The legendary band was introduced by comedy icons Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, who explained the significance of the coveted honor, sharing, "The award recognizes artists who have left an enduring mark on the world and are just as impactful as ever."
The band kicked things off with a performance of their recent single "Black Summer," before moving into their 2003 megahit "Can't Stop," which got the crowd on their feet.
The performance marked the band's first time playing the VMA stage since 2000, when they accepted the coveted Video Vanguard Award.
Lead singer Anthony Kiedis spoke first while accepting the award, and shared his appreciation for his fellow bandmates.
"Thank you to that sassy mistress known as MTV for supporting us for a thousand years and more... I really, really, really, I want to thank Flea and John [Frusciante] and Chad Smith," he shared, "for giving me a purpose in my life for the last 40 years. I would have been a free-floating disaster in space if not for these boys. Thank you boys, for giving me something to do with my life."
Drummer Chad Smith took the mic next and delivered a heartfelt tribute to Hawkins, a fellow drummer, who died in March at age 50.
"There is another musical icon, global icon, and his name is my brother, Taylor Hawkins. And I want to dedicate this to Taylor and his family," Smith shared. "I love him and I miss him every day. Play on, Hawk, play on"
Originating with the MTV Europe Music Awards, the ultra-exclusive Global Icon Award is given to an artist or band whose unparalleled career and continued impact and influence maintain a unique level of global success in the music industry and beyond.
Earlier this week, the Chili Peppers unveiled a trippy and colorful new music video for their single, "Tippa My Tongue." The track marks the first offering from their newly announced full-length -- Return of the Dream Canteen, out Oct. 14 -- which will be their second studio album release this year amid a global stadium tour.
The Global Icon Award is just the latest in a long line of accolades for the iconic rockers. Singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist John Frusciante, have sold more than 60 million albums, including five multi-platinum LPs, won six GRAMMY Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. This year, the eight-time VMA winners scored their 29th nomination for “Black Summer,” the lead single off their platinum-selling chart-topping 12th studio album, Unlimited Love.