She later won awards for best video and best song for “Born This Way.” She thanked her “little monsters” for their support and said she regarded “Born This Way” as her most important work to date. She also won an award for having the best fan base.
American rapper Eminem was named best hip hop act and Linkin Park took the prize for best rock band.
Chris Martin, the Coldplay frontman, joked that the band was just “warming everyone up for Justin” on his way into the awards ceremony, which was hosted by Bieber’s girlfriend, the actress and singer Selena Gomez.
She admitted she was nervous about her performance while being photographed on the red carpet just before the show.
The awards, which were set up in 1994, have previously featured performances by stars including U2, Paul McCartney, Take That, Beyonce and Jay-Z.