With a new decade of Video Music Awards approaching in less than a month, I think it’s time to look back at the best performances from the 2000s. Appropriately, I first tuned in to the VMAs in 2000, so these are my personal favorites from the past 10 years.
10. “Hips Don’t Lie”
This performance showcases everything I love about Shakira. I want my Shakira to embrace her Latin and Middle Eastern influences, not only because it sets here apart from the rest of the blonde pop stars, but because it's what she does best. Unfortunately, she ditched this schtick for "She Wolf" and went for a more sleek image and dance-oriented sound. This didn't work, but I have a feeling Shakira will be returning to her roots very soon, and I've heard we may even see it come to fruition at the VMAs...
Although this high-flying performance doesn't compare to her breathtaking rendition of "Glitter In the Air" at the Grammy Awards, it's still P!nk at her best. Many artists couldn't even stand in one spot without moving and sound this good, but P!nk does it with ease while flying throughout the air. I'm glad she is finally getting some more recognition for her performances, as she is easily one of the most versatile and talented performers.
8. "The Real Slim Shady"
I first watched the VMAs in 2000, and while it may be nostalgia at work, it still remains my favorite year for the award show. This is the first of two performances from that year. Who could forget the parade of Eminem look-a-likes busting through the doors of Radio City? This performance was a true testament to Eminem as more than just a rap artist, but a cultural icon. Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?
7. "Wall to Wall"/"Umbrella"/"Billie Jean"/"Kiss Kiss"
Chris Brown & Rihanna
Ah, happier times. Although Rihanna has gone on to become the bigger star, (which may or may not be due to an incident that occurred months after this collaboration) Chris Brown certainly stole the show with this performance. Although the 2007 VMAs were memorable for a few reasons, ("It's Britney, bitch" anyone?) I think this performance will actually be remembered for the right reasons.
6. "Since U Been Gone"
Although this is far from Kelly's best vocal performance, it doesn't matter. Kelly was the star of the 2005 VMAs and closed the show with this fun, soaking performance. Not only did she look great, but she truly commanded the stage. Kelly was definitely the "it" girl at the time and proved with this performance she was worthy of the title.
5. "Ring the Alarm"
While I have a feeling many people would choose Beyoncé's performances of "Baby Boy/Crazy In Love" or "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" from the VMAs, this was by far my favorite. Sasha Fierce truly came out in this one and she looked more than determined to ring the alarm on someone!
4. "Like a Virgin"/"Hollywood"
Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera & Missy Elliot
The best opening performance the VMAs have ever had. What happens when you put the two hottest female pop stars and the "Queen of Pop" herself on stage? This. The Britney and Madonna kiss (sorry Christina, but no one really even remembers you were there) is undoubtedly one of the most classic VMA moments in history. Even Missy Elliot popping out at the end makes sense, kind of. Well, it doesn't really matter--Britney and Madonna just kissed!
3. "I'm A Slave 4 U"
From the kiss to the snake, Britney has given always given the most memorable VMA performances. With "I'm a Slave 4 U", Britney proved she wasn't that innocent. While Miley tried to recreate this magic with "Can't Be Tamed", no one quite did the barely legal jungle princess like Britney. Plus, who else could pull off a giant, albino snake around their neck? Beyoncé would end up killing it to make a Deréon purse.
Last year, Lady GaGa brought the shock and awe back to the VMAs that had been missing since 2003, in my opinion. While this performance may have been slightly overshadowed by the infamous Taylor/Kanye moment, this was a career defining moment for GaGa. Supposedly she's not performing this year, which is both odd and disappointing given her record number of nominations…
1. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"/"Oops!… I Did It Again"
Out of all the performances on the list, this one surprisingly has the least theatrics. It's just Britney doing what she does best. In my opinion, this performance transcended Britney from bubblegum pop phenomenon to legitimate star. At only eighteen years old, she completely owned the stage and commanded attention. I haven't seen a performance since with so much pure charisma and drive. You can really see how bad Britney wanted it with this performance.