Grab those glitzy garments Ladies and Gents award season has arrived! January and February are jam packed with big awards shows like the Grammy’s, the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the nearly 100 year old Academy Awards. While some viewers are interested in the fashion, their favorite stars, or the awards themselves, what most people are talking about the next day, and still remember for years to come are the iconic performances and collaborations. It just so happens that some of the most memorable moments etched in our minds happen to be captivating numbers with special dance sequences that forever leave an imprint on our minds. Here’s a look at some of the most hip shaking, iconic moments to date.
The performance that was seen and heard about from every corner of the globe, as well as to the moon and back, and buzzed about ’til this day. Not by any means last on the list, rather, is listed first due to its global impact on dance, music and pop culture. The man, the myth, the legend who went on to win unprecedented 8 Grammy Awards in one night, (a record that no other artist has since been able to surpass), also landed in the Guinness Book of World Records an astonishing number of times for his musical and humanitarian achievements. Michael, along with this performance set the standard for award shows to follow, and paved the way for other entertainers to come.
14. Pink glides and glitters above the crowd at the Grammy Awards (2010)
Pink’s performance of “Glitter In The Air” off her Funhouse album was the night’s most unexpected showstopper. Simple, elegant, and incredibly cathartic; Pink proved she was pop’s unspoken force to be reckoned with. The only other artist who made the list twice, and primarily for her sheer innovative vision of doing something no singer had done on an awards show before- risk their life by hanging upside down in mere silks from a very high ceiling. Her first of more live aerial performances, Pink flies like an enchanted fairy sprinkling glitter dust high above the awestruck crowd. Daring, breathtaking and uniquely original. If anyone had thought about doing such a performance before, they clearly chickened out and decided to play it safe on the ground like everyone else.
13. LMFAO with special guests, American Music Awards (2011)
Flanked by a slew of dancers, including B-Boys Quest Crew (made up of “So You Think You Can Dance” alum), along with Justin Bieber & 90’s “Baywatch” sensation David Hasselhof wiggling around the stage in his skimmy’s. Slightly campy and silly, yet highly energetic and highly entertaining, this group and their catchy hits and dance routines inspire even those with two left feet to get up and dance. Three words sum up this clip, fun, fun, fun!
12. Britney Spears, MTV Video Music Awards (2001)
Although Spears doesn’t always get much credit for her singing abilities, few can deny her dance abilities, in particular from this awards show where she has to remember her steps while not forgetting that she’s wearing a massive and potentially dangerous python around her neck.
11. Ricky Martin- “Cup of Life” Grammy’s (1999)
Knocking down the floodgates for the massive Latin music and dance explosion that caught fire in America, later spreading around the world with the help of this performance. Many of us remember the moment when those who weren’t aware of his long spanning career in Latin America took notice of Martin, and knew that an international pop icon was born. His charismatic appeal and seamless moves helped lead the way for crossover Latin artists like Shakira, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias Jr. and others to become International bonafied pop stars in America and beyond.
10. Jennifer Lopez, American Music Awards (2015)
On the heels of the Latin Explosion, former “In Living Color Fly Girl”, JLo, pays homage to her hip-hop roots with a lengthy 8 minute review of the years top charting songs. In the myriad of signature hip hop moves, she adds a touch of elegance with a contemporary dance teaser midway, as she is briefly twirled about by one of her hunky background dancers. If you blink, you might miss it!
9. Chris Brown, Grammy’s (2007)
Known for leaping across the stage like a gazelle while replicating some of Michael Jackson’s signature moves, Chris Brown showed us another side with his Stepping and Krumping skills which are a rarity on this particular awards stage. Following an agile back flip off of a trampoline, Brown displays his love for old school dance styles as he pays tribute to dance and music icon of the past, James Brown.
8. Justin Timberlake Medley MTV Awards (2013)
In this 15 minute long medley, Justin Timberlake gives us an lengthy review of his most popular hits, then later delights fans with the reunion of his former boy band members and launchpad to solo stardom N’Sync,
7. Janet Jackson’s tribute to her brother Michael at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards
How Janet Jackson managed to keep it together during this emotional tribute, only weeks after her beloved brother Michael tragically passed away is a mystery. One thing that’s for sure is that she broke new ground by performing along side her brother Michael’s hologram to the iconic song “Scream” that they recorded together.
6. Paula Abdul, MTV Video Music Awards (1990)
Before she became a chart topping pop star, Abdul got her start not only as cheerleader for the Laker Girls NBA basketball team, but also as a choreographer for artists like George Michael, Janet Jackson, ZZ Top, popular TV shows and more.
5. MC Hammer, Soul Train Music Awards (1991)
in 1991 MC Hammer cleaned up with several Soul Train Music awards, only to later clean the stage with exhausting high impact dance moves that would leave most other performers as well as a lot of athletes out of breath! Pure entertainment!
In this bonus clip, MC Hammer drops the MC and returns to perform his classic mega hit, You Can’t Touch This, in a pop mash up with Gangnam Style singer Psy.
4. Madonna “Vogue”, MTV Video Music Awards (1990)
Talk about a cultural mashup: Madonna and her company of dancers, clad in 18th century Marie Antoinette garb, taught the world how to vogue, a performance style popularized in underground gay dance clubs of the ’80s. Cue one incredibly animated pants-less dancer, and VMA magic is made.
Both the period piece costumes and this signature choreography were part of a phenomenon that spawned a dance craze (The Vogue), which was forever etched in oru minds.
3. James Brown with Usher, Grammy Awards (2005)
When the mega talent Usher shares the stage with the legendary Godfather of Soul James Brown, you can bet that magical pixie dust in the form of electric sparks flew. The fancy footwork and charismatic stage craft makes for one explosive combination that has gone down in history books.
2. Michael Jackson Medley, MTV Video Music Awards (1995)
Such was the awesome power of this spectacular MJ performance, performances. With this exhausting 15 minute medley of some of his most known hits, loaded with s Michael wowed the crowd with an array of his show-stopping moves and electrifying vocals. This set the standard for all performances and artists to follow, and helped earn the King of Pop rare accolades such as The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, and other titles in his honor. For the countless artists such as Usher, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Neo and more, who emulate and pay homage to him with their dance and music styles.
1. Pink Soars and Stuns at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards
Performing her hit “Try”, Pink defies gravity and traditional status quo rules of awards shows by showing acrobaticism, strength and talent unmatched by her pop music peers as she soars fearlessly above the crowd in a jaw dropping aerial dance routine… and all while holding flawless notes!