2011 MTV VMA Recap (Photos, Winner List, & MORE!)

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, “Firework,” 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.

Chris Brown delivered a show stopper with his high-flying aerial journey through VMA history.   It was a visual feast as he few from stage to stage while performing his smash dance hit “Yeah 3X” into Wu-tang Clan’s “Protect Ya Neck” into Nirvana with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and, finally, “Beautiful People.”

 

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.

Closing out the show, hip hop’s hottest MC and entrepreneurial Young Money Millionaire, Lil Wayne, closed with the seductive “How to Love,” before attacking the stage in full force as the band launched into a Black Sabbath riff and before ripping into “John” from his upcoming album, “The Carter IV,” to be released digitally at midnight tonight.

 

Presenters at the“2011 MTV Video Music Awards” included Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Paul Rudd, Shaun White, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Zoe Saldana, Kevin Hart and Victoria Justice join Jonah Hill, Rick Ross, Seth Rogen, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Odd Future, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Lautner, Drake, Joe Jonas and Jared Leto.

 

Following are this year’s VMA award winners:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR:
Katy Perry
Title: Firework
Album: Teenage Dream
Director: Dave Meyers
Label: Capitol
Production Company: Radical Media
Producers: Robert Bray, Danny Lockwood

BEST NEW ARTIST
Tyler, The Creator
Title: Yonkers
Album: Goblin
Director: Wolf Haley
Label: XL Recordings
Production Company: Happy Place
Producer: Tara Razavi

BEST MALE VIDEO
Justin Bieber
Title: U Smile
Album: My World 2.0
Director: Colin Tilley
Label: RBMG/Island Records
Production Company: Riveting Entertainment
Producer: Andrew Listermann

BEST FEMALE VIDEO
Lady Gaga
Title: Born This Way
Album: Born This Way
Director: Nick Knight, Haus of Gaga
Label: Streamline/Interscope/Konlive
Production Company: Factory Films, Ltd.
Producers: Nicole Ehrlich, Steven Johnson

BEST HIP HOP VIDEO
Nicki Minaj
Title: Super Bass
Album: Pink Friday
Director: Sanaa Hamri
Label: Young Money/Cash Money Records
Production Company: Michelle My Belle
Producers: Kimberly S. Stuckwisch, Michelle Larkin & Keith “KB” Brown

BEST POP VIDEO
Britney Spears
Title: Till The World Ends
Album: Femme Fatale
Director: Ray Kay
Label: Jive/Jive Label Group
Production Company: Rockhard Films
Producer: Clark Jackson

BEST ROCK VIDEO
Foo Fighters
Title: Walk
Album: Wasting Light
Director: Sam Jones
Label: RCA
Production Company: Black Dog Films
Producer: Jill Hardin

BEST COLLABORATION
Katy Perry feat. Kanye West
Title: E.T.
Album: Teenage Dream
Director: Floria Sigismondi
Label: Capitol
Production Company: Symphony 19
Producers: Natasha Alexsa-Garcia, Danny Lockwood

BEST VIDEO WITH A MESSAGE
Lady Gaga
Title: Born This Way
Album: Born This Way
Director: Nick Knight, Haus of Gaga
Label: Streamline/Interscope/Konlive
Production Company: Factory Films, Ltd.
Producers: Nicole Ehrlich, Steven Johnson

PROFESSIONAL CATEGORIES:

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Beyonce
Title: Run The World (Girls)
Album: 4
Director: Francis Lawrence
Label: Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia
Production Company: DNA
Producer: Justin Diener
Choreographer: Frank Gatson, Sheryl Murakami, Jeffrey Page

BEST EDITING
Adele
Title: Rolling In The Deep
Album: 21
Director: Sam Brown
Label: XL/Columbia
Production Company: Flynn
Producers: Hannah Chandler
Editor: Art Jones at Work

BEST SFX (SPECIAL EFFECTS)
Katy Perry feat. Kanye West
Title: E.T.
Album: Teenage Dream
Director: Floria Sigismondi
Label: Capitol
Production Company: Symphony 19
Producers: Natasha Alexsa-Garcia, Danny Lockwood
Special Effects: Jeff Dotson for Dot & Effects

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Adele
Title: Rolling In The Deep
Album: 21
Director: Sam Brown
Label: XL/Columbia
Production Company: Flynn
Producers: Hannah Chandler
Cinematographer:  Tom Townend

BEST ART DIRECTION
Adele
Title: Rolling In The Deep
Album: 21
Director: Sam Brown
Label: XL/Columbia
Production Company: Flynn
Producers: Hannah Chandler
Art Director: Nathan Parker

BEST DIRECTION
Adele
Title: Rolling In The Deep
Album: 21
Director: Sam Brown
Label: XL/Columbia
Production Company: Flynn
Producers: Hannah Chandler

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.

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