MTV awards: Pregnant Beyonce pushes Gaga and Spears to the sidelines
Lady Gaga and Britney Spears were upstaged by a pregnant Beyonce Knowles at the MTV awards.
Beyonce stole the show before it even began when she announced on the black carpet that after more than three years of marriage with Jay-Z, the dazzling couple had produced an unborn child already being dubbed Jayonce by some wags.
Dressed in a loose fitting, off-the-shoulder red-gown, she clutched the baby bump that so many celeb-watchers had been predicting since the two wed.
Later, Beyonce performed Love on Top. Instead of her typical sexy outfits, she dressed in conservative spangled tux - but still danced around in her signature stilettos.
Beyonce did not utter a word about the pregnancy, but ended the number by taking off her jacket and rubbing her swollen belly; in the audience, an elated Jay-Z hooted and clapped for his wife, as Kanye West hugged him.
Perry, who had the most nominations coming into the show with 10, came away with three moonman trophies, including video of the year for the inspirational clip Firework.
"I feel like I'm doing something right when I sing that song," said Perry, conservatively dressed in a cotton-candy pink jacket, a skirt and something best described as a Green Bay Packer cheesehead decoration.
Spears captured the night's first award, for best pop video, and later was honoured with an MTV Video Vanguard award for her visual legacy.
Gaga performed as a greasy leather-jacketed male alter-ego during a performance of You and I.
Sticking to her gender-switch theme, Gaga leered at Spears as she paid tribute to her.
"She's a pop music legend, and the industry would not be the same without her," Gaga said. "I used to hang pictures of her on my wall."
Later, Gaga fished for a kiss, but as Spears leaned in, she quickly pulled back, reminding viewers: "I've done that before."
The show had no official host, though comedian Kevin Hart delivered an opening monologue and was featured in a series of vignettes during the show.
Adele had perhaps the highlight of the night as the seven-time nominee delivered a powerfully understated performance of Someone Like You, off her top-selling 21 album; she came away with three trophies on the night, tying with Perry.
Chris Brown also wowed with an aerial number, soaring above the crowd in between high-stepping choreography.
Russell Brand provided the evening's rare poignant moment during a tribute to his late friend, Amy Winehouse, who died a month ago after struggling for years with drug and alcohol abuse.
Brand urged people to remember the 27-year-old for her music, and urged others suffering to get help.
"A lot of people just get the disease, not many people get the incredible talent that Amy was blessed with," said Brand, who successfully battled drug addiction himself. "Let's remember there is a solution. That solution is available."
Tony Bennett, who joined Winehouse in what is believed to be her last song on his upcoming Duets II album, showed the audience a clip of the pair singing Body and Soul.
Moments later, Bruno Mars sang one of her hits, Valerie, but closed the song out with the refrain "Amy, we'll miss you baby".
Here are the winners of the 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: Adele, Rolling in the Deep.
:: Best new artist: Tyler, The Creator, Yonkers.
:: Video of the year: Katy Perry, Firework.