Katy Perry Plays Boxer in Performance of “Roar” Under the Brooklyn Bridge at MTV VMAs

Katy Perry‘s first performance of “Roar” was a knockout! The 27-year-old pop superstar closed out the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City with a big, showstopping rendition of her hit single on Sunday, Aug. 25 — and the crowd, well, roared.

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With the city’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge towering behind her, Perry took the stage — made to look like a boxing ring — in a tiger-print sports bra and silk boxing shorts. She then proceeded to sing “Roar,” the debut single off her upcoming third album Prism, while dancing all over the set. At one point, she picked up a jumprope and did a few impressive hops before tossing the prop into the mass of screaming fans.

Katy Perry VMA
Katy Perry performs during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in Empire-Fulton Ferry Park on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Us Weekly exclusively revealed earlier on Aug. 25 that Perry would be performing the show’s big finale underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. (Other performers including Justin Timberlake, ‘N Sync, Macklemore, Miley Cyrus, and Robin Thicke hit the stage inside the Barclay’s Center, where the awards were given out.)

“She was supposed to perform on top of the Brooklyn Bridge, but the city wouldn’t give her the permit,” a source told Us of the star’s performance.

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Perry’s “Roar,” which boyfriend John Mayer called “an incredibly big song,” is the best-selling single of the singer’s career. With more than 555,000 digital downloads in the first week after its release, it easily outpaced Lady Gaga‘s “Applause,” which sold 218,000 downloads in the same week.

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Incidentally, Gaga opened the VMAs on Aug. 25 with an elaborate performance of her comeback single, complete with multiple costume changes. Among the many looks she featured were the platinum blonde wig and sequined jacket from “Poker Face” and a bright-yellow Marilyn Monroe-esque ‘do that paid homage to a look she sported in 2010.

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