Rock was resplendent at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night, as the veteran punk group Green Day took home seven moonmen and newcomers the Killers and Fall Out Boy won one each.
Green Day, whose members arrived at the venue in the battered green convertible from their gritty "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" video, won best rock video and video of the year for the clip -- two of their leading eight nominations. They also won the Viewer's Choice Award, best group and several technical categories, losing only to Gwen Stefani's "What You Waiting For?" for art direction.
In recent years, hip-hop and pop have dominated the show, especially in the major categories. Not this year: My Chemical Romance and Coldplay were among the showcase performances, and Kanye West was the only rapper to win an "all-genre" award, with his "Jesus Walks" taking best male video.
"It's great to know that rock music still has a place at MTV," said Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong.
The Killers won for best new artist. Fall Out Boy won the MTV2 award for the song "Sugar, We're Going Down," beating out Mike Jones, My Chemical Romance and reggaeton star Daddy Yankee.
But Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy downplayed the "rock is resurgent" angle. "Whatever is going to happen is going to happen organically," he said backstage. "The return of rock doesn't mean anything else is going away."
Before the awards began, MTV dodged two disasters -- one from nature, the other from the barrel of a gun.
The annual bash was briefly overshadowed by Hurricane Katrina, which hit southern Florida on Thursday and killed several people. As the storm passed, a celebratory mood took over the city -- until early Sunday morning, when rap mogul Suge Knight was targeted by gunfire at a Kanye West party [Names & Faces, Page C3].
MTV vowed that neither Katrina nor Suge would affect the ceremonies -- and they didn't.
"The theme of tonight is, anything can happen," proclaimed host Diddy, whose entrance included dancers, pyrotechnics and a cascading waterfall -- a spectacle that rivaled the show's actual performances.
Ludacris managed to turn his hedonistic "Pimpin' All Over the World" into a multicultural Mardi Gras, complete with steel drummers, African dancers and, of course, around-the-way booty-shaking girls. Miami booty king Luke of 2 Live Crew fame brought a bevy of girls for his cameo appearance. But one of the biggest surprises was MC Hammer, recapturing some of his glory while shaking to his '90s hit "U Can't Touch This."
Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" won two awards, for best female and pop video. Also winning two awards were Missy Elliott, the Gorillaz and Stefani.
The evening's most inexplicable moment may have come from R. Kelly, who remains a chart-topper while awaiting trial on child pornography charges.
On a bedroom set that looked like a scene from a way-off-Broadway play, Kelly lip-synced highlights of his five-part soap opera infidelity song, "Trapped in the Closet," then debuted a new chapter involving a cheating wife, a cheating husband and his boyfriend.
Some of the night's more decadent moments came during the pre-show arrivals. Lil Jon came by sea on what looked to be a three-level pimp-my-yacht contraption. The prison-bound Lil' Kim arrived on the white carpet in a Rolls-Royce Phantom, looking somewhat demure in her low-cut mauve dress -- no pasties or dangling appendages this year from the diminutive rapper.
"I might show some leg," teased the star, who is due to start serving a year-and-a-day sentence in September on a perjury conviction. When MTV personality Sway delicately asked if she had anything to say to fans who "might not see you for a while," Kim said: "You can write me letters."
The much-hyped white carpet was one of the Diddy-designed elements of the show. Another was the "Diddy Fashion Challenge" -- in which he vowed to give away to charity $50,000 each for the best dressed female and male at the event, won by Snoop and Stefani.
Diddy himself was out of the running, though you wouldn't know it -- he made three wardrobe changes in the first half-hour alone.
Winners of the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards:
Video of the Year: Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
Best Male Video: Kanye West, "Jesus Walks."
Best Female Video: Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone."
Best Rock Video: Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
Best R&B Video: Alicia Keys, "Karma."
Best Dance Video, Missy Elliott featuring Ciara & Fat Man Scoop, "Lose Control."
Best Rap Video: Ludacris, "Number One Spot."
Best Hip-Hop Video: Missy Elliott featuring Ciara & Fat Man Scoop, "Lose Control."
Best Pop Video: Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone."
Best New Artist: The Killers, "Mr. Brightside."
Viewer's Choice Award: Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
Best Group Video: Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
Best Editing: Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
Best Cinematography: Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
Best Direction: Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
Best Choreography: Gwen Stefani, "Hollaback Girl."
Best Art Direction: Gwen Stefani, "What Are You Waiting For?"
Breakthrough Video: Gorillaz, "Feel Good Inc."
Best Special Effects: Gorillaz, "Feel Good Inc."
Best Video Game Soundtrack: Dance Dance Revolution Extreme.
MTV2 Award: Fall Out Boy, "Sugar, We're Going Down."