Grace and Gaga Dominate MTV VMAs
The wild and wacky antics of Kanye West and Lady Gaga -- coupled with some touching and soul-searching tributes to Michael Jackson -- were the highlights at the MTV Video Music Awards in NYC.
• Kanye West hijacked Taylor Swift's acceptance speech. [Story]
• And later, Beyonce graciously gave Taylor her speech back.
• Janet rocked some serious 'Scream' to open the show. [Story]
• Lady Gaga tried to out-Madonna Madonna with ... blood. [Story]
• Gaga jumped the fashion shark with her d-riculous crown of lace [Story]
• Pink and Shakira went and wore the same dress. [Story]
This Was An Awards Show, After All:
Video of the Year: Beyonce, 'Single Ladies
Best New Artist: Lady Gaga, 'Poker Face'
Best Hip-Hop Video: Eminem, 'We Made You'
Best Male Video: T.I. featuring Rihanna, 'Live Your Life'
Best Pop Video: Britney Spears, 'Womanizer'
Best Rock Video: Green Day, '21 Guns'
Best Female Video: Taylor Swift, 'You Belong With Me'
Best Video (That Should Have Won a Moonman): Beastie Boys, 'Sabotage'
Breakthrough Video: Matt and Kim, 'Lessons Learned'
Best Art Direction: Lady Gaga, 'Paparazzi'
Best Choreography: Beyonce, 'Single Ladies'
Best Cinematography: Green Day, '21 Guns'
Best Direction: Green Day, '21 Guns'
Best Editing: Beyonce, 'Single Ladies'
Best Special Effects: Lady Gaga, 'Paparazzi'
Full Story From Inside Radio City (AP):
The MTV Video Music Awards kicked off Sunday with a poignant, tender tribute to fallen icon Michael Jackson, but soon got back into raucous character thanks to Kanye West, who delivered yet another awards show outburst at the expense of country and pop sweetheart Taylor Swift.
The two moments represented the highs and the lows of the VMAs, which are defined not by its awards, but its wacky and tacky moments.
West provided the wacky and tacky soon after the Jackson tribute, changing the mood from bittersweet to just plain bitter. West - who has flipped out after losing at the VMAs, the Grammys, the American Music Awards and more - complained again that the wrong person had been awarded a trophy. This time, it was on behalf of Beyonce.
Beyonce, nominated for best female video for "Single Ladies," was bested by Swift, the best-selling artist of the year outside of Jackson. The 19-year-old was giddy when she won for her clip "You Belong With Me," saying, "I always wondered what it would be like to maybe win one of these someday, but never actually thought it would happen."
But West ruined her moment when he jumped on stage at Radio City Music Hall.
"Taylor, I'm really happy for you, and I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time," he said, as a shocked Beyonce looked on and the crowd began to boo West.
A crestfallen Swift didn't finish her speech, but the crowd applauded her anyway. She later performed "You Belong With Me" in a subway station.
Swift later got her chance, courtesy of Beyonce, who won video of the year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)." When she won, she recalled that she won her first VMA as a 17-year-old as part of Destiny's Child.
"I remember how excited I was," she said. "I'd like Taylor to come out and have her moment."
A smiling but nervous Swift then said, "Can we try this again?" before going on to thank everyone she would have thanked had West not interrupted her.
The celebrity crowd was unforgiving of West. When Diddy read his name later in the show while introducing the nominees for best male video, the crowd booed, and Diddy said in mock surprise, "What happened?" The crowd responded by chanting Swift's name (T.I. ended up winning the award). They also booed his name later.
West's antics were in sharp contrast to the show's start, which was reverential. Madonna gave a moving speech about her relationship with Michael Jackson, which began when she was a youngster idolizing the then-child star, then morphed into a friendship when both were at the apex of their careers and later, grew distant. Madonna lamented the negative publicity that dogged him in his later years.
"Sometimes, we have to lose things before we can truly appreciate them," said Madonna, dressed in black.
"Yes, Michael Jackson was a human being, but yes, he was a king," she told the celebrity-studded crowd, which included Michael's brother Jermaine and father Joe Jackson. "Long live the king."
The musical tribute began afterward, as Jackson clones dressed in some of his signature outfits recreated his famous dance moves from his videos.
Then, as "Scream," his duet with Janet, appeared on a large screen, his sister came out to recreate the moves from their only video together as the crowd, including Beyonce, cheered her on. Afterward, she looked heavenward, and bowed.
Jackson died June 25 at age 50. Jackson was not only an integral part of MTV's history, he also provided the VMAs with some of its most memorable moments, including his infamous smooch with then-wife Lisa Marie Presley, in 1994.
The night had its surreal moments. Lady Gaga - who arrived at the show wearing a gold mask right out of "Phantom of the Opera" and Kermit the Frog as her date - gave a typically eccentric performance of her song "Paparazzi." It started off with Lady Gaga dressed in white, on the floor, and seemed to recall Madonna's famous VMA wedding-dress performance. But it soon morphed into bizarre imagery that included a bedazzled wheelchair, Lady Gaga dancing with a crutch, and ended with her hanging as fake blood drenched her torso.
Later, when she won the award for best new artist, she accepted her award draped in red lace, from head to toe - literally, as the lace covered her face. She ripped the lace from her face during her profanity-laden speech, which she ended by saying, "Thank you for God and for the gays."
The night's best performance may have come courtesy of Pink, who delivered a high-flying version of her song "Sober" with an acrobatic, trapeze act that had her dangling from the show's rafters.
And the night didn't just focus on music: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, the much fawned-over stars from the vampire film "Twilight," presented an extended trailer from the movie's sequel, "New Moon."
A Jackson moment ended the night, however. The VMAs aired the full trailer for "This Is It," the documentary about Jackson's preparations for his comeback concerts that were to be held in London. The trailer included new footage of Jackson performing his signature moves. The film is due to come out in October.
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