Britney Spears opened the MTV Video Music Awards show to a standing ovation on September 7, 2008, as her losing streak finally came to an end. (A marked improvement over Britney's VMA performance/debacle last year.)
The pop princess led the way with three moonmen for "Video of the Year," "Best Female" and "Best Pop Video" for Piece of Me. Host Russell Brand kept viewers and sensors on their toes as he brought plenty of unexpected and memorable moments taking aim at the Jonas Brothers' virginity as well as charming the ladies. Throughout the night, in a nod to the 25th annual VMAs, new and familiar faces took the stage to celebrate the music that has consistently made the VMAs one of the most memorable nights in entertainment.
This year, for the time, the fans helped to determine the nominees and winners for this year's show. Adding a touch of Hollywood, Demi Moore presented Chris Brown with "Best Male" for With You. Pete Wentz presented "Best New Artist" nominees throughout the show with special guests Danity Kane, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt. Teen worlds collided as The Hills' Lauren Conrad and Gossip Girl's Chace Crawford presented the "Best New Artist" award to Tokio Hotel for Ready, Set, Go! (SheKnows called it!)
The nominees were reflective of the past year, but the performances were all about today as some of the artists debuted their latest songs for the first time ever. Rihanna (seen at right) made a grand entrance by gliding onto the main stage and transforming the Paramount into a dark and mysterious world while performing her number one hit Disturbia. She also honored VMA history with a musical tribute to the Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) and The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army.
Fresh off his record-breaking performance at the Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps made his VMA debut in a nod to his pre-race ritual and favorite rapper, Lil Wayne. After arriving to the red carpet on an elephant, T-Pain joined Lil Wayne center stage as they worked the entire room and had everyone out of their seats.
Just when fans thought they knew what would come next, Paramore took to the stage to perform Misery Business, in a scene reminiscent of LA's legendary club Whisky A Go Go. Then starting with a video montage of her memorable musical moments, Christina Aguilera made a bold return to the VMAs with a reinterpretation of her classic hit Genie In A Bottle. Set in a futuristic city, Christina also belted out an energetic performance of her new song Keeps Getting Better.
Kid Rock gave a kick-ass performance of his hit single All Summer Long for a good ole' rock n' roll vibe, with Lil Wayne accompanying him on stage with a little help from a Run-DMC beat.
In an unexpected return to the VMAs, Kanye West closed the show with a never before released song Love Lockdown.
Next page: 2008 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS WINNERS
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