Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake own the MTV VMAs
Miley Cyrus performs at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK (AP) — Miley Cyrus' memorable moment at the MTV Video Music Awards may not have been good for her, but it was great for MTV and social media.
An estimated 10.1 million people watched the annual program Sunday night, up 66 percent over last year for a show that is fueled by the buzz from talked-about moments, the Nielsen company said.
And few were talked about more than the former child star, who twerked, gyrated, stripped and swayed during her moment in the spotlight. Twitter said a new record for tweets per minute — some 306,000 — was set during Cyrus' medley of her own "We Can't Stop" and a duet with Robin Thicke on "Blurred Lines." It broke a record set by Beyonce during her Super Bowl halftime performance.
Robin Thicke, left, and Miley Cyrus perform at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (Photo by Scott Gries/Invision/AP)
Cyrus eclipsed Lady Gaga's opening performance of her new single, Katy Perry's closing rendition of her latest hit and Kanye West's artsy set. The 20-year-old even grabbed more attention than Justin Timberlake's reunion with his 'N Sync band mates.
In her eye-popping performance, Cyrus stripped down to a nude bikini, grinded on Thicke and made suggestive moves with a foam hand. The wild child also slapped a girl's butt onstage.
With all the suggestive moves, MTV made one edit: censoring the lyric "Molly" in Cyrus' "We Can't Stop." That's considered a slang reference to the drug Ecstasy.