By DAVID BAUDER
AP Television Writer
NEW YORK -- Eminem marched into the MTV Video Music Awards rapping his signature song trailed by an army of lookalikes, perhaps his salute to music fans who stood by him despite a summer on the firing line.
The profane rapper won video of the year and best male video for "The Real Slim Shady" on Thursday, capping a raucous awards show disrupted by a high-altitude stagecrasher.
Teen favorites 'N Sync won three awards for "Bye Bye Bye." Soul stars Aaliyah and Macy Gray, veteran rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers and Icelandic singer Bjork won two trophies apiece.
Eminem's dramatic entrance came a few hours after a gay rights group protested his violent lyrics outside Radio City Music Hall. This summer, he's filed for divorce from his wife, been sued by his mother, been arrested for attacking someone with a gun and saw his brutal lyrics widely condemned.
But he also sold six million copies of his latest album.
"I want to thank the fans, first and foremost," he said. "But, really, every time a relative sues me, every time a critic tries to slam me in the press, I sell more records. I really want to thank you people for making my record as big as it was."
Actor Jim Carrey, who introduced Eminem's performance, offered a lukewarm endorsement.
"I enjoy his music, but he scares me," Carrey said. "His lyrics are totally socially irresponsible. But I think if we just spend more time with our kids, we'll be OK."
A musician whose band lost its bid at an award pulled a strange stunt -- climbing a stage prop and refusing orders to jump -- and was later arrested for assault and resisting arrest.
Timmy Commerford, bass player for the rock band Rage Against the Machine, shouted something indecipherable as he towered over the band Limp Bizkit, which was accepting an award for best rock video. He was hustled out of Radio City, handcuffed and arrested. One of the band's bodyguards was also arrested for obstructing justice.
"I hope he's OK," said Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst. "I hope he gets his head checked soon."
Five men were also arrested in the crowd outside the awards show, charged with sexually abusing women.
Hosts Shawn and Marlon Wayans and several presenters kept a nervous censor bleeping out profanities throughout the show. MTV even bleeped out a reference to a character on "The Sopranos," Big Pussy.
One of the night's best jokes was silent: Napster founder Shawn Fanning appearing on stage in a Metallica T-shirt. The heavy metal band is leading the fight to stop Fanning's Internet song-sharing service.
"Nice shirt," MTV's Carson Daly said. Metallica's Lars Ulrich, sitting in the audience, feigned sleep.
Gray, who won best new artist in a video for her breakout hit, "I Try," confessed on stage that she hated making videos.
"It's just real tedious," she said later. "It's not my thing. I make music."
With MTV airing fewer videos, the annual show has become less about artistry and is instead a sort of Junior Grammys. Fueled by the teen pop explosion, last year's show was the top-rated entertainment program in cable television history.
Throngs of fans crowded the streets around Radio City Music Hall. Security was tight, particularly after taping for the Source Hip-Hop Music Awards was halted by a melee in California last month.
Before the show, members of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation protested against MTV, angry at the network's support of Eminem.
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