It has become one of the best Awards shows on TV!

MTV gets 20th-anniversary party started
It may seem like only yesterday that the moon-man trophy made its bow. But tonight, MTV’s Video Music Awards will celebrate its 20th birthday.
An appearance by Eminem and a performance by Metallica, described by an MTV spokesman as “a medley of classic VMA songs by other artists,” are among the attractions scheduled for this year’s ceremony, which airs from New York’s Radio City Music Hall at 8 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT). The VMAs are a perennial MTV ratings champ; last year the show hit a high of nearly 12 million viewers.
Chris Rock, who emceed in 1997 and 1999, will return to host the anniversary party. Guests are set to include Britney Spears, BeyoncÈ, Jay-Z, Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Good Charlotte, Coldplay, Sean Paul, Mya, Missy Elliott, DMX, Nelly, Ashanti, P. Diddy, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Iggy Pop.
Other stars expected to appear include 2002 host Jimmy Fallon, Ben Stiller, Jason Biggs, Pamela Anderson, Hilary Duff, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, LeBron James and Serena Williams, as well as cast members from Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
If few of those celebs were familiar names back in 1984 ó indeed, several were not yet born ó that’s in keeping with the philosophy espoused by Van Toffler, president of MTV and offshoot channel MTV2.
“MTV’s tradition is to be in the moment, looking forward, and we take our connection to our youthful audience very seriously,” says Toffler, who defines MTV viewers as generally 12 to 34 years old but primarily 18 to 24. “They go to more movies and consume more music and pop culture than any other segment of the population.
“We made a decision early on not to grow old with our audience, so we’ve probably alienated some of the folks who got turned on to MTV when it launched back in 1981. … In some ways, we were happy to see the freaky hair-metal fanatics grow out of us and to embrace what’s current in music and pop culture.”
So the 2003 VMAs “will for the most part reflect what has happened this past year in music. But there will be some unique performances acknowledging prior classic moments on the VMAs.”
Though Toffler is keeping mum about exactly what those moments will entail, he suggests that they may reflect connections between MTV’s past and present.
“You don’t have a Britney Spears without a Madonna or Good Charlotte without Green Day. And we have a host who has done the show twice before, who has definitely added an immense amount of volatility.
“It’s a live, unpredictable, train-wreck kind of show. I mean, it’s safe to say I didn’t have an ulcer before I started working here.”