Star Tracks

updated 09/28/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/28/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

MTV Says Hip Hip Hoo-'Ray'
Madonna lit up the 15th annual MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, winning six awards, including Video of the Year for her hit single "Ray of Light." "It's a thin line between genius and sheer and utter bulls—t," cracked the maverick mom as she accepted the Best Direction award, also for "Ray of Light, "with director Jonas Akerlund. Other multiple winners included Will Smith, Aerosmith and Prodigy, who took home two trophies apiece. But the ceremony's most relieved winners may have been Green Day, who, after four years with 14 nominations and no wins, finally scored a spaceman statuette for Best Alternative Video for "Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)." Said lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong: "Susan Lucci, eat your heart out!"

Dueling divas Brandy and Monica staged a musical catfight as they sang their hit "The Boy Is Mine" for the first time live together. Their video was up for two awards, but they went home empty-handed.

Proud papa Will Smith thanked his creative inspiration, son Trey, 5, for his rap ode to fatherhood, "Just the Two of Us," which won Best Male Video.

"My hair was inspired by the Cookie Monster," says No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani, splitting hairs with the newly de-dredded Lenny Kravitz.

Henna-handed Madonna left her mark as the night's big winner, but she was criticized by Hindus for wearing Vaishnava tilak, holy facial markings representing purity, during her provocative performance of the hit "Ray of Light."

"I like schmoozing," says Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, after-partying with Winona Ryder.

Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton, who had the last laugh in The First Wives Club, yukked it up again during a break from filming their upcoming romantic comedy Town & Country in New York City's Central Park.

Tom Cruise, hoping to get shown the money as producer of the new drama Without Limits, caught up with his Jerry Maguire costar Cuba Gooding Jr. at the film's Los Angeles premiere.

Eighteen-year-old newlyweds Macaulay Culkin and Rachel Miner read from the children's book Miss Spider's Wedding to kids at Manhattan's Scholastic Back-to-School Learning Adventure.

Both have new CDs, but there didn't seem to be sibling rivalry between Julian (left), 35, and Sean Lennon, 22, who went clubbing in London.

Animal attraction: Pop-R&B songstress Toni Braxton was, literally, the Belle of the ball when she made her Broadway debut opposite James Barbour in the musical Beauty and the Beast. Braxton is doing a six-month run with the show.

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