12 Memorable Grammy Awards Performances

BY Lida Nasseri / Feb 12 2017 / 15:08 PM

Ahead of the awards this evening we recap the best moments in Grammy history

12 Memorable Grammy Awards Performances

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards is set to showcase this evening at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles. Set to be one of the year's most glamorous events packed full with memorable performances and tributes to the world’s greatest entertainers, Bazaar looks back as the moments that shaped the Grammy’s to this day

1. Christina Aguilera – “It’s A Man’s World”

Christina Aguilera left everyone’s jaws on the floor when she belted out her version of this frequently covered song. There’s definitely no denying the power in her voice, as proven by this performance from start to finish. You’ll be blown away when you listen to her hold that note and the end.

Christina Aguilera - It's A Mans World @ 49th Grammy Awards 2007 (Live) 1080i from Alexander Ulanov on Vimeo.

2. Sia – “Chandelier”

It’s no surprise that Sia never shows her face, or that her videos and live performances are often accompanied with dancer-protégé Maddie Ziegler. The true surprise in this Grammy act was Kristen Wiig, who donned Ziegler’s famous skin-toned leotard and blonde wig while giving us a beautifully executed performance piece.

3. Coldplay – “Lost” Featuring Jay Z

Chris Martin plays the first half of this act on his own, sitting at a decorated piano. When Jay Z steps on stage for his verse, it’s a beautiful little moment because of its brevity. The rapper then quietly bows out as Martin finishes up the rest of the song.

Coldplay ft Jay-Z - Lost (51st annual Grammys 2009) from We Never Change Peru on Vimeo.

4. Amy Winehouse – “You Know I’m No Good” And “Rehab”

2008 was the first year that the Grammys nominated Winehouse. She took home five awards that night and left us with a truly mesmerising performance. Everything that made Winehouse an icon shows through here, from the flowers in the oversized hair to the dark winged eyeliner and her soulful attitude. This kind of performance forever reminds us that music lost one of its finest acts much too soon.

5. Beyoncé & Tina Turner – “Proud Mary”

Tina Turner was winning Grammys long before Beyoncé became the most-nominated female artist in its history, and this performance shows that Turner never lost her touch. By the look on her face, Beyoncé seems just as in awe and humbled to be singing and dancing alongside the legend as were to be watching them.

Beyonce & Tina Turner from Ivan Tikvicki on Vimeo.

6. Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney – “Four Five Seconds”

By the time the Grammys rolled around in 2015, everyone already knew all the words to this song and the sing-along at the end of this video, sans instrumental accompaniment, echoed through Staples Center like a choir. Throughout the performance, Rihanna and West (currently nominated for 8 Grammys each) weaved around each other as legendary Beatle Paul McCartney played the guitar. It was fun, it was stylish and it was definitely memorable.

7. Kanye West - “Hey Mama”

Kanye West gave his most heartfelt and emotional performance at the 2008 Grammys when he sang “Hey Mama” after his mother, Donda West, passed away. The two were famously close and it’s hard to imagine this performance left a dry eye in the room. The most heartfelt part of the performance comes as West’s voice breaks at the start of this performance.

West has eight Grammy nominations this year.

8. Celine Dion – “My Heart Will Go On”

Celine Dion hardly got a rehearsal in for this last-minute performance, but she gracefully sang through her Titanic ballad with no trouble at all. Years later and we’re still crying every time this song reminds us of Leonardo DiCaprio.

9. Adele – “Rolling In The Deep”

We all know that Adele can sing, and we mean really sing. The real reason this performance stands out is because of the reactions her fellow artist in the audience had. Rihanna and Paul McCartney’s support was so genuine while the standing ovation left the powerhouse singer, also nominated for multiple Grammys this year, grinning ear to ear.

10. Aretha Franklin – “Nessun Dorma”

Luciano Pavarotti couldn’t make it to the Grammys, so Aretha Franklin agreed to fill in just 20 minutes before taking the stage. Instead of singing her own song, Franklin kept the scheduled opera classic on the roster. She stunned the audience with her vocal range and versatility, bringing everyone to their feet for a standing ovation.

11. Linkin Park, Jay Z & Paul McCartney – “Numb,” Encore” And “Yesterday”

When Jay Z wore a John Lennon shirt, he showed his respect for Paul McCartney’s fellow Beatle and foreshadowed McCartney’s surprise entrance. The collaboration between these musicians blended and bent the expectation of genres and made it a great moment in Grammy history.

12. Kelly Clarkson – “Because Of You”

Kelly Clarkson never stopped reminding us of how she won American Idol in 2002 and she snagged three Grammys since then. Here, Clarkson shows off her three-octave voice and it’s worth having a listen to.

Other noteworthy nominees this year include rock legend Jack White and the late music icon David Bowie