MTV VMAs: Katy Perry wins big, Lil Wayne gets bleeped
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Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator had a breakout night at the MTV Video Music Awards, but it was Katy Perry who took home video of the year for ‘Firework.’ It was Perry’s second award of the night, as she earlier won best collaboration with Kanye West for her ‘E.T.’
Accepting her award for the morale-boosting ‘Firework,’ Perry said she feels like she’s ‘doing something right’ each time she performs the song. The cut has a similar, we’re-all-beautiful theme as Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way,’ which had earlier won for best female video.
As for Gaga, she didn’t break character all night, and she accepted the trophy as male alter-ego ‘Jo Calderone.’ The chain-smoking Calderone showed off a sillier side of Gaga’s personality, yet still fit into the everyone-is-normal message that ‘Born This Way’ champions. ‘Gay, straight, bi, trans-gendered -- you were born this way,’ Gaga as Calderone said to close her speech.
Indeed, the 2011 MTV VMAs embraced all with open arms. Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator has been the center of a media-driven controversy for much of 2011, as his lyrics collide the mundane with the violent, but he won best new artist over Foster the People. Yet Tyler seemed overwhelmed by the MTV stage, admitting he was nervous and had dreamed of winning a ‘Moonman,’ the trophy modeled after the MTV logo, since he was 9. Though his songs are littered with images of rape and murder, MTV producers steered from controversy and instead had him dance with Will Ferrell and Jack Black.
MTV also welcomed back Chris Brown, who appeared on the telecast for the first time since pleading guilty to assaulting Rihanna in 2009. He danced to Nirvana and flew over the crowd as if all was forgiven, yet MTV did stop short of giving him a trophy tonight. Elsewhere, Britney Spears took best video for ‘Till the World Ends’ and was given a short tribute, while Russell Brand payed homage to Amy Winehouse.
The show ended with Lil Wayne staging two songs from his ‘Tha Carter IV,’ which will be released Monday. His ‘How to Love’ was an exercise in vocal manipulation not too far removed from West’s work on ‘808s and Heartbreak,’ while he gave ‘John’ a full rock-band presentation. Wayne’s glitchy vocals sputtered and spat over the heavy metal treatment, yet much of it wasn’t heard by at-home-viewers as it was largely bleeped-out by MTV censors.
-- Todd Martens