When someone asks you which Grammy performances stick out in your mind as being the best of the best of the new millenium, which ones do you call to mind? Here’s a list of some of our favorites.
You’d be hard-pressed to top Pink’s astounding aerialist performance in 2010 to the tune of her own “Glitter in the Air.” Everything about this performance made you stop and watch, from the opening soft lighting on P!nk’s sweetly hooded face, to her seriously toned bod, to the glitter and striped-filled tan bodysuit that showed off her tats as she was helped into the harness that would take her several feet above the audience (was that Dreya from the P90X videos helping her in?). And that’s when her performance truly began and our adoration for her grew. After serenading us with the beautifully vulnerable and pain-soaked lyrics of her touching ballad, P!nk forewent singing for a bit, knowing we’d be too distracted by the sight of her twirling around and around...and around…her very safety dependent on the aerialists who were holding onto her harness. When she was then dipped into a vat of water and raised back up to coat the audience in a fine spray as she twirled, she went right back to singing her song. Take that, lip-syncers!
Backstreet Boys (2000)
It was only fitting that the Boys’ performance at the 2000 Grammy’s so closely matched in quality their sound at the time, having just recently released their smash album Millenium, which went on to become one of the best-selling records in the history of music and still holds the record for most album shipments in one year (11 million in 1999). The Boys performed a medley of some of the most popular R&B songs (The Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” and Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You” were in there) before launching into their own “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely.” This is one of the Boys’ best live performances, as their harmonious voices perfectly complemented the R&B tracks they were covering, which so fluidly segued into their own “Lonely.” They also looked pretty damn dapper which, if you consider those supremely weird blue outfits they were wearing on their Into the Millenium tour (what were those things? Blue football vests?), it was a welcome change, though not an unfamiliar one for the usually well-dressed Boys. This performance solidified the group as one based on vocal harmony, as opposed to ‘N Sync who were more about putting on a great show.
Lady Gaga and Elton John (2010)
Everyone makes a big deal out of the Eminem and Elton John team-up in 2001, but that seemed at the time, and still does now, like a textbook case of forced repentance. The far better Elton John collaboration came nine years later when he took the Grammy stage with Lady Gaga. These two are basically the same person, so it’s all too perfect that they ended up briefly sharing a piano. It was like the metaphorical handing down of the pop crown from Madonna to Britney and Christina, without all the kissing. The fact that they even wore matching goofy glasses made us squeal with delight. No two musical celebs were ever better matched. You didn’t even have to hear them perform to appreciate this pairing.