Lady Gaga took home this year's award for best female performer — after putting on a raucous show dressed as a cigarette-smoking, beer-drinking man.
Her tweak on gender identity opened the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday with a monologue in character as her male alter ego, Jo Calderone, who declared nothing real, and everything theater. Then Calderone tore off a black blazer and danced with a crew of men in white T-shirts and black pants during a rendition of "Yoü and I."
On a night when Lady Gaga's album and anthem of the same name for gay rights, "Born This Way," brought in the awards, Lady Gaga spent the entire evening as a drag king. The song beat a number of this year's biggest musical statements for gay acceptance to win Best Video with a Message, a new category.
"I feel so blessed to be here," Gaga said while accepting best female performer. "It doesn't matter how you are — gay, straight, bi, lesbian, transgendered — you were born this way."
Before the night was over, Britney Spears accepted a kiss from Calderone, who enthusiastically introduced Spears as the winner of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Watch the opening monologue below.