2011 MTV Video Music Awards Official Recap and VMAs Winner List
The ladies ruled the kingdom at the "2011 MTV Video Music Awards," broadcast live this evening from Nokia Theater L.A. Live, as Katy Perry and Adele each took home three VMA Moonmen and Lady Gaga two. Katy Perry won the biggest prize of the night, "Video of the Year," with her pop anthem, "Fireworks," as well as honors for "Best Collaboration" and "Best Special Effects" for "E.T." featuring Kanye West. Adding to her reign atop the album charts, Adele won VMAs for "Best Art Direction," "Best Cinematography," and "Best Editing." Genre and gender-defying Lady Gaga kicked off the night as her alter ego Joe Calderone with a show-stopping performance of "You and I," and later walked away with two VMAs for "Best Female" and this year's new category, "Best Video with a Message."
The most explosive moment of the night belonged to hip-hop heavyweights Kanye West and Jay-Z . The duo brought funk, flare and the fireworks to the VMA stage with the worldwide television debut performance of "Otis" from their global number one album, Watch The Throne. The kings of hip-hop playfully commandeered the VMA stage with their usual royal swagger through a steady bombastic beat of flames, smoke and pyrotechnics until the patriotic climax as they proudly stood in front of the red, white and blue of a gigantic American flag in a nod to the single's cover.
Another high-octane performance came courtesy of Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo and Nayer, who transformed the VMAs into a giant dance party with this summer's mega hit "Give Me Everything." The hip-hop trio brought Miami heat to the stage with 60 dancers and a laser light spectacle that brought down the house.
The show took a soulful turn with an unforgettable VMA debut from a hauntingly beautiful Adele who performed the heart-breaking "Someone Like You" with only a piano by her side and the glow of a single spotlight. Introduced by Katy Perry, Adele left the audience breathless as she treated them to one of the most powerful voices of a generation and they responded with a standing ovation.
An ogling Joe Calderone returned to the stage to present Britney Spears with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The two together then introduced Beyoncé, who, before starting to sing "Love on Top," confirmed pregnancy rumors by saying "I want you to feel the love that's growing inside of me." She ended the song by rubbing her belly to reveal her baby bump as a proud and expectant father Jay-Z received congratulations from the audience.
In the midst of performances from global superstar artists, the VMAs continued its legacy of introducing emerging talent. This year, the Awards show featured an explosive VMA debut from Young The Giant, who rocked and body surfed the audience with their hit "My Body," alongside a throng of screaming fans.
The emotional highpoint and poignant moment of the evening was the tribute to the late British songstress Amy Winehouse by the legendary Tony Bennett with a surprise introduction by actor Russell Brand. Bennett unveiled footage of Winehouse's final performance -- his recent recording session with her of their duet "Body and Soul" for his upcoming Duets II album. The tribute continued with Bruno Mars's triumphant performance of Winehouse's hit "Valerie." With his soaring vocals, horn section harmonies, and smooth and syncopated choreography, Mars and his band's performance was a joyous celebration of Winehouse's life and music.
The girls from the "Jersey Shore" presented the "Best Female Video Award" to Lady Gaga and, in an intergenerational twist, was joined by Academy Award®-winning actress Cloris Leachman, who joked that the audience shouldn't confuse her with Betty White.
Throughout the telecast British pop diva Jesse J commanded the House Artist stage as the VMA House Artist, keeping the crowd moving as she belted out her signature hits as well as a selection of other chart toppers.
Following are this year's VMA award winners:
VIDEO OF THE YEAR:
BEST NEW ARTIST
BEST MALE VIDEO
BEST FEMALE VIDEO
BEST HIP HOP VIDEO
BEST POP VIDEO
BEST VIDEO WITH A MESSAGE
BEST SFX (SPECIAL EFFECTS)
BEST ART DIRECTION