Sunday’s airing of the 28th annual edition of the Video Music Awards drew the largest audience in the history of MTV. The kudocast was watched by 12.4 million people. That is about a million more than last year and about half a million more than tuned in to the 2002 VMAs, which had been the most-watched program on the music channel. MTV reports that of the total audience, 8.5 million were in its core demographic of 12-34; that too is a record for the cablecaster. The VMAs are likely to rate as the most program on the dial this week.
Katy Perry was the big winner of the evening, taking home three of the Moonman statues including the top prize of Video of the Year for “Firework.” She also won two awards for “E.T.,” her hit single with Kanye West — Best Collaboration and Best Special Effects. Those were the only wins for West who had seven bids in all.
While West performed with Jay-Z — they duetted on “Otis” — Perry did not take to the stage of the Nokia Theater. Adele, who won three of her seven bids for “Rolling in the Deep” (art direction, cinematography and editing), sang another track from her No. 1 album “21” — “Someone Like You.”
Lady Gaga, who won both Pop Video and the new category Message Video for “Born this Way,” opened the show dressed as a male alter-ego, Joe Caldarone, and performed “You and I.”
Beyonce, who confirmed Sunday that she is expecting, won just one of her three bids — the choreography award for “Run the World (Girls).” She delighted the audience with her heartfelt rendition of “Love on Top.”
The evening also included tributes to Britney Spears — who was feted with a special Video Vanguard award and also won her third Best Pop Video award for her latest hit “Till the World Ends” — and the late Amy Winehouse.