Remember when Justin Bieber was just an up-and-coming pop singer who presented at the 2009 VMAs and gave one lucky fan a red-carpet shout-out? Well, since then, he has become a one-man pop-music sensation by dominating the charts, the airwaves and teen girls' hearts.
Just two months after last year's VMAs, Bieber dropped his debut album, My World, and never looked back. He followed up the release with his spring 2010 sophomore album, My World 2.0. In the process, the 16-year-old has worked with everyone from Ludacris and Sean Kingston to Jaden Smith and even Kanye West and Raekwon on a "Runaway Love" remix. And let's not forget: He's even had an offer to have Mark Wahlberg leave rap retirement to jump on a track with him someday.
Bieber's career has been pretty much controversy-free, though he did have fans, VMA host Chelsea Handler and Bill O'Reilly riled up over his friendship, and subsequent Elle photo spread, with reality starlet Kim Kardashian. There have also been a few fan stampedes. Last November, Bieber had to cancel a Long Island mall appearance after his fans got a little out of hand. That incident was followed by equally zealous fan moments in Paris, New Zealand and Australia.
On top of all of that, he met the president, topped Lady Gaga on YouTube, showed his funny side on April Fool's Day when he took over Funny or Die, hung out with Drake at the Much Music Awards, got a tattoo and released a number of music videos, including his VMA-nominated "Baby," "Somebody to Love," "Never Say Never" and "Eenie Meenie."
Now, with a VMA nod for Best New Artist and a highly anticipated VMA performance, whether he wins or loses, he will come out on top, thanks to his upcoming music video for "U Smile," his 2011 3-D flick and the release of his first book, "Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever," in October. Bieber will find out if all the highs of the past 12 months can land him his first Moonman.
The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. The party starts with MTV News' VMA Pre-Show at 8 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET.