Korn's arresting video of a slow-motion bullet earned two trophies and five-time Grammy winner Lauryn Hill continued her winning streak tonight at the MTV Video Awards, pop music's annual excuse for excess.
The raunchy awards show invaded the Metropolitan Opera House for the first time, with Puff Daddy replacing Pagliacci and the Backstreet Boys elbowing out "La Boheme."
Comedian Chris Rock, dressed as Rigoletto in a huge poster in the lobby but all in white on stage, was the host.
"I may be the first black man in history to take the stage of the Met without a mop," Rock quipped.
Just seven months after she dominated the Grammy Awards, Hill won three honors, including best female, best rhythm and blues video and best art direction for "Doo Wop (That Thing)," where she's shown in '60s and '90s outfits.
Korn's "Freak on a Leash" won awards for best rock video and editing.
Ricky Martin was "Livin' La Vida Loca" with awards for best dance and pop video. He thanked Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson and Madonna.
Madonna herself won an award last night, for best video from a film. She sings "Beautiful Stranger" while befuddled "Austin Powers" star Mike Myers salivates over her. "I would like to thank Mike Myers for inspiring me to perverse heights," she said.
MTV's annual special is less remembered for its awards than its wardrobes or attempts to shock the censor. Rock's fun couple, Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson Lee, sported a trench coat and furry pink hat, respectively.
With the award ceremony's usual home, Radio City Music Hall, under renovation, MTV went uptown for a new venue this year. The clash between high and low culture gave producers a rich vein of material.
In the venerable hall's lobby, the display cases stuffed with opera costumes were cleaned out in favor of moments from MTV's past: the hip-hugger pants Madonna wore to the 1995 video awards and Busta Rhymes's red crushed velvet ensemble from his appearance with Martha Stewart two years ago.
Dressed in gowns, a chorale group opened the show with an a cappella version of Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba."
Chris Rock poked fun at white rappers and boy bands, but Kid Rock fought back with a raucous collaboration featuring members of Aerosmith and Run-DMC.
A wrinkled, shaggy-haired David Bowie, looking slightly lost as he sauntered onstage to introduce a performance by Hill, was a visual reminder of how time passes quickly in MTV's world of pop music.
"Yo," he said softly in a British accent.
CAPTION: An ecstatic Ricky Martin hoists his video award for "Livin' La Vida Loca."
CAPTION: Lauryn Hill performs at the MTV Video Awards, where she won three prizes. The show's host was Chris Rock, right.