Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- An unscripted, shocking moment during last year's MTV Video Music awards dominated Sunday night's show, with Kanye West and Taylor Swift putting their feelings to music.
Lady Gaga, who carried home eight MTV trophies, ensured she would not be overlooked with frequent costume changes, including one with a raw beef hat, dress and handbag. An animal rights group said it would "likely be crawling in maggots."
Taylor Swift sang a ballad of forgiveness for West -- the rapper who interrupted her acceptance speech at last year's show, while West's song seemed to acknowledge his reputation as a jerk.
"Who you are is not what you did," Swift sang. "You're still an innocent."
"Let's have a toast for the scumbags," West sang in the hook to his song. It was the only line in the hook that was not too expletive-laden to be reprinted.
Swift, who has built a career writing songs about men who have done her wrong, penned her song -- "Innocent" -- earlier this year "about her feelings about last year's VMAs," her representative told CNN.
Her song was immediately available on iTunes and will be on her next album "Speak Now."
There was no immediate information from West's representative about his song, which ended the show.
West also was the target of jokes from show host Chelsea Handler. She lampooned the rapper by offering tips on how to fend off people stealing the spotlight.
Another celeb made fun of her own bad behavior early in the show.
Lindsay Lohan, fresh out of jail and rehab, appeared in a backstage skit with Handler, who was wearing an alcohol-
detection bracelet like the one Lohan recently wore.
"Wake up, Handler, pull it together," Lohan said as she slammed Handler against a wall. "You're a menace. Do you think anyone will work with a drunk? Take it from me, they don't."
Handler made her first stage entrance wearing a model of a house on her head, a joke aimed at Lady Gaga, who is known for creative and often bulky costumes.
Gaga's first costume included a feather Mohawk and a heavy hooped dress with a train. She wore it when accepting the best female video award.
She struggled to reach the stage for her second award -- for best pop video -- because of her second dress, which she explained was "too heavy to walk in."
Near the end of the show, when Gaga accepted the best video award, she was dressed in raw meat from head to toe, including her handbag.
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals issued a statement Monday saying someone should tell Lady Gaga that there "are more people upset by butchery than impressed by it -- and that means a lot of young people will not be buying her records if she keeps it up."
"Meat is the decomposing flesh of an abused animal who didn't want to die, and after time spent under the TV lights, it would smell like the rotting flesh that it is and likely be crawling in maggots -- not too attractive, really," PETA said.
Eminem, who opened the show in a duet with Rihanna, won for best male video and best hip-hop video.
Teen singing sensation Justin Bieber took the stage outside of the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles during the first hour. He was surrounded by hundreds of screaming teen female fans, a scene familiar to Bieber. He was later given the best new artist award.
"Coming from a little town in Canada, I never thought I'd be in this position," Bieber said.
"Jersey Shore" cast members provided humor from a hot tub. Handler jumped in the tub with the four, including Snooki and the Situation.
Last year's show is remembered mostly for what was not planned.
West, who walked the red carpet with a bottle of cognac in his hand, jumped on stage after Swift was announced the winner over Beyonce in one category.
"Taylor, I'm really happy for you, and I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time," he said, snatching the microphone from Swift after she had won her award.
Swift stood onstage, speechless, clutching her award. The cameras panned to a shocked Beyonce, while the audience booed and later chanted "Taylor."
Though Beyonce later afforded the teen singer another opportunity to finish her speech, the West backlash had begun.
It cost him his spot on a concert tour with Lady Gaga.
Other MTV awards this year included: best rock video to 30 Seconds To Mars; best art direction to Florence + the Machine; best cinematography to Jay-Z and Alicia Keyes; best special effects to Muse; and breakthrough video to The Black Keys.