"They say it's only rappers," said Sway. "I told you rockers fight too."

Diddy noted: "It's not just the hip-hop artists that sometimes have a problem."

Jamie Foxx took it still further: "Stop all this white-on-white violence."

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