Ailing country legend Johnny Cash was on everyone's mind at last night's (28AUG03) MTV Video Music Awards, with Justin Timberlake dedicating his Best Male Video award to him.

Timberlake beat Cash, who was forced to miss the awards due to a stomach illness, in the category, but he was determined to make sure the legend was recognised.

The pop star said, "This is a travesty. I demand a recount. My grandfather raised me on Johnny Cash, and I think he deserves this more than any of us in here tonight, so I guess in some cool way I share this award with him. He deserves a round of applause."

Coldplay's Chris Martin also had a special tribute to Cash, whose video for Hurt was nominated in six categories - he dedicated the group's performance of The Scientist to the country star.

There was a further tribute from Viewers' Choice award winners GOOD CHARLOTTE, who remembered a late pal in their moment of triumph.

Band member BENJI MADDEN said, "We just lost somebody really special to us, so this night is dedicated to the THOMAS family."

29/08/2003 07:40