On Sunday night (February 13), the 53rd Grammy Awards unleashed a series of extra-memorable moments, including multiple wins by Lady Gaga and Eminem, Arcade Fire’s upset victory in the Album of the Year category and some amazing presenter pairings (including the tag team of Selena Gomez and Donnie Wahlberg). But the biggest headlines came out of the cavalcade of performances over the course of the show’s three-and-a-half hours, including stunning presentations from artists both young (Arcade Fire, Muse, Justin Bieber) and less young (Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Barbra Streisand).
Though most everybody put forth an astounding effort during the show, which performance stood tallest as the evening’s best? Here’s a reminder of what you might have missed.
Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Florence Welch, Martina McBride and Yolanda Adams
The evening kicked off with a tribute to Aretha Franklin, care of some of the biggest voices in pop music. Welch was especially electric, proving that she belonged alongside the rest of the divas.
Her royal weirdness did not disappoint, as her performance of “Born This Way” featured some killer dance movies and an even deadlier pipe organ solo.
The winners of the Best Rock Album award tore through yet another smoking version of “Uprising.”
B.o.B, Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae
In what might have been the night’s most eclectic performance, Mars proved himself to be one of the hardest-working guys in the business, as he moved from piano to vocals to drums.
The night’s biggest winners not only delivered their smash “Need You Now” (for the second straight year) but also paid tribute to Teddy Pendergrass.
Country’s next big crossover sensation proved why she was about to pop with a smooth take on her “The House That Built Me.”
Justin Bieber, Usher and Jaden Smith
Bieber certainly had a big weekend, as not only did his movie rake in $30 million but he also performed a jumpy version of “Never Say Never” with Smith. Usher’s “OMG” was just icing on the cake.
Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons and Avett Brothers
Roots rock lived as two of the indie world’s grittiest acts laid out some sweet musicianship before everybody jammed on Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm” (complete with always-excellent harmonica solo).
Cee Lo Green, Gwyneth Paltrow and the Muppets
Two words: Peacock suit. Also: Muppets!
In the evening’s most surprisingly thrilling performance, the Rolling Stones frontman made his Grammy debut in a tribute to late soul legend Solomon Burke.
John Mayer, Keith Urban and Norah Jones
In an impromptu performance, Mayer, Urban and Jones laid out a quick, spry version of “Jolene” as a tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award winner Dolly Parton.
The legendary diva brought back “Evergreen,” which won a Grammy way back in 1978.
In a performance dedicated to “all the Valentine lovers,” Perry proved she could hold her own both as a balladeer and as a sugar-coated pop princess.
Eminem, Rihanna and Dr. Dre
Dre’s return to the Grammy stage was epic, as “Love the Way You Lie” gave way to “I Need a Doctor.”
Rihanna and Drake
Rihanna pulled double duty on Sunday night, as her second performance (this time with Drake on “What’s My Name”) was just as passionate as her turn on “Love the Way You Lie.”
Just before they won Album of the Year, Arcade Fire delivered a sweaty, ballsy performance accompanied by a bunch of guys on BMX bikes.
So which one was the best? Vote in the poll below and leave your arguments in the comments!