Rihanna, who took home the biggest prize of the night, “Video of the Year,” for “We Found Love,” opened the show with a sultry performance of “Cockiness (Love It)” featuring A$AP Rocky.” She then turned the arena into a huge dance party, performing her VMA award-winning song, “We Found Love,” with mega-hit producer and “2012 VMA house D.J.” Calvin Harris, who won a VMA of his own for “Best Electronic Dance Music Video.”
One Direction claimed the most screen time, winning three "Moon Man" trophies and performing their pop hit "One Thing" in the show. The UK boy band won for best new artist, best pop video and the "most shareworthy" video.
Alicia Keys’ electrifying performance of new single “Girl on Fire” featured a surprise appearance by Nicki Minaj, and was accompanied by U.S. Olympian Gabby Douglas, who performed her gold medal-winning moves on stage.
Taylor Swift closed out the epic evening with a fun performance of her new Smash single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” that brought the entire crowd to their feet.
Here's the complete list of winners for the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards:
Video of the Year: Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Best New Artist: One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
Best Female Video: Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
Best Hip-Hop Video: Drake, featuring Lil' Wayne, "HYFR"
Best Male Video: Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Best Pop Video: One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
Best Rock Video: Coldplay, "Paradise"
Best Video With a Message: Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"
Best Electronic Dance Music Video: Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close"
Most Shareworthy Video: One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
Best Choreography: Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Best Editing: Beyonce, "Countdown"
Best Visual Effects: Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Best Cinematography: M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Best Art Direction: Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Best Direction: M.I.A., "Bad Girls"