Missy Elliott Works Up 8 MTV Nominations

AP Wire Service

NEW YORK – Missy Elliott worked her way to a leading eight nominations for this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

The rapper’s video for “Work It,” a surreal, Daliesque mixture of flies, gray skies and twisted trees, is up for video of the year, best female video and best hip-hop video, the cable music channel announced Thursday.

In technical categories, it was nominated for best direction, special effects, art direction, editing and cinematography.

Justin Timberlake followed with seven nominations. “Cry Me a River” — in which he gets revenge on a cheating girlfriend, who looks an awful lot like his ex, Britney Spears — received five, and the disco hit “Rock Your Body” got two.

And Johnny Cash’s version of the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt” earned six nominations, including video of the year, best male video and best direction. The song is off his album of covers, “American IV: The Man Comes Around.”

“I am overwhelmed by this great honor. I thank you all for thinking of me,” the 71-year-old country legend said in a statement. “It’s been 48 years since my first record and it’s nice that people are still digging them up.”

Also up for video of the year are 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Both rappers received five nominations.

The 20th annual MTV Video Music Awards are scheduled to air live from Radio City Music Hall at 8 p.m. EDT Aug. 28. Chris Rock will be the host, with musical performances planned from Christina Aguilera, Coldplay and others.