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SHOW CREATORS SAY “YES ICON”
Third Time's the Charm for Tribute Program
This is the third year for mtvICON, the tribute show created by network execs Michele Dix and Jesse Ignjatovic. The first two years, the honorees were Janet Jackson and Aerosmith, while this year’s edition, which tapes this Saturday night (5/3) for airing on MTV May 6 at 9 p.m., celebrates the music of Metallica, with performances by Avril Lavigne, Korn, Limp Bizkit and Sum 41. The band’s new album, St. Anger (Elektra), comes out June 10. We e-mailed some questions to Dix and Ignjatovic, but their replies were mysteriously hacked by the former Iraqi Minister of Information.

What was your original inspiration to create mtvICON?
mtvICON basically stemmed from the desire to own MTV's history and the role the channel has had in celebrating artists that had a tremendous impact on the channel, music videos and pop culture at large. (Iraqi Minister of Information’s translation: No infidels without current product will receive Allah’s praise.)

How do you choose an ICON?
We try to select artists that have had a sustained and successful career on MTV, but are also still relevant to today's MTV viewers. (Iraqi Minister of Information’s translation: We will welcome them with bullets and shoes.)

How did you round up this year’s performers?
The most important thing is to reach out to the bands/artists who are fans of the ICON being honored. (Iraqi Minister’s translation: Our estimates are that none of them will come out alive unless they surrender to us quickly.)

Do the performers choose their songs, or are the producers involved?
A little bit of both. Ideally, we want them to choose the songs they are most comfortable performing, but if they came to us with a bluegrass version of "Enter Sandman" we'd probably try to talk them out of it. (Iraqi Minister’s translation: Who are in control? They are not in control of anything—they don’t even control themselves!)

How important is the online, interactive component of the show?
It's an important tool in finding the best fans to showcase in the show. (Iraqi Minister’s translation: They want to deceive their people first because now they are in a very shabby situation.)

Who's in charge of making sure Avril Lavigne pronounces Lars Ulrich's name correctly?
That would be Thom Cahl-de-rhone. He spells everything phonetically, so he's the pro. (Iraqi Minister’s translation: After we finish defeating all of those animals, we will disclose that with facts and figures.)

What role will Napster founder Shawn Fanning have in the tribute?
Call 1-800-LARS. (Iraqi Minister’s translation: I can assure you that those villains will recognize, will discover in appropriate time in the future, how stupid they are and how they are pretending things which have never taken place.)

Have Fred Durst and Metallica solved their differences over file-sharing?
This important issue will be decided by which band wins the mud-wrestling finale. (Iraqi Minister’s translation: Do not ask me if Saddam Hussein is still alive. I will only answer reasonable questions.)

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