MTV Scores Highest-Ever 'VMA' Audience

This year's awards show is the most-watched broadcast in history of the network

August 30, 2011 9:10 AM ET
mtv vma record jay-z kanye west otis
Jay-Z and Kanye West perform at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The MTV Video Music Awards scored its highest-ever ratings on Sunday night, pulling in 12.4 million viewers for a show that featured Lady Gaga in drag, the revelation of Beyoncé's pregnancy and memorable performances by Kanye West and Jay-Z, Adele and Lil Wayne.

Not only was this year's show the most-watched in the history of the Video Music Awards' 27-year history, but it was also the highest-rated telecast in the 30-year history of the network.

2011 Video Music Awards: A Toast to Gaga, Britney, Kanye, Jay-Z and Beyoncé's Baby Bump
• 2011 MTV Video Music Awards: Winners and Highlights 
• Photos: The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards: Best and Worst Dressed
• Live-Blogging the 2011 Video Music Awards
Backstage at the VMAs: Rebecca Black, Tyler the Creator, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj
• Photos: The Best Moments of the 2011 Video Music Awards
• Video: Lady Gaga Opens VMAs With 'Yoü and I'
 Video: Adele Performs 'Someone Like You' on the VMAs
 Video: Beyoncé Rocks 'Love on Top' on the VMAs
 Video: Bruno Mars Pays Tribute to Amy Winehouse at the VMAs
 Beyoncé Reveals She's Pregnant
 Watch the First Clip of 'The Hunger Games' Movie
• Lady Gaga as Jo Calderone: 'Britney Spears is Hot'
• Photos: Highlights of the 2010 Video Music Awards

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »