Music awards show must-see moments

3:06 PM, Aug 26, 2013   |    comments
An egg-like container with singer Lady Gaga inside arrives for the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 13, 2011.(Photo: Robyn Beck, AFP/Getty Images)
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Haley Blum, USA TODAY

At music awards shows, it's best to expect the unexpected, and Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards were no exception. Miley Cyrus (scaring the Smith family) twerked it in front of Robin Thicke, Kanye West's shadow performed and 'N Sync reunited in fangirl heaven.

So while we're still trying to process what exactly happened with Miley, here's a look back at other surprising moments (some mesmerizing, some just plain shocking) in music awards show history.

J... Whoa!

That dress. Jennifer Lopez showed up at the 2000 Grammy Awards in the revealing, neckline-below-the-navel green Versace silk chiffon gown with then-boyfriend Sean Combs ("Puff Daddy" at that point). Miraculously, J.Lo avoided a wardrobe malfunction, thanks to luck and probably a whole lot of tape. The much buzzed-about dress has gone down in fashion history - it has its own Wikipedia page.

Pink pulled off a high-flying performance of Glitter in the Air at the 2010 Grammys. The Cirque du Soleil-worthy act featured the singer twirling above the audience, suspended by a simple white sheet. The aerial acrobatics were well-received and would be quite hard to top. Once Pink was back firmly on her feet, everyone released a collective breath.

What came first, Lady Gaga or the egg?

We all had been wondering what she would do next, and how she would top her bizarre, artsy ensembles of awards shows past. It was no meat dress, but Lady Gaga did not disappoint in the weird department as she walked (rode?) the red carpet of the 2011 Grammys in a giant translucent egg, carried by hunky men in nude briefs. Later, she emerged from the egg in the opening of her performance of Born This Way. You do you, Gaga.

The exorcism of Nicki Minaj

Father, it has been one and a half years since our last confession-gone-wrong at an awards show, courtesy of Nicki Minaj and her alter ego Roman Zolanski at the 2012 Grammys. The exorcism-themed performance of Roman's Revenge featured a levitating Minaj, and the religious imagery received major backlash from critics, including the Catholic League, which wasn't thrilled when Minaj walked the red carpet earlier in the night in religious garb with a pope look-alike on her arm, either.

Rage against Limp Bizkit

At the now-legendary 2000 VMAs, nu-metal group Limp Bizkit was just trying to accept its award for best rock video. Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim C. was having none of that, so he climbed up a spiked structure on stage and began to rock back and forth. Frontman Fred Durst tried to continue his acceptance speech, but was understandably distracted and suggested that Tim C. "stage dive, man." The bassist, whose band was up against Limp for the award, was eventually escorted out in handcuffs by the police. "This guy is rock and roll. He should be getting the award," Durst said before awkwardly leaving the stage. Rock and roll, for sure.

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson smooch onstage

This couple clearly wasn't afraid of PDA, which the King of Pop and the Princess of Rock and Roll demonstrated at the opening of the 1994 VMAs. After being cheered on by the audience for more than a minute, MJ said, "I'm very happy to be here. And just think, nobody thought this would last," before planting one on then-wife Presley. Ultimately, it didn't last - the couple divorced in 1996.

Britney and Christina kiss up to Madonna

And then there's the other famous kiss(es). The pop-diva stars aligned at the 2003 VMAs as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera teamed up to duet Like a Virgin, soon joined by Madonna herself. The super-sultry performance peaked as the three sang Madonna's Hollywood with Madge locking lips with each of the pop stars. The camera conveniently cut away to Spears' ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake's stoic reaction.

'Imma let you finish'

And what would this list be without the 2009 moment Kanye West tore the mic away from Taylor Swift? The country-pop singer was accepting her first Moon Man for best female video when the rapper stormed the stage to proclaim that Beyoncé, who had also been up for the award, had "one of the best videos of all time." Bey, who later won video of the year, allowed Swift to use her acceptance time to finish the speech she had missed out on earlier in the night. Classy.

A sore loser?

Faith Hill was none too pleased when fellow country star Carrie Underwood beat her out for female vocalist of the year at the 2006 Country Music Awards. Or at least that's what it seemed when Hill mouthed "WHAT?"to the camera after Underwood's name was announced. Hill later said it was all just a joke and that she meant no disrespect toward Underwood.

 

Most Watched Videos