2022 MTV Video Music Awards: LL Cool J Recalls His First VMAs Performance in Opening Monologue

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The 2022 MTV Video Music Awards are officially underway! After Jack Harlow kicked off the show with an epic performance of his song "First Class" -- along with a surprise appearance from Fergie, fellow co-host LL Cool J welcomed fans to this year's show.

"Welcome to the biggest music party of the year, no question about it. The 2022 MTV VMAs. Make some noise," he excitedly told the crowd at New Jersey's Prudential Center. "I remember the first time I hit the VMAs stage. In a lot of ways, we were introducing hip-hop to the world... It was amazing, but tonight is your opportunity to prove that this is the livest and loudest MTV crowd in the history of MTV."

"Make some noise!" LL Cool J once again told the crowd. "Tonight we're straight out Jersey! Are you ready to have some fun?!"

Before departing the stage, LL Cool J praised the "two incredible artists" he's co-hosting with, Harlow and Nicki Minaj, the latter of whom is set to receive the coveted Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award

"Tonight," LL Cool J concluded, "anything can happen."

It was announced earlier this month that the trio would be tasked with sharing emcee duties. In a press release leading up to the event, the superstars were said to be taking a "more innovative and unique approach" to traditional hosting. Think Oscars 2022 (not the slap, the trio of hosts).

It's a big night for Minaj, who is not only co-hosting and receiving the Vanguard Award but also nominated in the Best Hip Hop category. LL Cool J has experienced that honor for himself, back in 1997.

Harlow -- who is tied with Kendrick Lamar and Lil Nas X for the most nominations this year, with seven nods -- is also on tap to make his VMAs solo performance debut. Other performers set to take the stage include LizzoBLACKPINK, Måneskin  AnittaJ Balvin, Marshmello x Khalid, and Panic! At The Disco.

Later in the evening, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be honored with the prestigious Global Icon Award. The rock band -- comprised of founding members Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and longtime member John Frusciante -- are also set to perform.

When the eight-time VMA winners hit the stage, it'll be the group's first performance at the awards show in over two decades. The Red Hot Chili Peppers last appeared in 2000 when they were bestowed with the Video Vanguard Award.

The band is also nominated in the Best Rock category for their track "Black Summer," the lead single of their 12th studio album, Unlimited Love.

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