During the event that took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Justin kicked things off with the first performance of the night. Wearing a black hoodie and overalls, he and Kid Laroi gave an exuberant rendition of their current hit "Stay."
Justin then stayed on the canyon-themed set for a solo performance of his song "Ghost."
This was a quite a moment for Justin for other reasons, as he headed into the awards show in the Big Apple as the night's most-nominated artist with a total of seven. Among his nominations were such coveted prizes as Video of the Year and Artist of the Year.
Madonna introduced Justin's set with a tribute to MTV's 40th birthday. "And they said we wouldn't last," the pop icon told the crowd. "But we're still here, motherf--kers."
The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards ceremony was hosted by Doja Cat, who was also a nominee for Video of the Year for "Kiss Me More."
Among the other performers at Sunday's show were Olivia Rodrigo, Shawn Mendes, Lil Nas X, Camila Cabello and Kacey Musgraves, plus Machine Gun Kelly with Travis Barker.
Click here to read our full coverage of the awards show.
The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards aired Sunday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. on MTV.