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Lady Gaga's VMA Performance Of 'Applause' Offers Wigs On Wigs On Wigs

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Lady Gaga made a grand return to the MTV Video Music Awards stage on Sunday when she opened the show by performing her new single "Applause."

Gaga's performance started with her face filling the entirety of the screen while wearing a blockhead. What followed was the performance of the many wigs. She shed the first headpiece for a lopsided white wig, followed by a yellow postiche and then a long blonde mane.

When we last saw Gaga take the VMA stage, in 2011, she donned alter-ego Jo Calderone while performing "You and I." The year before, the singer concluded her blood-spattered "Paparazzi" rendition by hanging from a noose.

Gaga's latest performance comes on the heels of a controversial Twitter campaign to encourage fans to purchase "Applause," which has seen a lukewarm response since leaking earlier this month. Her current chart rival, Katy Perry, who released her new song "Roar" the same week "Applause" debuted, also performed during Sunday's telecast.

Unlike most of the show's other performers, Gaga has been out of the spotlight for the past year and therefore did not receive any VMA nominations. She joins Kanye West, Robin Thicke and a reunited 'NSYNC as some of the evening's headliners.

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The 2013 MTV VMAs were something else. Thanks for joining!

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Katy Perry performed "Roar" for the first time, and it was glorious.

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With a silly voice.

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Let's remember this:

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He loved it.

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Drake shifts into "Started From The Bottom," obviously.

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Because when he isn't taking photos with Taylor Swift, he's a great rapper.

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Because why not?

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He thanks God, his publicist and his "Mahomies."

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After having a major year with the breakout success of their hit single "Thrift Shop" and the follow-up "Can't Hold Us," Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hit the stage at MTV's Video Music Awards to perform their song "Same Love."

Click here for more on Macklemore's MTV VMA performance.

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Oh, OK.

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After being introduced by NBA player Jason Collins and A$AP Rocky.

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One Direction for "Best Song Ever," which was clearly not the best song of the summer, but #mtv.

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