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Video: 2011 Video Music Awards performances

on August 28, 2011, 11:59pm

vma Video: 2011 Video Music Awards performances

This past week has already felt like it’s been the end of the world. Between the onslaught of the Four Horesmen (a devastating earthquake, Hurricane Irene, Steve Jobs resigning, and Kim Kardashian getting hitched), our planet could use a little downtime from all the excitement. Sadly, that R and R will have to wait for another day because last night, MTV rolled out the red carpets for this year’s Video Music Awards. There was glitz and glamour galore, and the chaos of the past seven days continued as this year’s proceedings were totally host-less. But if there was anything to cling tightly to for security, it’s that VMA’s once again featured performances worth talking about, for better or just the worst.

Kicking off with the always-entertaining Lady Gaga, the rest of the show saw performances from Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, Adele, Bruno Mars, a Britney Spears tribute, an Amy Winehouse tribute featuring Tony Bennett, and the not-so surprise appearance by rap’s reigning kings, Kanye West and Jay-Z. As always, we’ve got all the coverage for you below, complete with every dazzling musical spectacular and massive disappointment. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the grand old time. Because, in all honesty, the human race has been through a lot worse lately.

Lady Gaga – “You and I”

Proving that she makes a dynamite woman and an awe-inspiring man, Lady Gaga brought out her Jo Calderone alter-ego for this revival-esque performance. Oh, and Queen’s Brian May was there, too.

Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Otis”

Amidst the smoke and beaming lights, Kanye West and Jay-Z killed it with the lead single from their giant-sized collaboration. We should also commend Ye for not making an ass of himself while accepting his Best Collaboration award with Katy Perry. That’s how you treat cute white pop singers, Mr. West!

Adele – “Someone Like You”

In a night filled with transvestite divas, Tyler, the Creator’s feel good message of DIY, and the announcement of the second coming of the Messiah, Adele’s “Someone Like You” highlighted the power a bare-bones, booming performance can have in netting people’s attention. Simple is not a bad word, pop music.

Beyoncé – “Love On Top”

To proud mama-to-be takes the stage with the swagger of a lioness and belts out this Etta James-inspired cut from 4. Not even the shot of Katy Perry dancing in that stupid hat cant take away from the vocal prowess Queen B demonstrates.

Young the Giant – “My Body”

Hey, an indie-rock band played the VMAs!

Tyler, the Creator wins Best New Artist

See guys, dreams do come true.

Bruno Mars – “Valerie” (Amy Winehouse)

We may have questioned Bruno Mars’ legitimacy as a true throwback artist, but we’ll give props when they’re due. As one of the artists paying homage to Amy Winehouse, Mars’ homage to the late soul singer gave us chills in a night where not many were offered.

Lil Wayne – “How To Love” + “John”

As if people weren’t already going to go out and download Tha Carter IV in throngs, Lil Wayne closed out this year’s VMAs on a romantic note with “How To Love”. Sans YMCMB cronies, Weezy attempted to command an entire audience with just his vocals and a rare sunglass-less gaze. Of course, with love clearly being a dead concept, Tunechi ended his slot by going shirt-less, sampling Black Sabbath, and cursing up a storm in a bleep-heavy version of “John”. Sadly, Weezy’s offering ended just like most year’s festivities do: with most of the world glad these awards only go down twice a year.