Rapper Jay-Z arrives for the opening of the Broadway revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" April 26, 2004, in New York. Jay-Z's jarring video for "99 Problems" has a leading six nominations for the 2004 MTV Music Video Awards. The video depicts his own murder as a metaphor for his retirement from rapping.
Beyonce, as headliner of the "Ladies First" tour with Alicia Keys, Missy Elliot, and Tamia, performed at the FleetCenter in Boston, March 24, 2004. She is nominated for five MTV Music Video Awards, honoring such songs as her dance hit, "Naughty Girl," and "Me, Myself and I."
Andre 3000, left, joined by his son Seven, bottom, and Big Boi, of the group OutKast, accept the group's award for album of the year for "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" during the 46th Annual Grammy Awards Feb. 8, 2004, in Los Angeles. OutKast is up for five MTV Music Video Awards, including its Ed Sullivan Show-on-acid video of "Hey Ya."
Musician and actor Usher attends the world premiere of "The Manchurian Candidate," held at the Beekman Theatre July 19, 2004 in New York. He is nominated for two MTV Music Video Awards and also will perform during the awards ceremony Aug. 29.
Jessica Simpson performs during the VH1 Divas show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, April 18, 2004. She will be performing again Aug. 29 when the MTV Music Video Awards are handed out in Florida.
Prince is seen in this undated photo released by Sony Music Entertainment March 23, 2004. Prince is up for Best Male Video for "Musicology."
Britney Spears arrives at the Cannes festival palace, to take part in the NRJ awards ceremony, Jan. 24, 2004, in Cannes, southern France. She's up for four MTV Music Video Awards.