BRITNEY Spears received a lifetime achievement award, Lady Gaga dressed as her male alter ego, Beyonce announced her pregnancy, and Katy Perry beat Adele to Video of the Year at a ceremony full of surprises at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards today.
Spears, at the grand old age of 29, appeared slightly overwhelmed as she accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the glittering award ceremony at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
“Thank you so much. This award means so much to me,” she said after accepting the Moonman trophy from Lady Gaga, who was dressed as her male alter ego Joe Calderone.
Paying tribute to Spears, Lady Gaga said: “When I used to perform for free at open mic nights at New York clubs one of my biggest inspirations was Britney Spears.
“She’s a pop music legend and the industry would not be the same without her.”
A video montage of some of the Toxic singer’s hits was then played while an assortment of dancers, including several children, performed in some of her most famous music video and performance outfits.
A who’s who of the pop world, including Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Pitbull and Nicki Minaj, were all at the ceremony but it was the appearance of a very pregnant-looking Beyonce which drew the most attention.
The pop diva, who is married to hip-hop icon Jay-Z, proudly clutched her stomach as she posed for the cameras on the black carpet.
She later performed, telling the crowd, which included a beaming Jay-Z, “I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside of me.”
Lady Gaga, who won Best Female Video for Born This Way, had earlier opened the show as her smoking, swearing, ultra-masculine alter ego before launching into her latest single You and I, featuring Queen legend Brian May on guitar.
Perry beat British singer Adele to Video of the Year for Firework and accepted the award wearing an outlandish yellow cube hat. The Best Hip-Hop award went to Minaj, wearing a Lady Gaga-esque outfit that almost defied description, while veteran rockers the Foo Fighters took home Best Rock Video.
Spears won the award for Best Pop Video, while Best Male Video went to Justin Bieber.
In the pre-show awards, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way won the Best Video With A Message, while Adele took home Best Art Direction for Rolling in the Deep, Best Editing and Best Cinematography.
Beyonce won Best Choreography for Run the World [Girls], while Katy Perry secured Best Special Effects for E.T.
WINNERS OF THE 2011 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS:
BEST VIDEO WITH A MESSAGE – Lady Gaga ‘Born This Way’
VIDEO OF THE YEAR – Katy Perry – ‘Firework’
BEST FEMALE VIDEO – Lady Gaga – ‘Born This Way’
BEST MALE VIDEO – Justin Bieber ‘U Smile’
BEST HIP HOP VIDEO – Nicki Minaj – ‘Super Bass’
BEST NEW ARTIST – Tyler the Creator
BEST POP VIDEO – Britney Spears ‘Till the World Ends’
BEST ROCK VIDEO – Foo Fighters ‘Walk’
BEST COLLABORATION – Katy Perry feat. Kanye West ‘E.T.’
BEST ART DIRECTION – Adele – ‘Rolling in the Deep’
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY – Beyoncé – ‘Run the World, Girls’
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Adele – ‘Rolling in the Deep’
BEST DIRECTION – Adele – ‘Rolling in the Deep’
BEST EDITING – Adele – ‘Rolling in the Deep’
BEST SFX (SPECIAL EFFECTS) – Katy Perry feat. Kanye West ‘E.T.’