The superstar (and new dad) gave his first live performance of his new single, "Shivers," at the award show on Sunday, Sept. 12. Compared to his angsty music video with AnnaSophia Robb, his sweet serenade at the VMAs was a bit more intimate.
Sheeran sang to the crowd in front of the New York skyline, playing guitar and wearing a simple black tee and trousers with red sneakers.
Perhaps he was singing about his wife Cherry Seaborn, although she wasn't by his side on the red carpet. He instead posed—in his Versace suit—with artist Maisie Peters, who is signed to his Gingerbread Man Records.
Sheeran was nominated for four trophies at the 2021 VMAs, which is hosted by Doja Cat this year. He's up for Video of the Year, Best Art Direction, Best Choreography and Song of the Summer, all for his vampiric number "Bad Habits," which paved the way for his upcoming album that's due on Oct. 29.
"I obviously feel really honored," he said of his nominations during the Pre-Show, "but then you look in the category and you go, ‘Yeah, I'm not winning that.'"
Sheeran added that he was looking forward to the "free" and "fun" ceremony, teasing, "It will be good for a controversial moment to happen."
His concert at the Toyota Stage marked his first time singing for the VMAs since 2017, when he made us swoon with "Shape of You." Back then, he took home Artist of the Year and previously won for Best Male Video in 2014 for "Sing."
More recently, Sheeran has kept busy both personally and professionally. He revealed he has already recorded "Everything Has Changed" with Taylor Swift for her upcoming Red (Taylor's Version), and became a father to Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran last year.
"It is the best thing that's ever happened to me," the 30 year old told SiriusXM Hits 1 in June. "There's so many different sides and shades to it. There's difficult days. There's amazing, easy days. It's just a roller-coaster of emotions. I know that sounds like a cliché thing to say, but it's amazing. I love it."
Tune into the VMAs on MTV to see all the biggest moments, including performances by Olivia Rodrigo, Justin Bieber, Chloe Bailey, Camila Cabello and more artists who are singing their hearts out at the event.