2011 VMAs Pull Largest Audience In MTV History

Sunday's VMA Pre-Show also ranked as the best on record.

Thanks to unforgettable performances, a baby announcement and a lady superstar in full drag, among other major highlights, the 2011 MTV VMAs grabbed the biggest audience in the network's history.

In addition to bringing in a record-breaking 12.4 million total viewers, Sunday night's VMAs now rank as the #1 cable telecast of the year among viewers ages 12 to 34, and the #1 non-sports cable telecast of 2011 with total viewers.

"Anything can happen during the VMAs," Video of the Year winner Katy Perry told MTV news. "It's definitely just the funnest awards show of the whole gamut, of all the award shows. The VMAs are like a f---ing monkey out of hell award show," she laughed. "You just want to watch a spectacle, you want to watch what goes down and I think so many different sparks fly creatively."

On Sunday evening, amid a slew of eye-popping performances, Beyoncé took the stage to perform "Love on Top." But this was no ordinary performance, even for the Queen B: At the end of the song, she revealed her pregnancy by pulling back her sequined jacket as husband Jay-Z cheered from the audience. And the surprises kept coming, from Lady Gaga as male alter ego Jo Calderone presenting Britney Spears with MTV's Vanguard award to Adele's powerful rendition of "Someone Like You." Of course, as hip-hip goes, the unbilled appearance by Kanye West and papa-to-be Jay became one of many dominant VMA night Twitter trends.

The VMA Pre-Show was equally impressive and ranked as the best on record, while MTV Digital saw its highest VMA day ever on Sunday with VMA content attracting 2 million unique visitors, an increase of 33 percent year over year. Additionally, MTV racked up more than 10 million page views on Sunday, up 18 percent year over year. VMA video content generated 2.3 million streams for the day, up a whopping 41 percent vs. the day of the 2010 VMAs. It was also the most social VMA day of all time, with social networks driving 76 percent more traffic than a year ago.

A special encore presentation of the telecast airs Monday night (August 29) at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the premieres of all-new series "Ridiculousness" at 10 p.m., "Death Valley" at 10:30 p.m. and "Cuff'd" at 11 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.

What did you think of the 2011 VMAs? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards have wrapped, but the real action is just getting started! Stick with MTV News for winners, fashion pics, video and behind-the-scenes stories about everything that went down. Visit VMA.MTV.com for the latest.