July 28, 2004
The MTV Video Music Awards are all about scenestealing stunts, so it was fitting Tuesday when the network announced that stars will approach this year’s red carpet on luxury yachts and the entire show will be host-free.
Oh yeah — Jay-Z’s jarring video for ‘‘99 Problems,’’ which depicts his own murder as a metaphor for his retirement from rapping, had a leading six nominations. Beyonce, No Doubt and OutKast had five nods each.
Hip-hop stars Missy Elliott and Usher braved the heat and humidity to announce nominations at the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel in Miami, Fla. The awards will be handed out Aug. 29 at the bayfront AmericanAirlines Arena.
‘‘The awards show here is going to be hot. I mean literally hot,’’ joked Elliott, who was wearing a camouflage hat, shorts and a black Tshirt in the 90-degree heat.
Beyonce was up for her dance hit ‘‘Naughty Girl’’ and ‘‘Me, Myself and I.’’ No Doubt was picked for Gwen Stefani’s angry acting in ‘‘It’s My Life’’ and OutKast for its "Ed Sullivan Show"-on-acid video of ‘‘Hey Ya.’’
Performers will include Usher, Jessica Simpson, newcomer Kanye West and a rock threesome of Jet, Hoobastank and Yellowcard.
‘‘I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve,’’ Usher said of his performance. ‘‘Miami will be the light of life that night.’’
Organizers touted the fact that many of music’s biggest stars will be pulling up to the arena in luxury yachts as part of their red-carpet entrance. Usher, wearing a white T-shirt beneath a longsleeved button-down shirt, jeans and orange-and-yellow neon shoes, was already bragging about his boat.
‘‘There’s going to be a lot of muscle out there. So I’m going to have to have a sexy one,’’ he said.
The awards spectacle is much anticipated in Miami. City officials and event planners are organizing private parties for the preening VIPs expected to flock to steamy south Florida, filling hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.
It’s the awards’ 21st year, but the first time it will be held outside Los Angeles or New York. MTV President Van Toffler joked that the awards are ‘‘finally legal’’ and promised more memorable moments, such as the Britney Spears-Madonna onstage kiss last year or the Neil Young-Pearl Jam performance of ‘‘Rockin in the Free World’’ from 1993.
Dave Sirulnick, one of the show’s executive producers, said the idea to go host-less was created when they decided to hold the show in a large arena for the first time. Past shows were in cozier theater-like venues like Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Sirulnick said there will be five stages, some jutting out into the crowd or rising high in the air. Sirulnick said awards presentations and performances will use the whole arena, not a single stage.
OutKast and Jay-Z are joined in the video of the year category by Usher’s nightclub ode ‘‘Yeah!’’, D12/ Eminem’s humorous ‘‘My Band’’ and Britney Spears’ sultry ‘‘Toxic.’’
Elliott, whose ‘‘I’m Really Hot’’ was nominated for best dance video and best choreography, says she takes pride in her videos and enjoys watching what dance moves performers like Usher will come up with next. ‘‘This man, he’s one of the people I look forward to when I see a video,’’ Elliott said of Usher. ‘‘The last person that I used to do that with was Aaliyah.’’