By Eileen Murphy
The most exciting altercation of the week was not the slap fight between heavyweights Evander Holyfield and Lenox Lewis. They, after all, were wearing gloves and satiny shorts, which to us sounds like two debutantes squabbling over the last morsel of fois gras during cocktail hour. No, the really riveting fight took place at MTV’s Lick party in Dublin’s Temple Club, right after last week’s video music awards show.
It seems that Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs and his entourage were hanging out in the VIP area of the club when Boyzone’s Shane Lynch and his wife, Eternal cutie Easther, arrived. This is where the story gets a little complicated.
In one scenario, reported by the Sunday World, Puffy’s bodyguards decided that Easther and her friends didn’t rate access to the cordoned-off area, and told her to leave. One thing led to another, and some nasty words were exchanged. Shane noticed that his beloved was being abused and raced to her defense. More nasty words were exchanged, and soon Puffy and Shane had to be restrained by bodyguards and MTV staffers.
Another version of the fight has Puff Daddy’s entourage being overly nice to the beautiful Easther, so nice that Shane got extremely jealous. According to the Daily News, Shane threw a few punches at Puffy — none of which connected — before being escorted from the club.
Shane just couldn’t seem to stay out of the spotlight Thursday night. Earlier, when Boyzone accepted MTV awards for Best Album and Best U.K. and Ireland Act, he grabbed the microphone and scolded the band’s begrudgers.
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"There has been in the press a whole lot of [rhymes with trucking] [rhymes with spit] about Boyzone in the year 2000 breaking up," he snarled. "We’re Dublin lads, we’re Irish," he pointed out helpfully. A bit redundant, perhaps, but after all, who needs a Leaving Cert when you can be a pop star?
"We’ll be here for a long time," he finished.
Eternally chirpy Ronan Keating, Boyzone frontman (or is that frontboy?) and host of this year’s shindig took Shane’s little outburst in stride.
"I’m sure you’ll all forgive Shane for his little outburst," Keating tut-tutted in his Sunday World column. (Is it our imagination, or is sounding less and less like a rock star and more like Daniel O’Donnell or somebody’s maiden aunt?)
"It was all done in the spirit of the moment and it just shows his loyalty to Boyzone and to the future of the group," he said.
Of course, Keating never actually comes out and says anything concrete about the future of the group, but never fails to mention his own prospering solo career . . .
They got their MTV
So it’s all over bar the shouting in Dublin, now that the 1999 MTV Europe Video Music Awards Show is history. The event attracted a huge celebrity contingent to Ireland’s capital, with pop stars like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Brittney Spears, Mick Jagger, Bono, Fatboy Slim and the Backstreet Boys piling into the Point Depot for the festivities.
Teen sensation Brittney Spears stole the show, garnering awards for Best Female Artist, Best Pop Artist, Breakthrough Artist and Best Song, thanks to her monster hit, "Baby One More Time." She and her much-debated bosoms (nature’s bounty or silicon valley?) performed a sexy version of her new and annoying hit, "Crazy," while wearing a slinky black catsuit.
Bono, who’s in danger of turning into Bob Geldof with all of his charity work (not that there’s anything wrong with that), received the MTV "Free Your Mind" award for his work on behalf of Jubilee 2000. The award was presented by Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, with whom Bono has something in common — both rockers are new daddies (though in an old-fashioned move, Bono actually had the baby with his wife instead of a Brazilian model).
In a pre-recorded message, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan paid tribute to Bono’s commitment to the cause of eradicating Third World debt.
"Bono, as an artist, as an advocate for the poor, you have made a real difference," he said. "You have crossed boundaries and broken taboos and have taught us that whether poor or prosperous we are one world. Above all, you have taught us not to forget the poor."
In accepting the award, Bono said that he hoped his son would inherit a world that was "better than it is now." He also said that he soon hoped to announce "a $100 billion debt write-off by the West." And, Bono being Bono, he cryptically added "This [award] is going to make me worse." Perish the thought.
The hottest after-show party took place at HQ, the new Hot Press venue, where Iggy Pop performed to an audience packed with celebrities like Andrea Corr, Sinead O’Connor Jim Sheridan, Carmen Electra and Boyzone’s Stephen Gately. Bono and a thong-wearing Marilyn Manson joined Iggy onstage for what must have been a bizarre cover of Chuck Berry’s "Johnny B. Goode."