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Grammys 2015: 9 Best Music Performances Of Years Past

Joyce Jude Lee |
February 5, 2015 | 10:38 p.m. PST

Music Editor

The Grammys 2015 are taking place this Sunday (Facebook/The GRAMMYs)
The Grammys 2015 are taking place this Sunday (Facebook/The GRAMMYs)
We all tune in to the Grammys to see who will take home the most coveted awards, but the highlights of the show are usually the performances. Stars like Sam Smith, Hozier, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga and many others are scheduled to perform alongside legends like Annie Lennox and Tony Bennett. To help you get excited about Sunday's festivities, we've chosen nine of the best performances of years past for you to watch before the show.

READ MORE: Grammys 2015: Predicting 'Record Of The Year'

Michael Jackson (1988)

The late and great Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, and no one will replace him (not for a long time, anyway). Performing a medley of "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Man In The Mirror," MJ is one of those artists that can just make the folks watching feel like they could change the world. Unsurprisingly, Jackson got a very long standing ovation from the crowd after he sung and danced his heart out on that stage. 

Lady Gaga and Elton John (2010)

When two of the most brilliant and eccentric artists in the industry come together, you only expect the best. Lady Gaga and Elton John teamed up for the 52nd Grammys, singing "Poker Face," "Speechless" and "Your Song". Smoke, dancing, glitter and vocals to die for; these two know how to put on a remarkable performance. 

Kanye West and Daft Punk (2008)

When Kanye released "Strong" as a single, it quickly spread across the world like wildfire. It only seemed natural that he would pair up with Daft Punk, who is sampled on the track, but no one really knew when that was going to happen until they came together for the Grammys and delivered a solid performance of the song. Gotta love a bit of good ol' Kanye. 

Lady Gaga (2011)

Lady Gaga arrived in an egg (nay, vessel) to the Grammy Awards in 2011. Odd, yes, but you have to give her some props for committing to such a feat out of respect for her art. Coming out of the vessel to open the awards, Gaga delivered an unforgettable and empowering performance of "Born This Way." 

Adele (2012)

If you watched the Grammys in 2012, you'll remember this performance. Yes, we have Sam Smith now, but the industry longs for Adele's return. Performing "Rolling In The Deep," Adele proved that her voice isn't going anyway despite a career threatening throat surgery. The first note she hits while starting off the song a capella manner is enough to send chills down your spine. 

Radiohead and The USC Marching Band (2009)

Thom Yorke and Radiohead may turned the music industry on its head by offering their music on torrent services, but boy they can put on a show. That's exactly what they did at the Grammys in 2009. So you might think that we're biased for choosing a performance with the USC Marching Band, but this performance of "15 Steps" is brilliant and one-of-a-kind. 

Jay-Z, Kanye, Lil Wayne, M.I.A., T.I (2009)

Another number featuring Kanye in 2009 was one of the best rap performances in the 21st century. A very pregnant M.I.A. strutted onto the stage with as much confidence as any of her male counterparts, who later joined her to deliver an epic performance that was dripping with swagger.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Madonna (2014)

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" is one of those songs that is so much more than itself. It's part of a movement, and at the Grammys in 2014, the Seattle duo brought that movement to the stage, delivering a heartwarming and stunning rendition of their single. Their performance acted as a backdrop to the marriages of gay couples after gay marriage was legalized in California. Administered by Queen Latifah, the ceremony was heart wrenching and even featured Madonna chiming in a few lines from her song "Open Your Heart." By the end of the performance, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Jennifer Hudson (2012)

Grammy award winner Jennifer Hudson may be the only person who could have properly honored the late Whitney Houston at the Grammy Awards in 2012. The awards show planning must have been chaotic as Houston died an untimely death the day before the awards, but producers were absolutely correct in choosing Hudson to deliver an emotional tribute to the Queen of Soul. As they say, "The show must go on."

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