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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

MTV Video Music Awards to Be Held Tomorrow

Aired August 27, 2003 - 19:50   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Justin Timberlake is the top nominee at the MTV Video Music Awards. And George Orwell would love tomorrow's ceremonies: A music network that has little to do with music, celebrating videos that it seldom plays, with awards that no one really remembers and get overshadowed by celebrity antics. Cry Orwell a river, Mr. Timberlake, while CNN's Jeanne Moos reminds us what 20 years of VMAs have really been all about.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Oh, boy, it's Britney. Yikes, that's Marilyn Manson. There goes Ozzy Osbourne.

If you want to ride the merry-go-round that our pop culture has become, it's hard to ignore the MTV Music Video Awards. In 20 years, we've seen Madonna ride on the stage looking not much like a virgin. We've seen her vogue. We've seen her upstaged by Courtney Love barging into a live interview.

COURTNEY LOVE, MUSICIAN: What are you doing?

MADONNA, ENTERTAINER: I'm talking here.

LOVE: Am I fully interrupting?

MOOS (on camera): What was she on that night?

JOHN NORRIS, MTV NEWS CORRESPONDENT: She had been I think celebrating a little early.

LOVE: I'm interrupting, you know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

MOOS (voice-over): There have been contrived situations. For instance, when Mariah and Whitney wore the same dress.

And spontaneous moments like when Diana Ross gave Lil' Kim a hand. There have been odd couples who've got along like Martha Stewart and Busta Rhymes.

BUSTA RHYMES, MUSICIAN: You know the party don't stop until we say...

MARTHA STEWART: Yeah. What?

RHYMES: What's the dilly, yo?

STEWART: Oh, is that what you say?

RHYMES: No doubt.

STEWART: What's the dilly, yo?

MOOS: And odd couples who generated friction.

RUPAUL: You used to wear gowns, and that's funny, now you wear diapers.

MILTON BERLE: Yeah.

NORRIS: No one had told Uncle Milty that he'd be presenting with, you know, a 7-foot tall drag queen.

BERLE: Let me tell you something.

MOOS: To put its own spin on the 20th anniversary show, MTV commissioned New York School of Visual Arts to the construct a carousel at the Rockefeller Center. These pop stars really do have swollen heads, from Snoop Dogg to Kid Rock.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think we got it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't know. We're stunned.

MOOS (on camera): Cindy Lauper.

(voice-over): So does Marilyn Manson.

(on camera): You can see the rear view.

(voice-over): And where would the Music Video Awards be without Michael Jackson, kissing Lisa Marie Presley? Accepting a nonexistent award?

NORRIS: Someone had told Michael that it was an Artist of the Millennium award that he was getting.

MOOS: Actually, it was just supposed to be a birthday celebration for Michael, but he went ahead and gave thanks for...

MICHAEL JACKSON, ENTERTAINER: Artist of the Millennium Award...

MOOS: From Pee Wee to P. Diddy. Stop the pop culture merry-go- round. I want to get off.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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