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MTV VMAs 2013: 10 things you didn't see on TV

Another MTV Video Music Awards is in the rearview, and this year brought us Katy Perry’s boxing pantomime, Lady Gaga’s seashells in the flesh, and Justin Timberlake’s 20 minutes of magic.

But not every great moment was found by the television cameras, which is why EW was inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to watch what happened in between, and to take notes while wiping away the sweat caused by Drake’s pyrotechnics. Check out some highlights from the view inside the building.

1. DJ Cassidy provided the pre-show and between-segment entertainment inside the Barclays Center, and while nobody cared much about him as they were taking their seats, he accidentally inspired some of the night’s biggest reactions. Case in point: During one commercial break, he spun Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” which inspired a pretty intense singalong even as the show was coming back on the air.

2. The stage crew working the MTV VMAs were super busy, as always: They hustled to deconstruct Lady Gaga’s elaborate set following her show-opening performance, and had to build what was essentially an entire third stage—the one that the other four members of NSYNC emerged from—over the course of a single commercial break. (It was mostly seamless.) READ FULL STORY

VMAs 2013: Lady Gaga opens the show -- how did she do?

Going into tonight’s VMAs, there was one narrative that ran through pretty much every pre-game conversation: how would Lady Gaga’s handle her opening duties, and how would it stack up to Katy Perry’s closing gig?

Well, now we know at least half of that equation. With a closeup of her face surrounded by white poster board, Gaga kicked the ceremony off in an operatic and characteristically kooky fashion. The camera zoomed out to reveal her dressed as a sort of cubist nun, the first of many costumes for the next few minutes.

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It's not too late for Lady Gaga: How to turn things around, starting at the VMAs

It may seem strange to say that it’s not too late for Lady Gaga. After all, her third album, ARTPOP, isn’t even out until Nov. 11—and we’ve only heard one song, “Applause,” which is selling decently and actually has a pretty neat video. But of course, the promotional cycle’s in full swing. And it seems like any minute, Gaga might go over the handlebars.

Her main problem—we won’t say mistake, because this wasn’t entirely up to her, and anyway, we’re loving it—is having fallen into competition with Katy Perry, whose Prism arrives Oct. 22. Perry gave us “Roar”; Gaga came back with “Applause.” Perry made some fun promo videos; Gaga made a serious promo video with Marina Abramovic.

Once it became clear “Roar” would outsell “Applause” in their first week out, Gaga did something truly tacky: Enticed her fans to buy multiple copies of the song—and then asked them to game up the pageviews on her video. Meanwhile, she jumped into an ugly grudge match with her old friend Perez Hilton.

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Lady Gaga's 'Applause' video: Watch it here

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Whatever you think of Lady Gaga’s new single “Applause” (or any of her music, for that matter), you do have to give her credit as one of the few contemporary pop artists to really go all-in on music videos. So while the release of “Applause” as a single was a nice table-setter the main event is the just-released clip for the song.

In typical Gaga fashion, it’s all over the place. There’s a lot of black-and-white flailing, a giant magician’s hat, lots of creative items covering up Gaga’s breasts (including a bra that looks like a pair of hands and some Birth of Venus-referencing sea shells), and at least one scene with Gaga’s head on top of a swan’s body.

It crams an awful lot into three minutes, so you should probably just give it a watch below (and considering the amount of near-naked writhing, it’s probably vaguely NSFW).

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Katy Perry vs. Lady Gaga: Who won the singles showdown?

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Turns out Katy Perry was right: She is a champion, as she sings on the chorus of “Roar,” and she’s on track to move 525,000 downloads of her latest mega-single, compared with 200,000 to 225,000 sales expected for Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” Billboard reports.

Gaga and Perry weren’t planning to go head-to-head like this, but when both their new singles leaked online last weekend, everyone wondered: Which diva would come out on top? While Billboard‘s initial projections had the singers neck-and-neck — even suggesting both could surpass a half-million sales in what would have been a chart record — Gaga’s sales stalled around 200K, while Perry’s prospects soared.
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Lady Gaga/Cher duet hits the internet: Hear 'The Greatest Thing' here

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It’s like two unicorns made a beautiful, unwanted baby: Yes children, Cher and Gaga did a duet; and no, you were never meant to hear it.

