Lady Gaga's VMA Triumph, Behind The Scenes

MTV News was backstage when Gaga celebrated her Video of the Year win.

LOS ANGELES — Moments after "Bad Romance" won the award for Video of the Year— and moments after she announced the title of her upcoming album, Born This Way — Lady Gaga walked off the Video Music Awards stage, arm-in-arm with Cher and tried very hard to fight back tears.

She succeeded (to varying degrees), and as she descended the staircase, Moonman in one hand, clutch in the other, Gaga didn't look like the biggest pop star on the planet. Instead, she looked humble, emotional and downright human (or, you know, as human as anyone wearing a dress made of meat could be).

It was a rare moment, for sure, one only a host of people — a few stagehands, a publicist or two, Cher and, well, MTV News — were privileged enough to see. And in a second, it was over. Gaga and Cher embraced, and she was whisked away, into a waiting elevator, to the dressing-room area beneath the Nokia Theatre.

And only down there did Gaga cut loose. Because as soon as the elevator doors parted, she strode down the carpeted hallway, and though she was still dabbing tears away from her eyes, she was also laughing now, too, almost as if she couldn't believe what had just happened: that she had won Video of the Year, that she had announced the title of her new album (and sung the hook from the presumptive title track) in front of an audience of millions, that freaking Cher had handed her the award. The 2010 VMAs were, in a lot of ways, her crowning moment. And she no doubt realized that, because a smile broke out across her face, and her army of stylists emerged from her dressing room and broke into a loud round of applause.

We followed as close as we could, but soon, the hallway was filled with Gaga's team. They stood on either side of the hallway, still clapping, whooping loudly. And Gaga cheered along with them, and then disappeared into her dressing room. Someone in her entourage shouted, "Big f---ing night," and they couldn't have been more right. The door closed behind them, two beefy security guards assumed their positions outside it, and Gaga's celebration began. You could hear it halfway down the hallway. And it was much deserved. It was a big f---ing night, indeed.

The Moonmen have all been handed out and the stars have gone home, but there's plenty of 2010 MTV Video Music Awards news, interviews, behind-the-scenes scoop, party reports and more still to come, so keep it locked on