spice girls
Spice Girls: Dedicated award to Diana

Princess's Death Overshadows Music Awards

The celebrations normally associated with the MTV Video Music Awards have been overshadowed by the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, as the stars lined up to pay tribute to her.

Leading them were the Spice Girls, Madonna and Elton John, who will perform a special version of his classic Candle In The Wind at the funeral.

Accepting the Best Dance Video award in New York, for the video of their huge hit single Wannabe, the Spice Girls dedicated it to the Princess.

Madonna: Need to change 'negative behaviour'

"We'd like to dedicate this award to Princess Diana, who is a great loss to our country," said Mel C.

"And also, I think what we are really about is what Lady Diana had, real girl power," added Geri.

Moments later, while introducing a live performance by the British band The Prodigy, superstar Madonna spoke about the Princess's death.

"I just would like to take a moment to talk about what happened to Princess Diana," the actress and singer told the hushed crowd.

"I am not going to stand up here and rant and rave about the paparazzi or theirresponsible behaviour of the editors of all the tabloids, because even if they never cease there is still something that all of us can do," said Madonna.

elton john
Elton John: Donation to charity

"It's time for us to take responsibility for our own insatiable needs to run after gossip and scandal and lies and rumours ... it's time that we realised that everything that we say and do has an effect on the world around us, that we are all connected, that we are all one and until we change our negative behaviour tragedies like this will continue to occur," she said.

Elton John appeared at the ceremony to present the Best New Artist award. Before doing so, the British rock legend took the opportunity to announce that money from the event was being donated to the memorial fund set up to help her charities.

"In fact $100,000 (66,000) has been set aside to help support the Aids charities to which Diana so generously donated her time, her energies and her love," he said to loud cheers.

Other tributes to the Princess came from American R&B act Puff Daddy & the Family.

Picking up the award for the Best R&B Video for I'll Be Missing You, Sean Combs, who performs as Puff Daddy, said: "Princess Diana made everybody feel good. You could tell her spirit and her vibe were so right. She's all right now."

After scooping four awards, Jay Kay, lead singer with British jazz funk band Jamiroquai, said: "The best way to honour someone like (Diana) is to stop the production of landmines. If we're really sorry about the loss, that's what she would have wanted us to do."

Wearing black for their performances before the worldwide TV audience was Irish rock band U2, and Sting, who joined Puff Daddy for a performance of I'll Be Missing You which samples his hit with The Police, Every Breath You Take.