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"I am overwhelmed by this great honor. I thank you all for thinking of me. It’s been 48 years since I cut my first record, and it’s nice that people are still digging them up."
——Johnny Cash


Five-time nominees Eminem, 50 Cent Also Up for Best Video, Best Male Video, Best Rap Video, Viewer’s Choice Awards
The Man in Black is in the spotlight at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards nominations announced this morning.

The legendary Johnny Cash, ailing and having recently lost his wife June Carter Cash, received six nominations for his video of Nine Inch Nails’ "Hurt," including Best Video of the Year and Best Male Video.

"I am overwhelmed by this great honor," said Cash. "I thank you all for thinking of me. It’s been 48 years since I cut my first record, and it’s nice that people are still digging them up."

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott took top honors with eight noms, including Best Video of the Year and Best Female Video for "Work It," while Justin Timberlake followed with seven nominations, five for "Cry Me a River" (including Best Video and Best Male Video) and two for "Rock Your Body."

"Each and every year we try to put together the most diverse, most exciting and most unexpected awards show anyone has ever seen," said MTV/MTV2 President Van Toffler. "The fact the top nominees are Missy, Justin and the legendary Johnny Cash further solidifies the VMAs as the biggest cultural and musical train wreck on the tube—and I mean that in a good way. If someone isn't offended, I'm not doing my job."

In a battle of labelmate rap icons, Eminem’s "Lose Yourself" will go head-to-head with his own protege 50 Cent’s "In da Club" in four of the five categories they’ve been nominated in, including Best Video, Best Male Video, Best Rap Video and Viewer’s Choice. Expect plenty of friendly fire.

The 20th anniversary edition of the show, hosted by Chris Rock, will be broadcast live from N.Y.C.’s Radio City Music Hall on Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. Christina Aguilera and Coldplay are the first two announced performers.

As part of the VMAs, from Aug. 11-28, fans can buy CDs from all of the nominees online at MTV.com at the price of two for $28. A silver moonman key chain will be given free to any customer who buys any two nominated CDs or DVDs from Aug. 11-18. Fans can also vote for Viewer’s Choice and MTV2 awards at the site.

Nominees include:

Best Video: 50 Cent, Cash, Elliott, Eminem, Timberlake

Best Male Video: 50 Cent, Eminem, Timberlake, Cash, John Mayer ("Your Body Is a Wonderland")

Best Female Video: Avril Lavigne ("I’m With You"), Christina Aguilera f/Redman ("Dirrty"), Elliott, Beyonce f/Jay-Z ("Crazy in Love"), Jennifer Lopez ("I’m Glad")

Best Group Video: B2K and P. Diddy ("Bump, Bump, Bump"), Good Charlotte ("The Young and the Hopeless"), The White Stripes ("Seven Nation Army"), Coldplay ("The Scientist"), The Donnas ("Take It Off")

Best Rap Video: 2Pac f/Nas ("Thugz Mansion"), Eminem, Nas ("I Can"), 50 Cent, Ludacris f/Mystikal & I-20 ("Move")

Best Rock Video: Evanescence ("Bring Me to Life"), Linkin Park ("Somewhere I Belong"), The White Stripes, Good Charlotte, Metallica ("St. Anger")

Best New Artist: 50 Cent, Evanescence, Sean Paul ("Get Busy"), All American Rejects ("Swing Swing"), Kelly Clarkson ("Miss Independent"), Simple Plan ("Addicted")

Best Video from a Film: Britney Spears f/Pharrell of N.E.R.D. ("Boys Co-Ed" from Austin Powers in Goldmember), JC Chasez ("Blowing Me Up [With Her Love]" from Drumline), Eminem, Madonna ("Die Another Day" from Die Another Day)

Viewer’s Choice: 50 Cent, Eminem, Timberlake ("Cry…"), Beyonce f/Jay-Z, Good Charlotte, Kelly Clarkson

MTV2 Award: AFI ("Girl’s Not Grey"), Interpol ("PDA"), The Roots f/Cody Chesnutt (The Seed 2.0"), Common f/Mary J. Blige (Come Close"), Queens of the Stone Age ("No One Knows")

Breakthrough Video: Coldplay, Sum 41 ("The Hell Song"), Queens of the Stone Age, Floetry ("Floetic"), Kenna ("New Sacred Cow")