With the Grammy Awards just days away, who knows what the award show has in store this year. Before Katy Perry, Sara Bareilles and more hit the stage at the Grammys, we’re looking back at song of the greatest pop performances in recent years:
1. Jennifer Hudson’s Tribute to Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston tragically passed away just one day before the Grammys in 2012, leaving producers scrambling to put together a fitting tribute. Yet they pulled it off in spades, with “American Idol” alum Jennifer Hudson performing a stunning performance of Whitney’s timeless classic “I Will Always Love You.” Though nobody could ever replace her, it was the perfect way to honor the seven-time Grammy winner.
2. Can’t “Forget” Cee Lo Green & Gwyneth Paltrow
On a lighter note, Cee Lo Green performed his hit “Forget You” at the 2011 Grammys, dressing in a colorful peacock-esque outfit as he rocked out at his piano. But we can’t “forget” his co-stars for his performance, as his chorus was made up of Muppets. But that’s not all: Gwyenth Paltrow came out on stage halfway through to duet him after covering that song while guest starring on “Glee.” Rarely have the Grammys been so silly and grand.
3. Lady Gaga & Elton John Render Us “Speechless”
Elton John has had a number of great Grammy moments, but few can match his energy like Lady Gaga. Gaga, who is the godmother of Elton’s kids, hit the stage with him for a wild medley of “Poker Face,” “Speechless” and “Your Song” in 2010. The performance was not only great fun to watch, but it was also a sign of great things to come, namely Elton and Gaga’s dueling pianos performance on her recent Thanksgiving special.
4. An All-Star Performance of “Lady Marmalade”
The Grammy Awards have always been big on duets, but in 2002, five of the music industry’s biggest stars came together for a wild performance of “Lady Marmalade.” Featuring P!nk, Mya, Christina Aguilera and Lil Kim, the performance was in a large part a recreation of their successful music video. But they upped the ante by bringing original singer Patti LaBelle onstage at the end to bring down the house.
5. Adele’s Triumphant Return
2012 was a great year for Adele. After a vocal issue forced her out of the game for a bit of 2011, she made her return to the stage in 2012 with a live performance at the Grammys. Proving she was back and better than ever, she sang a flawless of rendition of “Rolling in the Deep,” earning a standing ovation and going on to win each of the six categories she was nominated in, including “Album of the Year.”