- Associated Press - Sunday, November 6, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Lady Gaga scored one of the first major awards at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Belfast Sunday night, winning the prize for best female act.

“Thank you so much, I love you so much. I’m so grateful. I’m really smiling right now, but I know you can’t tell,” said Gaga, wearing a bizarre silver dress with an oversize tilted hat that completely covered her face. She joked that she had had a lot of Botox treatment.

Gaga, who has enjoyed a year of spectacular commercial success, triumphed over a strong field that included a resurgent Jennifer Lopez, Adele, Katy Perry and Beyonce.

Earlier, Perry _ dressed mostly in pink _ won the best live act award, and the American band Thirty Seconds to Mars won best alternative act at the MTV award, an annual highlight on the European entertainment calendar that draws many star performers from the United States and is viewed on broadcasts worldwide.

The show featured headliners Justin Bieber, Gaga, Bruno Mars, Coldplay and other top acts.

Chris Martin, the Coldplay frontman, joked that the band was just “warming everyone up for Justin” on his way into the awards ceremony, which was hosted by Bieber’s girlfriend, the actress and singer Selena Gomez.

She admitted she was nervous about her performance while being photographed on the red carpet just before the show.

Gaga led the way with six nominations, while Mars and Perry have four each.

Singer Adele, who lost out on the Mercury Prize, has been nominated for the best female award and best video and best song for her hit “Rolling In The Deep.”

The awards, which were set up in 1994, have previously featured performances by stars including U2, Paul McCartney, Take That, Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Sunday’s show marked the first time the MTV awards have been held in Belfast, the birthplace of singer-songwriter Van Morrison and a city that has long been known for its rhythm and blues oriented music scene.