Because apparently “The Greatest Thing” is not great enough to officially be released. According to Cher‘s Twitter, first it wrongly snuck onto the internet:

Disappointed( Ive Sat on fkng song 4 over a yr )NOW SOME ASSHOLE LEAKS WRONG VERSION ! GaGa’s SINGLE IS GREAT, & THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS

And anyway, Gaga had already nixed it:

@MattieStaddie She Doesn’t Like It! Shes an ARTIST… Its Her Song, Her Voice,Her Choice 💖

Click after the jump to listen (Your Choice):


UPDATE: The link has apparently been pulled. Unicorns, we hardly knew ye!

Katy Perry and Lady Gaga headed for singles sales showdown: Who will win?

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Looks like we’ve got a good old fashioned diva-off on our hands.

Thanks to some Internet shenanigans and the fickle finger of fate, two brand new singles from superstar divas are now for sale. Katy Perry’s “Roar” went on sale yesterday, and as of 12:01 this morning, Lady Gaga’s “Applause” is available on digital store shelves.

As expected, the two singles immediately shot to the top of the iTunes sales chart (as of this writing, “Roar” is in the top position, followed closely by “Applause”), and they will inevitably be neck and neck as the week goes on.

With those two juggernauts chugging forward, we’re looking at an unprecedented digital sales week. According to Billboard, it’s not out of the question for both songs to sell half a million copies this week, which would be the first time in digital sales history that two debut songs sold over 400,000 copies in the same week.

What impact will this have on the Hot 100? READ FULL STORY

Lady Gaga is ready for your 'Applause' -- hear her new single now

Lady Gaga fans, you may now stand up and cheer: “Applause” is upon us—one week early, and just hours after Katy Perry released the first single, “Roar,” off her fall album.

In Katy’s new song, which sounds like “Brave” by Sara Bareilles (more generally, I also hear Pink), she is a woman promising to “roar.” In Gaga’s new song, which sounds like something you might hear in a very accessible Berlin sex dungeon, she is a star demanding that you clap for her.

Of course, this being Lady Gaga, there are layers—she’s critiquing fame (we’re guessing). Although there’s surely nothing ironic about the music, which pounds and pounds until it finally achieves an almost pleasant climax. And yes, you can literally hear the sounds of applause:

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Lady Gaga unveils cover art for single 'Applause,' takes off clothes, shows the world her new piercing

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Are you curious about the cover art for the first single for Lady Gaga’s forthcoming album ARTPOP? Have you ever wondered what it would look like if Gaga got her septum pierced? If you answered “Yes” to either or both of those questions, then this is your favorite post of all time.

Gaga’s new single is called “Applause,” and the cover art features the singer’s face smeared with paint. “It’s the end of the night after the show,” she said of the image. “When I look at it I see that there is a longing for the applause. I see that there is a void that is leaking onstage, that the performer is leaking, that the art is sort of becoming something else in front of your eyes. Something more human, something more honest.” The shot was taken by photography team Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, who also helmed the forthcoming video for “Applause.”

She also tweeted this promotional photo for the single, which finds her nude on a chair made of motherboards.

The song itself will premiere on Aug. 19, which also happens to be the first day that ARTPOP will be available for pre-order and will mark the launch of the ARTPOP app.

Because she’s Lady Gaga, she didn’t just let the world see her new single art—she also let somebody take video of the inside of her nasal passages.  READ FULL STORY

Lady Gaga announced as first VMA performer, will play new 'ARTPOP' single

Everybody better strap on a comfortable pair of shoes (so the Alexander McQueen lobster claw is out), because the march toward Lady Gaga’s new album ARTPOP is on.

Though we still do not know the name of ARTPOP‘s first single, that will not stop Ms. Germanotta from performing the new track for the first time at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards on August 25. (The single itself will roll out on August 19.)

Gaga is no stranger to the VMA stage—she memorably bled out while singing “Paparazzi” at the 2009 show, and in 2011 she treated the world to several hours of Jo Calderone. What wacky stagecraft will she break out this time? And will Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the site of this year’s VMA show, ever be the same again? We’ll have to wait until August 25 to find out.

Lady Gaga is the first performer announced for this year’s show, and since the Moonmen themselves are relatively pointless (nobody in EW’s offices could remember that Rihanna won last year’s Video of the Year for “We Found Love”), the performances are the real draw. The rest will be rolled out shortly, but there are a handful of people they could book that would make perfect sense.  READ FULL STORY

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