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It was rock 'n' raunch as Van Halen and the Red Hot Chili Peppers dominated the MTV Video Music Awards with three trophies each.

Van Halen's "Right Now" won awards for best video, direction and editing at Wednesday night's ceremony.The Red Hot Chili Peppers picked up awards for breakthrough video and art direction for "Give It Away" and a viewers' choice award for "Under the Bridge."

The show was a bawdy one, thanks in no small part to radio "shock jock" Howard Stern and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Stern descended onstage wearing a costume that boasted a bigger-than-life jock strap and bare buttocks.

The ceremony was one of the more provocative in the controversial history of the 9-year-old awards ceremony. A sound censor, implemented in 1989 after an expletive-laden routine by comedian Andrew Dice Clay, didn't squelch all of an obscenity uttered by Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar.

The raunchy behavior prompted host Dana Carvey to comment more than once on the ceremony's tenor. "This show is definitely rated PG-13," he said.

In a tender moment, the best male video went to Eric Clapton for "Tears in Heaven," a song he wrote to honor his 4-year-old son, Conor, who died in a fall last year from an apartment window.

"I wrote this song to heal myself," Clapton said.

Annie Lennox won best female video for "Why."

Seattle rock sensation Nirvana won trophies for best alternative video and new artist for "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" won for best video from a film. The song was honored for its scene-stealing moment in the comedy "Wayne's World," in which Wayne and a carload of teenage friends sing along to the 16-year-old classic.