Adele at the VMAs. (Kevin Winter/GETTY IMAGES)

The unstoppable chart-topping force that is Adele made her first MTV Video Music Awards appearance this year. On a night that featured some strong performances — including Lady Gaga as a man, Kanye West and Jay-Z doing “Otis,” Beyonce’s coming out as a mom-to-be and Bruno Mars’s “Valerie” tribute to Amy Winehouse — Adele still managed to stand out.

So what was her gimmick? Standing in one spot in an elegant dress and belting the heck out of her song “Someone Like You.” That was it. And it was precisely that simple, classy approach that earned her a standing ovation from the crowd and offered further proof that she is one of the most universally embraceable artists in contemporary pop music. Was her performance the strongest of the night?

Watch it again below, then feel free to weigh in with a comment.

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