MTV's 2011 VMAs Attract Biggest Audience in Network History
MTV's 2011 VMAs Attract Biggest Audience in Network History
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The JayBey Spawn: Beyonce stole the 2011 VMAs announcing her pregnancy on the red carpet (above) and later striking a similar pose post-VMA performance (Getty Images)

The MTV Video Music Awards returned to L.A.'s Nokia Theatre Sunday (Aug. 28) with Katy Perry coming away with Video of the Year for "Firework." Along the way, Amy Winehouse was honored in a thrilling tribute, Lady Gaga went drag the entire night, Adele had the night's most emotional performance and Beyonce stole everyones thunder by revealing she was pregnant.

While she didn't utter a single word about a pregnancy during the show, she reportedly announced it to MTV and later the AP confirmed the news with her rep. By the time the actual awards show began, B's baby was already the story of the night.

Gaga kicked off the actual festivities with a downright Oscar-worthy performance of "You and I" as her Ralph Macchio-esque alter-ego Jo Calderone. But Calderone wasn't the only surprise guest to the party: Queen guitarist Brian May, who riffs on the song's studio version, crashed the performance mid-way for some super-sized shredding.

Gaga, still in Calderone mode, returned later in the eventing to bestow Britney Spears with the Michael Jackson Vanguard award for her contributions to music video and dance. Accepting the moonman, Spears had to fend off the romantic advances of the testosterone-jacked Gagarone. Later still, Calderone accepted the Best Female Video award ("Born This Way") on behalf of Gaga.

The first award of the night went to Britney Spears for Best Pop Video for "Till the World Ends." She teared up when thanking her kids, fans and boyfriend. "Jason, I love you," she said during brief remarks. She appeared to have a huge piece of hardware on her left hand ring finger. Engaged?

Next up, Foo Fighters stood up for that forgotten-by-MTV art form rock music when they won Best Rock Video for "Walk." Frontman Dave Grohl said, "Never lose faith in rock music. You might have to look a little harder, but you will always find it." They bested "it" band, Foster the People and The Black Keys for the award.

Fulfilling some earlier reports, Jay-Z and Kanye West emerged victorious (they have spent two weeks atop the Billboard 200, after all) for a kinda-surprise performance of "Otis" off "Watch the Throne." That big smile on Jay-Z's face may have had something to do with some massive news dropped just minutes before. His wife, Beyonce, made the stunning admission that she's with child on the red black carpet.

Queen B made a splash of her own on the show, by performing her love song "Love On Top," off her Billboard 200 No. 1 album, "4." In a nod to her fresh pregnancy news, she declared, "I want you to feel the love growing inside of me."

A spectacled Justin Bieber gave big ups to Jesus (and none to his girlfriend Selena Gomez) upon winning Best Male Video for "U Smile," topping heavyweights Cee Lo Green, Eminem, Bruno Mars and Kanye West.

Perry, who last week scored her fifth Hot 100 No. 1 off "Teenage Dream," led with 10 nominations including video of the year for "Firework" -- which she won. She also took home Best Collaboration along with West for "E.T." "Now this is the time when you wanna interrupt me Kanye," joked Perry, referring to West's famous interruption of Taylor Swift.

Adele was close behind with seven nods for "Rolling in the Deep." By the end of the night she had been swept of the larger awards but came away with Best Art Direction, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography.

Clutching her chest and carefully accentuating her words, Adele brought a bit of class to the VMAs this year more than halfway through the show. The breakout U.K. songstress performed the tearful ballad "Someone Like You," a choice cut off "21" and likely to be the album's next single.

The much touted VMA tribute to Amy Winehouse did not feature a U.K. songstress with big hair and an even bigger voice (ahem, Adele); nor did it include a certain Mother Monster, who, upon hearing of Winehouse's death, described just how much hope Amy had given her. Rather, the VMA dedication to the deceased "Back to Black" singer was led by men, some who knew her and some who simply admired her: friend Russell Brand, collaborator Tony Bennett, and soulful singer Bruno Mars.

Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" bested Lil Wayne, Kanye, Lupe Fiasco and Chris Brown for Hip-Hop Video. On the telecast, Lil Wayne smiled and playfully shouted "I hate you" at Nicki when she beat him.

Cali rockers Young the Giant, a Billboard favorite, took the VMA stage for a performance bound to spike their sales. Frontman Sameer Gadhia tossed himself into the crowd numerous times, trusting the crowd quite a bit during his band's performance of minor hit "My Body."

Scheduled performers included Lady Gaga, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Pitbull. When it was his turn, Brown took flight with a performance that time-traveled through the 90s and featured the R&B star somersaulting over the dazzled audience. He kicked off his high-flying act with a chopped-up version of his hit "Yeah 3x," strutting the VMA runway in an all-white suit and joining his well-dressed backup dancers in some inspired choreography. Soon, the music stopped, and the backing track changed to the Wu-Tang Clan hit "Protect Ya Neck," followed by Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

The pre-show featured co-hosts Sway and Selena Gomez interviewing celebs on the black carpet. Many got there early, including JoJo, Jake Busey and best new artist nominee Kreayshawn. "This is crazy," she told the AP of her first VMA show. "I've never experienced anything like this in my life, so it's a whole new world."

MTV said that many VMA performers arrived in L.A. early to avoid delays by Hurricane Irene, which just wrapped up pummeling the Eastern seaboard Saturday-Sunday.