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The Top 10 Most Memorable Grammy Performances, 2000-2012

Michelle Tiu |
February 4, 2013 | 9:49 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

As the 55th Grammys approach, we look back at some memorable performances of the 2000s. (grammy.com)
As the 55th Grammys approach, we look back at some memorable performances of the 2000s. (grammy.com)
Since its first ceremony in 1959, the Grammys have recognized the achievements of the most talented in the music industry. The Grammys have also become the stage on which artists announce their comebacks, reunions, and pay tribute to loved ones and idols through live performance.

This year on Sunday, February 10 marks the celebration of the 55th Grammy Awards. As we await the undoubtedly incredible performances of Mumford & Sons, Elton John and Ed Sheeran, Carrie Underwood, and more, we take a look back at some of the most memorable Grammy performances of the 2000s.

"Stan," Eminem and Elton John (2001)

This performance was one that was initially fraught with controversy, as Eminem received much criticism for his violent and hateful lyrics on the Grammy Award nominated "The Marshall Mathers LP" (2000). People even stood outside the Staples Center protesting the album's nomination in the Best Rap Album of the Year category.

Refuting his reputation as a homophobe by the LGBT community, the rapper asked Elton John--one of the most famous out-and-proud gay activists ever--to perform a haunting rendition of "Stan" with him at the 2001 Grammys. 

Their close friendship since then (Eminem turned to John for help while he was in rehab overcoming his drug addiction) has only continued to prove that while Eminem may be many things, a homophobe he is not.

"Lady Marmalade," Christina Aguilera, P!nk, Mya, Lil Kim, and Patti LaBelle (2002)

What happens when you put some of the greatest pop stars of our generation and music veteran Patti LaBelle together?

Apparently, an amazing rendition of "Lady Marmalade" by seventies girl group LaBelle complete with costumes reminiscent of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film "Moulin Rouge!," the soundtrack on which the disco hit was covered by Christina Aguilera, P!nk, Mya, Lil Kim, and Missy Elliott.

"Feel Good Inc. / Hung Up," Gorillaz, De La Soul, and Madonna (2006)

In an amazing show of how far technology has come, the 48th Grammys didn't even open up with real performers. 

Instead, the audience saw 3D holograms of the Gorillaz and a pre-filmed Madonna before being joined by the real Material Girl and De La Soul for an exciting mash up of the Gorillaz's Grammy Award nominated "Feel Good Inc." and Madonna's "Hung Up."

"Numb / Encore / Yesterday," Linkin Park, Jay-Z, and Paul McCartney (2006)

Linkin Park has always been known for their unique blend of metal and hip hop--though they've steered away from this on some of their later albums. 

However, the So Cal rockers took it to the next level when they collaborated with Jay-Z on "Collision Course" (2004), mashing up songs from "Meteora" (2003) and "Hybrid Theory" (2000) with some of the Brooklyn rapper's greatest hits.

As the two acts flawlessly transitioned into The Beatles' "Yesterday," older fans cheered as Paul McCartney took to the Grammys stage for the first time as a live performer. 

This performance goes down in history as one of the most impressive and most unique--two of the most popular acts of our generation from two totally different genres working with one of the greatest musicians of the sixties? Who saw that coming?

"Proud Mary," Tina Turner and Beyonce (2008)

Like the collab between Linkin Park, Jay-Z, and Paul McCartney, this performance at the 50th Grammys saw Beyonce and Tina Turner, stars of two different generations, come together for an amazing high-energy rendition of the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit famously covered by Ike and Tina Turner in the seventies.

As her official comeback after retiring in 2000, Turner proved to fans everywhere that she still had the energy to perform, leading to the start of her incredibly successful Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour in October.

"15 Step," Radiohead and the Spirit of Troy (2009)

Though the English alternative rock band has been recognized for their talent with multiple Grammy Awards and nominations, they had never appeared as live performers until 2009 when they performed their "In Rainbows" (2007) hit, "15 Step."

And of course, we can't forget that our very own USC marching band, the Spirit of Troy, got to take part in this amazing part of Grammy and Radiohead history.

"You Pulled Me Through," Jennifer Hudson (2009)

Watch it here.

This performance is one with a tragic history as only a few months earlier did the "Dreamgirls" star's mother, brother, and nephew were murdered.

Making her first public appearance after the loss of her family members only days before as a performer at the 43rd Super Bowl, Hudson delivered a heart wrenching rendition of her song, "You Pulled Me Through."

You couldn't help but tear up and admire her strength and resilience in the face of such a tragedy.

"Glitter In the Air," P!nk (2010)

Well known for her aerial stunts, the pop rock singer impressed audience members with yet another incredible acrobatic routine for "Glitter In the Air," a song off of her fifth studio album, "Funhouse" (2008).

Her, uh, outfit (if you could even call it that) is just as memorable, but perhaps for different reasons…

"Rolling In the Deep," Adele (2012)

Although this was not Adele's first appearance at the Grammys (she was nominated and performed "Chasing Pavements" at the 51st Grammys), this performance was especially important as it marked her triumphant comeback after canceling two tours due to a vocal cord hemorrhage and undergoing surgery in order to avoid permanent damage to her voice in 2011.

The whole night was memorable for the English singer as she won in all six categories she was nominated, tying her with Beyonce for most awards won by a female artist at one Grammys ceremony.

"I Will Always Love You," Jennifer Hudson (2012)

The 54th Grammys were also marked by a somber tone as Whitney Houston - one of the most iconic voices in music - passed away the day before the ceremony.

Although incredibly short notice, the show's producers put together a fitting tribute to the R&B and soul singer with yet another moving performance by Jennifer Hudson. This time, she sang Houston's unforgettable 1992 hit "I Will Always Love You."

Reach Staff Reporter Michelle Tiu here, follow her on Twitter, or circle her on Google+.



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