By Brian Orloff

September 8, People

It was Britney's night!

The pop star made a triumphant return to MTV's Video Music Awards, winning three Moonmen, including the night's big honor, video of the year, for her hit "Piece of Me."

"I'm in shock," the grateful singer said after accepting her third award of the night from NBA star Kobe Bryant.

Happy Birthday MTV
Spears, of course, was the subject of much speculation and excitement after word spread that she would be opening the ceremony.

She looked a little nervous at first, but proved to be in fighting form in a vintage silver Versace mini-dress. After being escorted from her dressing room, Spears took center stage, clutched the microphone tight, and announced, "I'm here tonight to celebrate a very important birthday." Continued Spears: "This is the 25th Video Music Awards – and it starts right now."

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photo:Britney Spears at the MTV VMAs Photo by: Kevin Mazur / WireImage