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Lady Gaga Opens MTV VMAs as Drag Persona Jo Calderone: VIDEO


Lady Gaga opened the MTV VMA Awards, performing her single "Yoü and I" as her drag persona Jo Calderone, with Brian May on guitar.


Gaga also won MTV's "Best Video with a Message" award for "Born This Way". The award, meant to highlight videos with a social message (anti-bullying, domestic violence, etc), was buried in the red carpet coverage, reports the Huffington Post.

UPDATE: Gaga later made note of the 'Video with a Message' award upon accepting for Best Female Video.

Said Gaga (as Calderone):

"I'm so happy to accept the award tonight because Gaga's not here for Best Female Video.Thank you so much to [director] Nick Knight. And I know if she was here tonight, she would want me to thank her Little Monsters. You know, earlier tonight, they told me I got Best Video With a Message. But you know what? There's so many great artists in this room, sitting over there in that front row and some performed tonight. Every video they've got has a f---ing message. I feel so blessed to be here, and it's true. It doesn't matter who you are. Gay, straight, bi, lesbian, transgender — you were born this way. God bless you, MTV. Yeah!"

Get More: 2011 VMA, Music, Lady Gaga

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  1. No one loves to indulge in Gaga more than, well, Gaga.

    Posted by: Tim | Aug 28, 2011 9:51:52 PM

  2. I totally forgot Gaga was on stage when Brian came out!!

    Posted by: Allen | Aug 28, 2011 10:02:02 PM

  3. So now gaga is copying Andrew Dice Clay?

    Posted by: JameS | Aug 28, 2011 10:04:48 PM

  4. As if Andrew Dice Clay was the first guy with black hair to smoke a cigarette.

    You people really need to let this "copying" meme go. You look more ridiculous all the time.

    Posted by: yawn | Aug 28, 2011 10:10:29 PM

  5. ...and viacom's a bunch of a-holes.

    Posted by: steven | Aug 28, 2011 10:25:05 PM

  6. Oh, it was ADC! I thought it was that dude from My Cousin Vinny doing a scene from The Outsiders. Then when he started singing and dancing I realized it was a scene from Grease.

    Posted by: Tim | Aug 28, 2011 10:25:26 PM

  7. Much as I like Lady Gaga, I think Rise Against's "Make it Stop (September's Children)" was more deserving of the award than "Born This Way."

    Posted by: Richard Farias | Aug 28, 2011 11:43:50 PM

  8. I know I'll be in the minority here, but I thought Gaga's man act was hilarious and so 'meta', especially when compared to clueless Britney on stage. Gaga knows how to create TV moments that polarize. She's a better celebrity than she is a singer (yet another thing she rips off from Madonna!)

    Posted by: Gregoire | Aug 29, 2011 12:07:19 AM

  9. Did she fell off the piano when they cut away? The whole thing was too overwrought. Has there been an award show in the last two tears that she hasn't performed at? I need a break.

    Posted by: IAN F | Aug 29, 2011 12:09:45 AM

  10. I'd like to point out that you all are being overly critical of the person who for a THIRD year in a row thanked the Queer community while winning her VMA, then went on to deliver a speech about acceptance. Which I think was all the more powerful this year, with Tyler The Creator (a gross homophobic, sexist, pig) winning the award for Best New Artist.

    The VMA's were good this year but, GaGa's drag king monologue, nor the spawn of Sasha Fierce, win the award for best moment of the night. That goes to Jesse J for singing No Scrubs directly after Chris Browns bonkers flying preacher routine.

    Posted by: Thomas | Aug 29, 2011 12:16:22 AM

  11. @RICHARD FARIAS Yes, because the lyrics are directly talking about LGBT people. Oh wait, they are not its the video, its implying anyone and anything. Only Gaga had the balls to address the issue with lyrics head on.

    Posted by: Jake | Aug 29, 2011 12:20:25 AM

  12. Annie Lennox did the whole "look like Elvis" kick years ago.

    Posted by: Tim in STL | Aug 29, 2011 12:37:49 AM

  13. Is smoking cool again? Sigh...

    Posted by: Psi | Aug 29, 2011 12:51:12 AM

  14. Yeah well...Elvis did the whole "look like Elvis" kick years before Lennox.

    Posted by: Steven | Aug 29, 2011 12:51:57 AM

  15. I loved how she totally turned our perceptions of her on our collective heads, by showing us her masculine alter-ego and inviting us all to look at our masculinity and femininity in a more accepting and empowering way. I like this song more after this performance.

    Posted by: Amicus | Aug 29, 2011 1:20:44 AM

  16. @Richard Farias - I agree

    Posted by: samsara | Aug 29, 2011 1:26:07 AM

  17. Anyone who thinks this woman does not have talent is just not doing their research. Look up her performance of "The Edge of Glory" on Howard Stern's show. When are we going to learn to embrace are allies? It should be easy with someone as talented as this.

    Posted by: mike27 | Aug 29, 2011 1:30:58 AM

  18. Performance: Great
    Alter Ego: Annie Lennox and Cher did it better the first time around. Gaga's was overwrought and overbearing to the point of being rude.

    Posted by: Mister D | Aug 29, 2011 2:40:55 AM

  19. I thank her for being pro-gay, Its brilliant that she doesnt water it down or take our money while saying little (unlike Madge), however it doesn't mean i think he act is anything more than attention seeking. She is still not very original, or terribly interesting and i dont think her acts are telling us anything.

    'I loved how she totally turned our perceptions of her on our collective heads, by showing us her masculine alter-ego and inviting us all to look at our masculinity and femininity in a more accepting and empowering way. I like this song more after this performance.

    Posted by: Amicus | Aug 29, 2011 1:20:44 AM'

    WAY to much credit given. Its just a pop star in drag, it isnt that deep or clever.

    Posted by: Rovex | Aug 29, 2011 4:21:40 AM

  20. Lady Gaga the best!

    Posted by: essay writing help | Aug 29, 2011 6:11:23 AM

  21. Whether you like her or not, she gave a very memorable opening performance. What was most impressive was the monologue before the song. She's actually not a bad actress. In this age of auto-tune and lip syncing it's very refreshing to see someone just sit cold at a piano and play and sing beautifully.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Aug 29, 2011 7:09:23 AM

  22. The thing that's ridiculous about MTV (and makes it all the more worthwhile that Gaga was doing her thing and at least promoting acceptance) was mtv turned around and awarded BEST NEW ARTIST an incredibly homophobic violent and misogynistic rapper Tyler the Creator. We need more gagas than ever.

    Posted by: reallywha | Aug 29, 2011 7:13:09 AM

  23. Another rip-off performance. She stole from Annie Lenox AND Elvis. She stole from my friend Abe, who looks exactly like this guy. She stole the twang from country music. She stole the monologue from Andrew Dice Clay. She stole her stance on the piano from Tori Amos. She stole her clothes from the GREASE. She stole some of her dance moves from Janet Jackson. She stole the guitarist from Queen...

    It gets old when people constantly act like EVERYTHING is supposed to be original. NOTHING is original.

    Posted by: Tonic | Aug 29, 2011 9:50:13 AM

  24. I thought this was an amazing performance. Particularly the monologue. People in the audience seemed to have no idea what to make of it. Loved the shot of Justin Beiber - what was that kid wearing?

    Posted by: mike128 | Aug 29, 2011 9:58:21 AM

  25. If Lady Gaga is so gay-friendly, why did she censor the word "gay" when she performed Born This Way on the Good Morning America show just two months back? She comes across as a politician who will say and do anything depending on the audience.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 29, 2011 10:20:11 AM

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