Lady Gaga made a triumphant stage return at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night.
The singer opened the show from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, performing her new single Applause.
She began the performance dressed in head-to-toe white, a canvas surrounding her face as cheers and boos boomed over the track.
The singer soon stripped down for a dance performance that included quick changes highlighting looks from her career.
Gaga ended the show stripped down to a sea shell bra and thong, sporting smeared make-up and a long wavy wig as dancers surrounded her dressed head-to-toe in black lycra.
The performance marked Gaga’s first major show since the 27-year-old underwent hip surgery in February to treat a labral tear. She was wheelchair-bound for several weeks and forced the star to cancel several US dates on her Born This Way Ball concert tour as well as put her forthcoming album, ARTPOP, on hold.
Gaga revealed before taking the stage she was under major pressure from MTV executives to top her previous performances at the VMAs.
She famously bloodied herself during a rendition of Paparazzi in 2009 and performed You And I as her alter-ego in 2011.
Her famous meat dress was also unveiled on the VMA red carpet.
“Every year MTV wants me to one-up myself and they make sure to let me know that,” Gaga said on the red carpet.
The singer’s performance was followed later by Miley Cyrus, who took the stage wearing a leotard with a mouse printed on the front as she sang her latest hit We Can’t Stop.
The 20-year-old was joined by Robin Thicke, who sang his new single Blurred Lines as Miley stripped down to a bra and underwear and twerked against the crooner. 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar then took the stage for a rendition of Robin’s Give It 2 U.
Other performers at the 2013 VMAs include Kanye West, Drake, Katy Perry and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who wowed the crowd with their smash hit Same Love with Jennifer Hudson and Mary Lambert.
Justin Timberlake also performed during his Video Vanguard Award win.
The singer got the audience on their feet with his new hit Take Back The Night before launching into a medley of his hits, including SexyBack, Like I Love You, My Love and Cry Me A River.
He was also by Lance Bass, J.C. Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone for a not-so-secret reunion performance of ‘N SYNC’s 2000 single Bye Bye Bye, marking the band’s first VMA performance in a decade.
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