A tribute to Britney Spears at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards included a mash-up performance of the artist's most famous singles and a nearly intimate moment with Lady Gaga's alter ego.
Ms. Spears was awarded the MTV Video Vanguard Award at the event, held in L.A.'s Nokia Theatre Sunday night.
After endless speculation on Twitter (#whatwillgagawear was a top trending topic Sunday night), Lady Gaga burst on stage early in the evening looking like a teenaged Fonzie from Happy Days, smoking a cigarette and running her fingers through a greasy mop of black hair. The outfit is part of her Jo Calderon alter ego, and she used the opportunity to launch into a theatrical and curse-laden monologue about her relationship with herself before her performance.
When Lady Gaga – still dressed as Jo Calderon – offered the Video Vanguard Award to Ms. Spears later in the evening, the pair looked poised to kiss, until Ms. Spears turned away, saying "I've done that already."
Ms. Spears shared a famous kiss with pop icon Madonna on the VMA stage in 2003.
Ms. Spears also won the award for best pop video.
Lady Gaga took home the first-ever VMA for best video with a message for her Born This Way video.
Kanye West and Jay-Z showed up for a last-minute performance of Otis.
Nicki Minaj, who showed up with pink and yellow hair piled on her head like soft-serve ice cream and sporting a dress made mostly of mirrors, won best hip-hop video. She was the only female artist nominated in the category.
List of winners of 2011 MTV Video Music Awards
By The Associated Press
Here are the winners of Sunday night's 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles:
- Pop Music Video: Britney Spears, Till the World Ends.
- Rock video: Foo Fighters, Walk.
- Hip-hop video: Nicki Minaj, Super Bass.
- Collaboration: Katy Perry featuring Kanye West, E.T.
- Male video: Justin Bieber, U Smile.
- Female video: Lady Gaga, Born This Way.
- Video with a message: Lady Gaga, Born This Way.
- Choreography: Beyonce, Run the World (Girls).
- Editing: Adele, Rolling in the Deep.
- Special effects: Katy Perry featuring Kanye West, E.T.
- Cinematography: Adele, Rolling in the Deep.
- Art direction: Adele, Rolling in the Deep.
- Direction: Beastie Boys, Make Some Noise.
- Best new artist: Tyler, The Creator, Yonkers.
- Video of the year: Katy Perry, Firework.