Most iconic Billboard Music Awards performances

Harry Madden reflects on the most notable past performances of the Billboard Music Awards.


Francisconce, WikiMedia Commons, Creative Commons

A hologram of Michael Jackson made an appearance at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. This hologram performed his hit song “Slave to the Rhythm.”

Harry Madden, Staff Writer

The Billboard Music Awards are arriving once again on May 20th, and here are this year’s nominees and a look at the best BMA performances from previous years.

For this year’s list of nominees, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars all tied with the most nominations with fifteen each. They were all nominated for artist of the year as well; they will be competing with Taylor Swift, who had five nominations, and Drake, who had nine nominations. Other artists who came close to the top were Post Malone with 13 nominations, Imagine Dragons with 11 nominations, and Cardi B and Justin Bieber, who both received 8 nominations. For Best New Artist, 21 Savage, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Khalid, and Kodak Black were recognized. For the full list of this year’s BMA nominations, click here.

Before this year’s awards show airs, it’s always fun to take a look at the coolest performances through the history of the awards show.

  1. Mariah Carey “I Still Believe”

Back in 1999, Mariah Carey shook the audience, as usual, with an amazing performance of her song “I still Believe.”


  1. Rihanna “Love on the Brain”

During the 2016 BMA’s, Rihanna gave a powerhouse performance of her song “Love on the Brain,” which hadn’t received very much recognition at the time. The performance left the audience in awe, and was probably Rihanna’s best live vocal performance yet.


    3.  Bruno Mars “Treasure”

At the 2013 BMA’s Bruno Mars gave the audience a fun performance of his song “Treasure.” He had a stunning set-up, with a live band, and disco themed stage, which added throwback to the award show.


  1. P!nk “God is a DJ”

During the 2003 BMA’s P!nk performed her song “God is a DJ.” Throughout the performance the audience saw what P!nk was capable of vocally, and saw a choreography like no other.


  1. Michael Jackson hologram “Slave to the Rhythm”

Five years after Michael Jackson’s death, a hologram gave the illusion that he had returned to perform once again in 2014. He performed his hit song “Slave to the Rhythm,” from  the album “Xscape.”