Every year at the end of summer, MTV hosts the Video Music Awards, all an out spectacle celebrating the best music videos of the past year. Each year the VMAs turn out some of the most exciting and theatrical performances.

With this year’s awards show airing tonight, I decided to compile a list of my personal favorite VMA performances. Keep in mind I have a thing for female artists, drama, powerful voices, and train wrecks.

10. Beyonce – Love on Top (2011)

We’ll kick things off with last year’s Beyoncé performance of Love On Top. I’m a huge sucker for key changes and this song has like 172 of them so right out of the gate this one gets me. Second off, who doesn’t love her silly pregnancy(real or fake) announcement?

9. Janet Jackson – Scream (2009)

Janet Jackson was everything at the 2009 VMAs with her performance of Scream. Still reeling from the death of her brother she turned out a fierce performance, even if it was lip synced. Watching Janet dance in sync with Michael on the screen behind her was amazing and inspiring!

8. Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, P!nk, Mya – Lady Marmalade (2001)

Let’s be honest. This is Christina’s song. Everybody knows it. She has the best voice of the bunch and she delivered in 2001 when the girls performed Lady Marmalade. The costumes, the choreography, the intro from Nicole Kidman. I love it.

7. Guns n’ Roses – Closing Medley (2002)

Okay. Train wrecks. Jimmy Fallon’s excited intro was so great, and the show was an incredible let down. Hearing the opening riff to Welcome to the Jungle gave me chills. Axl Rose was a joke. Full Stop.

6. Britney Spears – Slave 4 U (2001)

Who doesn’t remember this performance? Girl looked the best she ever has. The choreography was spot on… and then there’s the boa. She dances with a freakin’ boa constrictor around her neck. I know I’m a massive Britney fan so I’m totally biased but i LOOOOVE this performance.

5. Beyoncé – Single Ladies (2009)

“Beyoncé had one of the best videos of ALL TIME.” Admit it, you tried to learn the Single Ladies dance too. UGHHH the ending… With all of them doing the dance. I basically peed my pants.

4. Adele – Someone Like You (2011)

What is there to say about this performance? It speaks for itself. Adele proves yet again that you don’t need a show to make a performance great. With her incredible voice, she held the whole room’s attention for the entire duration of the song.

3. Britney Spears – Gimme More (2007)

Again. Train Wrecks. I love love love Britney Spears and can assure you I was looking forward to this performance just as much as Chris Crocker… Huge let down. Her extensions, her fake contacts, her outfit, her dancing. It was all awful and i STILL love this performance. Blackout was probably my favorite Britney era. The fact that the album was even released while she was in that state is an accomplishment in my book.

2. Lady Gaga – Paparazzi (2009)

Again, another performance that speaks for itself. This was the moment I knew Lady Gaga was a force to be reckoned with. She sings live and sounds amazing. She manages to do her choreography while still singing live. And it concludes the over dramatic and theatrical ending that we’ve come to expect from this woman.

1. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Missy Elliot – Like a Virgin, Hollywood Medley (2003)

THE KISS. THE KISS. Seriously this performance has to top my list off. It has everything. Divas, voices, drama. EVERYTHING.The queer eye guys, the look on Justin’s face, Paris and Nicky, the standing ovation for Madonna. Oh my god I can’t talk enough about how much I loved this performance. Madonna comes up from that cake looking like she owns the world. The only thing I would have taken out of this performance is Missy Elliot at the ending. I didn’t get that part.

Some that didn’t make the cut were Madonna in 1984 and 1990, Nirvana in 1992 and Michael Jackson in 1995 but I was barely alive during those performances so I left them out.

Anyways, those are my top 10 favorite VMA performances. What are yours?

What Is Your Favorite MTV VMA Performance?

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