Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage
P!NK To Kendrick Lamar: 10 GRAMMY Performances That Rocked The 2010s
The sun is setting on the 2010s, and as we gear up for the 62nd GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 26, 2020, now is the perfect time to look back at a decade of unforgettable GRAMMY performances. From a death-defying aerial stunt to a mass on-stage wedding to a last-minute superstar tribute, here are 10 performances that rocked the GRAMMY stage in the 2010s.
P!nk, “Glitter In The Air (2010)
Visually, it's hard to think of a GRAMMY moment that sticks to the memory quite like watching P!NK soar above the audience at the 52nd GRAMMY Awards and doing suspended pirouettes while singing her hit, "Glitter In The Air." After the striking performance, the singer told Oprah, "I was a gymnast for eight years and I love acrobatics and I've always seen dancers do it behind the singer, but the singer's never done it, so . . . I thought, well, why can't I do it and sing?"
Beyoncé, “If I Were A Boy” & “You Outta Know” (2010)
A force of nature each time she takes the stage, Beyoncé pulled off an extra-powerful medley at the 52nd GRAMMYs, starting with a tender-turned-ruthless slaying of her hit "If I Were A Boy" and then showing off her rock chops by rocket-launching into an unfogettable version of Alanis Morissette's scornful "You Outta Know." After unleashing a full-blown headbang, Bey brought it back to "If I Were A Boy," closing her performance with a delicate reprise of the song, sealing the deal on a GRAMMY moment for the ages.
Mick Jagger & Raphael Saadiq, “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love,” tribute to Solomon Burke (2011)
It was hard to believe your eyes watching Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger dance on and on like the Energizer bunny during an inspired tribute to late soul master Solomon Burke. Brought to another level by the guitar work of Raphael Saadiq, the then-67-year-old Jagger dazzled the GRAMMY audience and would not quit, proving his dance moves and vocal chops are only getting better with age.
Jennifer Hudson’, "I Will Always Love You," tribute to Whitney Houston (2012)
The tragic death of vocal powerhouse Whitney Houston shook the music world to its core on Feb. 11, 2012. The very next day, at the 54th GRAMMY Awards, Jennifer Hudson delivered a last-minute, show-opening tribute to the late singer, taking on the daunting task of singing "I Will Always Love You," which became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. Hudson, who counted Houston as an inspiration and mentor, had received the GRAMMY for Best R&B Album three years earlier, presented to her by Houston.
Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder, "Get Lucky" Medley (2014)
In a funky mash-up of epic proportions, French duo Daft Punk invited legends Stevie Wonder and Nile Rodgers, plus hitmaker Pharrell Williams, to join them on-stage in a makeshift recording studio to perform the year's biggest hit, "Get Lucky." The dream team then spread the love around, transitioning into Chic's "Le Freak," Wonder's "Another Star" and even tossing in bits of Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" on their way to crafting a truly once-in-a-lifetime GRAMMY moment.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Same Love" (2014)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' unifying anthem "Same Love" served as the backdrop for 33 weddings during the 56th GRAMMY Awards. Officiated by Queen Latifah, the weddings included gay and straight couples. The performance also featured the one-and-only Madonna, Mary Lambert and Trombone Shorty in a celebratory moment of love and equality that many will never forget.
Juanes, "Juntos" (2015)
Colombian rock superstar Juanes turned heads at the 57th GRAMMY Awards, becoming the first artist in 10 years to perform a song on the GRAMMY stage in Spanish with his single "Juntos." Introduced by Golden Globe-winner Gina Rodriguez, the performance was the first in Spanish since Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony sang “Escapémonos” a decade earlier. Juanes was recently honored by the Latin Recording Academy as their Person Of The Year for his "creative artistry, unprecedented humanitarian efforts, support for rising artists, and philanthropic contributions to the world."
Kesha, "Praying" (2018)
Leading an incredible group of singers including Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, Andra Day and Bebe Rexha, Kesha made one of the most powerful statements of the Time's Up movement with her performance of "Praying" at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. Dressed in all white and introduced by Janelle Monáe with the powerful words, “We come in peace, but we mean business,” Kesha and crew sent a wave of uplifting support and inspiration to women everywhere.
“I just want to say that I needed this song in a very real way,” Kesha said following the historic performance. “I’m so proud and nervous and overwhelmed to be performing it at the GRAMMYs on Sunday, and if you need it I hope this song finds you.”
Kendrick Lamar, Opening Medley (2018)
Opening a GRAMMY telecast comes with a lot of pressure. Kendrick Lamar rose to the occasion in 2018, delivering a powerful medley with a message of his songs "XXX" and "DNA," plus his recent verses from Rich the Kid’s “New Freezer” and Jay Rock’s “King’s Dead.” Lamar enlisted help from U2's Bono and The Edge, as well as GRAMMY-winning comedian Dave Chappelle, who made two edgy and poignant interruptions, adding a touch of levity and comedy to an unforgettable GRAMMY moment. On a night where DAMN. earned him a total of seven nominations, to many, Lamar had already won the GRAMMYs just six minutes into the show.
Camila Cabello, Ricky Martin, J Balvin, Arturo Sandoval & Young Thug (2019)
One year after Lamar's opening statement, a trio of Latin artists kicked things off, officially ushering in the biggest Latin pop takeover in 20 years. Transporting the audience to Cuba, Cabello dropped the catchy hook to her hit "Havana" while navigating an elaborate two-story stage set. Young Thug, Ricky Martin, Arturo Sandoval, J Balvin and an electrifying crew of dancers would join Cabello on stage for Balvin's "Mi Gente," whipping up a tough-to-top opening number that had people all over the globe dancing.
Who will kick off the 2020s with unforgettable performances? Find out by tuning in to the 62nd GRAMMY Awards live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26, on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.