The 32-year-old singer – who returned to music this year after taking a hiatus to focus on his acting career – celebrated the success of his comeback as he took home four statues at the music awards ceremony, including the Video of the Year prize for “Mirrors” and a lifetime achievement gong titled the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Justin also picked up gongs for Best Direction for “Suit & Tie” and Best Editing for “Mirrors”. The singing sensation – who is married to actress Jessica Biel – paid homage to his career by performing a medley of his biggest hits including “Cry Me A River” and “SexyBack”, but the icing on the cake was a reunion with his former boy band, *NSYNC. Bandmates Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick joined Justin on stage in the middle of his show-stopping performance to sing two of the group’s best-loved songs, “Bye Bye Bye” and “Girlfriend”.
The “Mirrors” hitmaker later paid tribute to his former group as he accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. He said: “Half of the Moonmen I ever won, I won with those four guys … I’m going to share this with them.”
“Thrift Shop” stars Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won three awards including Best Hip-Hop Video and Best Cinematography for “Can’t Hold Us”, and Best Video with a Social Message for “Same Love”. Other winners included Bruno Mars, who accepted two statues, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and One Direction.
Performances on the night came from Lady Gaga – who opened the show with the first live performance of her new song “Applause” – Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West and Katy Perry, who closed the ceremony by giving a rousing rendition of her new single “Roar” under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
MTV Video Music Awards 2013 winners:
Video of the Year: Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award: Justin Timberlake
Best Male Video: Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
Best Female Video: Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”
Best Pop Video: Selena Gomez, “Come and Get It”
Best Hip-Hop Video: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, “Can’t Hold Us”
Best Rock Video: Thirty Seconds to Mars, “Up in the Air”
Song of the Summer: One Direction, “Best Song Ever”
Artist to Watch: Austin Mahone: “What About Love”
Best Collaboration: Pink feat. Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me a Reason”
Best Choreography: Bruno Mars, “Treasure”
Best Editing: Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
Best Direction: Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z, “Suit & Tie”