26 Iconic VMA Performances You’ll Remember Forever

Originally posted on BuzzFeed.com

In the midst of one of the craziest award shows of the year, let’s remember the greats.

1. Britney Spears – “I’m A Slave 4 U,” 2001 VMAs

A true goddess walked among us that day, and still walks among us today. We were blessed with this snake performance, and the world WILL NEVER FORGET.

2. Justin Timberlake – Vanguard Award Performance, 2013

In a single moment, the entire world collectively sobbed at the glorious reunion of NSYNC. And JT was serving dance moves for days.

3. Mariah Carey – “Shake It Off” / “We Belong Together,” 2005

Anthems of the year and the century, TBH.

4. Beyoncé – “Ring The Alarm,” 2006

Beyoncé *literally* fights the police in this performance. She gave tooth and nail to serve you desperate housewife realness.

5. Guns N’ Roses featuring Elton John – “November Rain,” 1992

OK honestly just look at this collaboration. HONESTLY.

6. Lady Gaga – “Paparazzi,” 2009

Classic Gaga at her best. The voice, the costumes, the blood dripping from her eyes. EVERYTHING.

7. Shakira – “Hips Don’t Lie,” 2006

The hips that launched a thousand ships and a thousand memes.

8. Britney Spears and NSYNC – “Baby One More Time” / “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” 1999

This changed us all in a matter of minutes. Serving metallic pants, killer hair, and boy band outfits, Britney and the boys destroyed lives with this performance.

9. Drake – “Hold On, We’re Going Home” / “Started From the Bottom,” 2013

Admit it, you cried from enjoyment and sexual frustration. YAAAS, AUBREY.

10. Christina Aguilera – “Come On Over” / “Livin’ It Up,” 2000

The purple tips, the dance break, and Fred Durst? This is so ’00s it hurts. It hurts sooooo good.

11. Pussycat Dolls – “When I Grow Up,” 2008

The day thousands of us went “Ohhhh, those lyrics are, ‘I wanna have groupies.’”

12. Beyoncé – Vanguard Award Performance, 2014

Beyoncé served her whole album in 15 minutes and reminded people there can only be one Queen Bey.

13. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora – “Livin’ On A Prayer” / “Wanted Dead Or Alive, 1989

This is the epitome of rock and roll.

14. Sisqo – “Thong Song,” 2000

Petition for this song to be awarded “Song of the Millenium,” anyone?

15. Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys – “Empire State of Mind,” 2009

A whole new generation of wannabe New Yorkers came from this performance.

16. R. Kelly – “Trapped in the Closet,” 2005

This. Is. So. Important. R. Kelly does things his own way, and rocked thousands of people in one night.

17. Missy Elliot ft. Nelly Furtado, Ludacris, and Trina – “Get Ur Freak On,” 2001

The camouflage suit says it all.

18. Kanye West – “Love Lockdown,” 2008

Who doesn’t remember screaming this at the top of their lungs?

19. Coldplay – “The Scientist,” 2003

JT’s introduction says it all: one of the greatest bands in the world.

20. Rihanna – “Pon De Replay,” 2005

Baby Rihanna gave you everything she had and more.

21. Run-D.M.C. ft. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry – “Walk This Way,” 1987

Why don’t we talk about this more? Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith? This is more than classic.

22. Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz – “Get Low,” 2003

If anything were to describe middle school dances, it would be this performance.

23. Green Day – “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” 2005

This opening number choice was pure fire. A+, VMA people.

24. Kelly Clarkson – “Since U Been Gone,” 2005

Baby Kelly Clarkson is everything and the outfit is everything we still aspire for.

25. Fergie – “London Bridge,” 2006

Fergie changed the music scene with this song. Iconic times infinity.

26. Michael Jackson – Medley, 1995

He was and always will be the King of Pop.

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