DJ Khaled to host VMAs pre-show: 'Expect nothing but greatness'

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DJ Khaled is securing the bag with a major gig. The prolific DJ-producer and Snapchat extraordinaire will be bringing his major keys and then some to the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards as both a host for Sunday night's pre-show and a correspondent for the main event, alongside Charlamagne Tha God and Lizzo from MTV's Wonderland.

"The VMAs is a show I've always wanted to be a part of, and I'm a big fan of it," Khaled tells Billboard over the phone. "For me to be involved in the pre-show as well as the main show, I'm excited. Put it this way: Expect nothing but greatness, and also expect the unexpected because when you got Khaled on the bill, ratings go extra high." The 8 p.m. ET/PT pre-show, powered by Pepsi, will feature performances by Alessia Cara, Jidenna and Lukas Graham. Pepsi also will launch a new program, The Sound Drop, on VMAs night, spotlighting the three performers on its YouTube channel throughout the year.

Though keeping his lips zipped about the specifics of the VMAs surprises he's plotting, the keyholder assures us he's up to something. "I'm going all out," he continues. "It's gonna be nothing but love, energy and fun." His preparation for the show, which lands at New York's iconic Madison Square Garden on Sunday, is simple. "The key to success is just being myself. When I talked to the VMAs and MTV family, [they said] that's what they wanted me to do: to bring the Khaled vibe. I'ma give you that cloth talk. I'ma give you them keys — the keys to more wins, more success and more blessings."

See photos from the 2001 Video Music Awards:

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2001 VMAs red carpet
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2001 VMAs red carpet
Pamela Anderson during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Actress Pamela Anderson (L) arrives with musician Kid Rock at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards 06 September, 2001, in New York. AFP PHOTO Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Britney Spears (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - SEPTEMBER 6: Singer Jessica Simpson and sister Ashlee Simpson attend the 18th Annual MTV Video Music Awards on September 6, 2001 at the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - SEPTEMBER 6: Rapper Eve attends the 18th Annual MTV Video Music Awards on September 6, 2001 at the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Andy Dick during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Andy Dick during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Macy Gray during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Nelly Furtado during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - SEPTEMBER 6: Pop group NSYNC: Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass and JC Chasez attend the 18th Annual MTV Video Music Awards on September 6, 2001 at the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Shakira during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by RJ Capak/WireImage)
Willa Ford during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by RJ Capak/WireImage)
Sheryl Crow during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Big Boi and André 3000 of OutKast during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Alicia Keys during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Shakira during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Mary J. Blige during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Molly Sims during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Bond during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Mudvayne during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Jennifer Lopez during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Trina during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Nikka Costa during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Destiny's Child during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Dream during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by D. Kambouris/WireImage)
Lil' Mo during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by D. Kambouris/WireImage)
Fatboy Slim and guest during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by D. Kambouris/WireImage)
India.Arie during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by D. Kambouris/WireImage)
Heidi Klum (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 06: Will Smith & Son arriving for the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards @ Lincoln Center in NYC 9/6/01 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 06: Usher arriving for the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards @ Lincoln Center in NYC 9/6/01 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 06: No Doubt arriving for the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards @ Lincoln Center in NYC 9/6/01 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 06: Jewel arriving for the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards @ Lincoln Center in NYC 9/6/01 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 06: Busta Rhymes arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards 9/6/01 Lincon Center New York, NY (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
Vitamin C during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
Janet Jackson during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Jamie-Lynn Sigler during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Pink, Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, & Mya during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
City High during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
Missy Elliott during 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
Britney Spears and Mick Jagger (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Heidi Klum (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Janet Jackson (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Mandy Moore (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Pink, Mya, Christina Aguilera, & Lil' Kim (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Backstreet Boys (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora (Photo by RJ Capak/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 6: American pop star Britney Spears arrives at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards at the Metropolitan Opera House on September 6, 2001 in New York. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Mark Wahlberg arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City on September 6, 2001. Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images
Carmen Kaas arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City on September 6, 2001. Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images
Linkin Park arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, 9/6/01. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
Will Ferrell arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, 9/6/01. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
U2 arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, 9/6/01. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
Damon Dash arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, 9/6/01. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
Jay-Z arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, 9/6/01. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
Sean Puffy Combs arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, 9/6/01. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
O-Town arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, 9/6/01. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
Angie Harmon arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, 9/6/01. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
Ben Stiller arriving at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City, 9/6/01. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect.
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As for the award ceremony itself, Khaled is looking forward to a few things: potentially seeing his artist Kent Jones win the Moon Man in the Song of Summer category with his smash "Don't Mind" and seeing a particular bad gal rock the stage. "I can't wait to see Rihanna," he says of the 2016 Video Vanguard Award recipient, who is slated to perform alongside an A-list lineup that includes Future and Britney Spears. "I'm sure she's gonna tear that down."

Read more: Beyonce, Adele Lead 2016 VMA Nominations

The VMAs venue also makes him humbled to be a part of the awards show. "I came from a garage with turntables, drum machines and a lot of records, and just to come up in the music game and now be part of the VMAs, is amazing," he says of posting up at the legendary MSG. "It's gonna be something that I've been working hard to be on, so hard work is paying off."

When asked if fans possibly could expect a teaser for his latest music video for the star-studded love song "Do You Mind" featuring Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, August Alsina, Jeremih, Rick Ross and Future during the VMAs, he offers, "Man, you never know. I got two videos — 'Do You Mind' and 'Nas Album Done' — in the can. That's what so dope about the VMAs: You never know."

To generate hype for his big VMAs role, Khaled also jetted to the Bahamas for a celebratory promo. "I felt like I wanted to put people in a state of mind where not only are they waiting for the biggest show ever, but, at the same time, I'm coming off the No. 1 album in the country [with] Major Key, and it was a key to me to celebrate the win. So I was like, 'Yo VMAs, MTV, you gotta come see me in the Bahamas.' "

Catch Khaled's breezy spot below before the VMAs pre-show airs on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT — just before the live show at 9 p.m. on MTV.


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