She performed her hits "The Rain," "Get Ur Freak On," "Hot Boyz," "Work It," "WTF (Where They From)" and "Lose Control."
Elliott brought the house down with multiple costume changes, an army of backup dancers and fireworks.
Elliott also dedicated her win to the dance community.
The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award is MTV's version of a lifetime achievement award. Jennifer Lopez, Pink, Rihanna, Kanye West, Beyonce, Timberlake and Britney Spears have previously won the award.