The R&B superstar got his first taste of what it was like to perform at the VMAs in Los Angeles in 1998 when he played the pre-show, taking the stage in a leather, graffiti-print jacket and leather tuxedo pants. Usher's performance back then was incredibly low-fi, having only a few dancers behind him dressed like the ones in his "My Way" clip, which was nominated for a VMA that year.
In 2002, when the show was at Radio City Music Hall in New York, Usher hit the stage with Busta Rhymes and Pharrell to give Diddy some backup during his performance: a medley of "Bad Boy for Life," "I Need a Girl (Part I & II)" and "Pass the Courvoisier." Although his appearance was short and sweet, it featured him dancing quite a bit.
Two years later in 2004, when the show took the party down to Miami, the performance was all about Usher. Rain poured from the rafters as Usher offered fans his "Confessions" and took off his shirt before turning up the volume and the party vibe for "Yeah!" Ludacris and Lil Jon were also on hand, and Usher pulled off a Michael Jackson-inspired dance break and some high-flying antics.
Usher is up for three Moonmen at this year's show, including noms for Best Male Video, Best Dance Music Video and Best Choreography for his "OMG" clip.
"It is an honor to once again be a part of the MTV Video Music Awards," Usher said in a statement. "I can't wait to perform for my fans all around the world who have helped to make this album a success and my being here possible. You never know what's gonna happen on an MTV VMA stage. ... I look forward to making it a night to remember."
The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 12, at 9 p.m. ET.