Clearly overwhelmed by the experience, the 21-year-old Canadian singer gave in to his emotions at the prestigious event in LA.
Returning to the stage at the Microsoft Theater after a three-year hiatus from making new music, Justin - wearing his trademark cap - performed an energetic version of his Jack U collaboration 'Where Are U Now' and his new single 'What Do You Mean?'
He then flew Peter Pan-style through the air as a pre-recorded message played out.
It said: "Life is a journey, sometimes a battle, full of the unexpected.
"Sometimes we focus on the destination and forget to focus on the journey. But if we fall, it allows you to get up stronger."
He then broke down in tears, doubled over in front of a shocked crowd as he wiped his tears.
As the audience applauded in support for the singer, Justin struggled to compose himself as the camera panned back to host Miley Cyrus.
The 32nd annual awards, which took place on Sunday (30 August), was the first time Justin had performed at the VMAs in five years.
In 2010, he performed a medley of hits including 'U Smile', 'Baby' and 'Somebody To Love'.
Justin, proving perhaps that he's grown up from the pop brat of yesteryear, also unveiled a new look at the awards - and we like it!
His new single 'What Do You Mean?' is the first track to be taken off his upcoming studio album, his first since 2012's Believe.
He released the sexy music video for the track just hours before performing it for the first time at the VMAs.
Directed by Brad Furman, the video shows Justin rolling around in bed with a woman before getting kidnapped by a masked man.
Watch the video to Justin Bieber's new single 'What Do You Mean?':
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