Britney Spears Gets A Grand Diva Tribute

On tonight's VMAs, it became clear that Britney Spears -- once a tender tartlet in ruffles and not much else -- is now the grande dame of the music scene.

Basically, she's the new Madonna (minus the decision making).

Meanwhile, Madonna has become Cher (minus the Oscar).

And Cher has become Peggy Lee (minus the mole).

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But it wasn't much of a tribute.

Lady Gaga -- doing her new Lenny Bruce-meets-Ratso Rizzo character, which must be her audition for a Yentl remake -- described Britney as both a sexual object and an important artist, and out barreled some amazing dancers doing cocaine-fast versions of Brit's hits, lip-synching them even better than Britney does.

And then up came Britney to accept the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award, reading off the prompter about how she loved Jackson and also admired Beyoncé a whole bunch.

And then it quickly turned into a long introduction for Beyoncé's number!

Britney never got to say anything real about herself or her achievements! She was there mainly to segue everyone's attention to a female entertainer who can sing live!

Oh, well. At least someone admiringly compared her vocal stylings to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

No, wait, that was in the Amy Winehouse tribute.

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