Watch: 10 Best Grammy Awards Performances of All-Time

By: Cory Lopez / February 7, 2013

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Over the years, the Grammy Awards have shifted focus of its annual show.

While there will always be much ado about the handing out of the golden gramophones, much of the Grammys spotlight is now placed on the performances.

Take last year’s telecast for example: the three-and-a-half-hour ceremony featured a whopping 19 performances, while the show dropped the number of award categories to just 78, compared with the more than 100 of years past

And the 55th annual Grammy Awards are gearing up to be no different. Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson and Sting were all added to the bill of performers on Monday, joining already-announced Justin Timberlake, The Black Keys, fun., The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Jack White, Elton John, Alicia Keys, Dierks BentleyMiranda Lambert, Maroon 5 and Ed Sheeran.

But before millions tune into those artists on music’s biggest night this Sunday, Celebuzzis looking back at some of the best acts to grace the Grammys stage.

From the King of Pop to a soul diva duet, relive the top 10 best performances in the award show’s history.

Janet Jackson (1987)
Though she didn’t take home the Album of the Year trophy for Control, Janet Jackson left her mark on the Grammy ceremony with her show-stopping performance. With the help of her Flyte Time crew and some Paula Abdul choreography, the singer stepped out of the shadow of her larger-than-life big brother, Michael Jackson, with this stirring rendition of “What Have You Done For Me Lately.”

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Michael Jackson (1988)
Beginning with just a mic and his dancing shoes, the King of Pop wowed with a slowed-down version of “The Way You Make Me Feel,” before slipping into “Man in the Mirror,” with the aid of a full gospel choir accompanying him.

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Whitney Houston (1994)
As one of the most successful female singers of all time, Whitney Houston needed no more than her vocal chords to bring down the house at the Grammy Awards with a booming rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” The Bodyguard soundtrack tune went on to snag Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the ceremony. After this goosebumps-giving rendition, it’s easy to see why.

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Eminem and Elton John (2001)
As critics slammed his The Marshall Mathers LP lyrics as homophobic, Eminem took the Grammy stage with out-and-proud musician Elton John, a longtime supporter of the rapper, for a duet of “Stan” that left people’s jaws agape.

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Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil Kim, Mya, Patti Labelle (2002)
After remaking the Labelle classic for the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil Kim and Mya were joined on stage legendary singer Patti Labelle for an elaborate glitz-and-glam version of the No. 1 cover of the iconic disco song, “Lady Marmalade.”

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U2 and Mary J. Blige (2006)
After U2 opened with “Vertigo,” Mary J. Blige stole to center stage, emotionally belting out her high notes on “One” alongside frontman Bono, offering for a moving performance of the remake that received a Grammy nod for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

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Kanye West (2005)
Opening with a preacher delivering a sermon from a pulpit, Kanye West strode out onto a stage set up like a church, complete with rows of parishioners. As the rapper spit lines like, “My mama used to say only Jesus can save us,” the churchgoers bounced to the beat in their seats before rising to their feet for the chorus.

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Beyonce and Tina Turner (2008)
After more than seven years away from the stage, Tina Turner teamed up with fellow soul diva Beyoncé for a powerful duet of her classic, “Proud Mary.” Introducing the icon to the stage, Bey praised Turner as a “legend” who embodies all “the glamour, the soul, the passion, the strength, the talent” of some of music’s most famed female performers.

Chris Martin and Jay-Z (2009)
Before Jay-Z and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin’s musical collaborations turn into a full-blown bromance, the rapper joined the pop-rocker on music’s biggest stage for a stripped down version of “Lost.” After Martin began the song solo, plunking at a colorfully-painted piano, Jay-Z emerged from the darkness to drop his rap verse. It proved a moment of magical music fusion.

Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx, (2005)
As she was riding high on “If I Ain’t Got You” and he was garnering praise for a now Oscar-winning performance in Ray, Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx joined forces on the Grammys stage to pay tribute to rhythm and blues legend Ray Charles. “For an old friend,” Foxx said, fingering the keys of the piano as he and Keys slid into the harmonies of “Georgia,” back by a full orchestra.

What was your favorite performance in Grammy Awards history? Share in the comments below.