Justin Bieber returns to MTV VMAs stage for the first time since his emotional 2015 performance
The Biebs is back, right where he belongs.
After an intro by a leather-clad Madonna, who touted MTV's 40th anniversary, Bieber joined the Kid Laroi to sing their hit single "Stay," followed by Biebs performing "Ghost" off his recent solo album Justice.
Bieber, who sported a hoodie that shielded most of his face, delivered "Ghost" on a set that looked a lot like Superman's Fortress of Solitude, complete with large ice blocks.
The last time Bieber performed at the show, in 2015, he broke down in tears after singing "Where Are U Now" and "What Do You Mean?" When his performance concluded, a pre-recorded voiceover played, as the singer spoke about how falling makes you stronger, and that life is a "journey" and "sometimes a battle." He then descended from the ceiling on wires and began to cry.
A couple of days later, Bieber appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where the performer explained what had moved him so much.
"It was just so overwhelming for me," Bieber told the late-night host. "I just wasn't expecting them to support me in the way that they did. … Last time I was at an awards show, I was booed. I think it's just like, I've worked so hard at this album, I've worked so hard at just becoming the man I want to become, and then, stepping into situations, you just can't help but feel judged. So, I was just feeling judged and wanting to win so badly, and just wanting to do what I love so badly that I just put everything on the line. I think what was so special about the emotional moment at the end was it was authentic, it was real. I was just really just wanting it so bad."