Michael Jackson breezes through NYC to pitch MTV nods

by Samantha Miller
In town to promote the announcement of this year's MTV Video Music Awards nominations, Michael Jackson wasted no time getting in and out of a Bryant Park Grill press conference. Expressing his thanks for a record 11 nominations, announcing the winners of the "Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award" (R.E.M.), and flashing a practiced smile for a photo op with New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani took the epauletted star a total of about two minutes.

Jackson will also be performing two numbers at the MTV Video Music Awards: one "classic" and one new song, producer Andy Schuon said at the press conference. Other scheduled acts include R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

With 11 nominations in the 19 awards categories, Michael and Janet Jackson's $7 million futuristic "Scream" video was the most-nominated video, followed closely by another multi-million dollar video, Pop/R&B ensemble TLC's "Waterfalls" (10 nominations) and neo-punk group Green Day's "Basket Case" (9 nominations). The video for Weezer's novelty-rock hit "Buddy Holly" will join those three in the running for Video of the Year. The Jacksons, Green Day, and TLC, as well as Hootie & The Blowfish, Live, and R.E.M., also received Viewer's Choice award nominations.

From People Magazine, Inc.