MTV VMAs: Lady Gaga Performs 'Applause' With Five Onstage Costume Changes (Video)
The superstar kickstarted the Sunday night awards show with a dramatic world-premiere performance of her latest single.
Lady Gaga brought her signature flare to the opening performance of MTV's Video Music Awards.
"Every year MTV wants me to one-up myself and they make sure to let me know that," Gaga hinted during a pre-show interview with MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway.
The notoriously theatrical songstress performed "Applause," the first single off of her highly anticipated album, ARTPOP. For the world-premiere performance, Gaga went through a multitude of onstage costume changes, first appearing in a nun-like white robe with her face framed by a white canvas.
The singer's other outfits included: a bedazzled black leotard, a blue skirt-and-top combo paired with a white wig, a yellow hairpiece and multi-colored face paint and, finally, an oceanic bikini complete a clam-shell bra and a flowing blonde wig.
Even before her live performance, Gaga (nee: Stefani Germanotta) was already turning heads as she arrived on the red carpet wearing an understated Morticia Addams-inspired floor-length black gown, dark sunglasses, muted makeup and an ill-fitting black wig.
Mother Monster has always provided the VMAs with some of the show's most-talked-about moments. For her 2009 live rendition of "Paparazzi," Gaga doused herself in fake blood. In 2011, Gaga gave a gender-bent performance as her male alter ego, Joe Calderone, for "You and I." At the 2010 VMAs, Gaga wore her now-infamous meat dress as she walked the red carpet and later accepted her Moonman for Video of the Year.
Since 2009, Gaga has brought home an astounding 13 Moonmen, including Best New Artist, Video of the Year for "Bad Romance" and Best Video With a Message for "Born This Way."
"Applause" (released Aug. 12) reached No. 1 on the Dance/Electronic chart and has garnered over 28 million views on YouTube.
Watch the full performance below.