Comedian is the first Brit to present the show
The comedian, 33, will take to the stage to announce the nominations on 7 September.
‘The MTV gig is a huge deal for Russell,’ a source tells the Daily Mirror.
‘He will be beamed into our living rooms right across America – everyone will know who he is by the end of the night.
‘It’s going to be tough but he has handled live shows before.
‘And his stand-up gigs in America have gone down a storm so he should get some encouragement in that.’
Previous VMA hosts include Jack Black, 38, Chris Rock, 43 and P Diddy, 38.
Russell hosted the Brits last year and is currently filming Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler.
He got his movie break in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.