The 23-year-old won the award for Sing, and said he was glad he attended the event in California.
Fellow nominee Sam Smith captivated the audience with a soulful performance of his hit Stay With Me.
A star-studded crowd including Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry, was seen to be enthralled by the 19 year-old's performance.
Jessie J, who recently announced her move to the US, teamed up with Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande to perform single Bang Bang, while Rita Ora teamed up with Australian Iggy Azalea.
Beyonce was presented with the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award, and was joined on stage by her husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy.
The MTV VMAs will air on MTV UK at 9pm on tonight.