Stephen M. Silverman
July 25, 2003 10:44 AM

Rap diva Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott and Justin Timberlake topped the list of 2003 MTV Video Music Awards nominees, announced Thursday, reports Reuters.

Elliot, 32, took eight for her music video “Work It,” while Timberlake, 22, came in with seven, including five for his music video for “Cry Me A River” and two for “Rock Your Body.”

Not that young-‘uns monopolized the nominations. Country music icon Johnny Cash, 71, earned six nominations for his music video “Hurt.” Said Cash in a statement: “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.”

The 20th annual MTV Video Music Awards show, to be hosted by Chris Rock, is scheduled to be broadcast live from New York City’s Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, Aug. 28. Among those already announced to perform that night are Christina Aguilera and Coldplay.

“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,” MTV & MTV2 president Van Toffler tells Reuters.

About 500 people — including viewers, record executives, music journalists and video producers — reportedly selected the nominees in areas ranging from rap, dance and R&B to rock.

In the major categories, best video of the year nominees are 50 Cent, Eminem, Cash, Timberlake and Elliott.

Best male video nominees: John Mayer, Cash, 50 Cent, Eminem and Timberlake.

Best female video nominees: Avril Lavigne, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Aguilera, and Elliott.

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