Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby doesn’t even have a name yet, but he or she was the indisputable breakout star of Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards.
Beyonce stole the show before it even began when she announced on the black carpet that after more than three years of marriage, the dazzling couple had produced the ultimate all-star collaboration. 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. Her publicist later confirmed the pregnancy to the Associated Press.
Later, Beyonce performed “Love on Top,” and if Twitter hadn’t already spread the news, her outfit gave clues to her impending motherhood; instead of her typical sexy outfits, she dressed in a conservative spangled tux – but still danced around in her signature stilettos.
Beyonce didn’t 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.
In an instant, Beyonce’s baby managed to overshadow the night’s events. Lady Gaga’s much-hyped opening number, during which she performed as a greasy, leather-jacketed male alter-ego during a performance of “You and I,” became less interesting. So did the evening’s meticulously planned wild moments, from Nicki Minaj’s origami-like outfit to a dance-off between the members of Odd Future and Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Seth Rogen.
There was one apparently unscripted moment during Jay-Z’s performance with Kanye West of “Otis,” off their chart-topping joint album “Watch the Throne.” Near the end of the song, someone tried to walk onto the stage, but was quickly apprehended by a crew member as a bemused Jay-Z looked on.
Britney Spears captured the night’s first award, for best pop video, and later was honored with an MTV Video Vanguard award for her visual legacy. Lady Gaga, sticking to her gender-switch shtick, leered at Spears as she paid tribute to her.
Later, Gaga fished for a kiss, but as Spears leaned in, she quickly pulled back, reminding viewers, “I’ve done that before.”
Other winners included Minaj and Katy Perry, who won a trophy with West for her video “E.T.”
“Now this is the time when you wanna interrupt me, Kanye,” joked Perry, referring to West’s intrusion of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech two years ago. Instead, West simply laughed and thanked God and “Katy Perry for being so brave for letting me on her record.”
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. Chris Brown also wowed with an aerial number, soaring above the crowd in between high-stepping choreography. Tony Bennett and others also performed a tribute to Amy Winehouse, who died in July.