Miley Cyrus provided a surprise at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night.

Cyrus, who set tongues wagging last year with her raunchy “twerking” during last year’s performance, won the VMA’s top prize for video of the year for “Wrecking Ball.”

She opted not to collect her award, instead sitting in the audience and holding back tears while sending a homeless young man named Jesse to collect her award.

“My name is Jesse,” the young man said. “I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving, lost and scared for their lives right now. I know because I’m one of these people. Unlike you. I’ve survived in shelters all over this city, I’ve cleaned your hotels rooms, I’ve been an extra in your movies, I’ve been an extra in your live thought I may have been invisible to you in the streets I have many of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight. Los Angeles entertainment capital has the largest homeless population in America The music industry will make over 7 billion dollars this year and outside these doors are 54,000 human beings who have no place to call home. If you want to make powerful change in the world right now please choose us and go to Miley’s Facebook page. The dream you dream alone is only a dream. But the dream you dream together is reality. Thank you so much.”

Meanwhile, the other leading ladies in music were out in full force.

Beyonce took the stage with her husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy amidst media reports that the couple is supposedly breaking up.

Ariana Grande kicked off the show with “Break Free” before joining Nicki Minaj and Jessie J for “Bang Bang” – Minaj clutched her dress closed for the entire performance, in what appeared to be a wardrobe malfunction.

Taylor Swift debuted her upbeat first single “Shake It Off” from her upcoming pop album “1989,” while Iggy Azalea and British singer Rita Ora performed their sultry track “Black Widow.”

In stark comparison to the over-the-top performances by the ladies of pop on the VMAs stage, British newcomer Sam Smith used a bare set to showcase his voice on his hit “Stay With Me,” while rockers Maroon 5 performed outside of the newly renovated Forum theater in Inglewood, with hundreds of fans.

In the tightly contested Artist to Watch category girl group Fifth Harmony’s “Miss Movin’ On” beat out Australian boyband 5 Seconds of Summer, rapper Schoolboy Q and British singers Sam Smith and Charlie XCX.

The show also included a 23-second photo montage tribute to Robin Williams.

Since launching in 1984, MTV’s VMAs have become synonymous with irreverence and unscripted moments that have become part of music history, and all eyes were on whoever delivered the most outrageous or unplanned stunt.