Lady Gaga announced this week that she would be making her grand comeback at the site of her previous triumphs, the MTV VMAs. The late-summer awards show has always been good to Gaga (she's won 13 moon men in all) and Gaga's been good to it, providing the telecast with its most memorable moments of the last half-decade. Let's look back at Mamma Monster's MTV highlights:
2009 was Gaga's first VMAs, though you can be forgiven for not remembering that, as there were no first-timer's nerves for the diva that night. Gaga tied with Beyonce for the most nominations, and she got a prime performance slot for an elaborate (and bloody) rendition of "Paparazzi."
By the end of the night, Gaga had taken home the award for Best New Artist, which she accepted in a dramatic face-covering bodysuit. The VMAs had found their new queen.
The next year was Gaga's true coming out party. She became the first pop star to attend the ceremony in a dress made out of raw carrion:
(The dress even received its own Wikipedia entry, which notes that the dress has been preserved as jerky by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)
Gaga also cleaned up at the awards—she was nominated 13 times, the most in the history of the VMAS. She would win eight in all, including Best Female Video and Video of the Year:
After the success of Born This Way, MTV decided the best way to showcase Gaga's particular skillset was just to give her heaping amounts of airtime and just let her riff. And riff she did, showing up as her male alter-ego Jo Calderone and never breaking character all night.
Gaga kept the Calderone bit up even when giving a lifetime achievement award to Britney Spears. Inappropriate? Maybe, but the awkward juxtaposition was priceless.
With no nominations and no new music to promote, Gaga sat the awards out for the first time since she made it big. Even though she's only been out of the spotlight a year, her hiatus seems like it's it's lasted much longer. Add this to the fact that the VMAs are not always the kindest place to make a comeback and its reasonable to ask: Is there still a place for Lady Gaga in today's pop landscape? And then you kick yourself. This is Lady Gaga we're talking about. If there's not room for her, she'll make the room.