In this day of autotunes and recorded mash up music, it’s really hard to figure out what good music is. One good indication can be the live performances of the artists. However, sometimes even the best in music can have a bad day or be ruined by technical difficulties during their performances. Now this one is a fun list that was inspired from an online forum. I came up with my own list of the mostly awkward, mostly messy but still entertaining (both in good and bad ways) that makes live performances still the best means to identify talent when you see one.
As always, click the name after the picture to lead you to the YouTube clip of the said performance.
In 2008, Christina Aguilera was out to promote her greatest hist album entitled A Decade of Hits. So technically, it is ideal that she’ll perform some of her most prominent hits together with the lead single. So yeah, she did Keeps Gettin Better. However, as the performance keeps gettin longer, the audience keeps gettin bored. It literally just won’t stop. By the time Dirrty was being performed, the audience was already up on their feet to an applause, only to find out it’s not yet over. By the time the performance was actually over, most of the audience were too lazy to stand up anymore.
Good Morning America has been the primary venue for performers to promote their latest singles and albums. In this one, Mariah Carey performers her lead single off her then latest album Touch My Body. But as soon as the music played, the song kept on skipping to reveal a recorded back track version of the song. It kept on repeating the next few seconds, though you have to commend Mimi for handling it like a pro so she moaned some of her classic “Oooohhh ooohhhh” until the DJ figured out what to do with the situation. But it was quite a bummer that even before the song started, it was already revealed that it was just a back track.
On the eve of her album launch, Lindsay Lohan visited Good Morning America too in order to promote her new album. She sang her song Rumors in front of mothers and their little kids who are still probably holding on to the fact that the girl in front of them is still the same from the twins in The Parent Trap. But once the music started, Lindsay started to dance herself awkwardly like a baby prostitute (Ooh Mean Girls reference. Sorry can’t help it!) The worst part started in the 2:07 mark when she started to miss her lines only to reveal that she was lipsynching all along. The camera kept on panning to the audience where you see the mothers and daughters whose faces were painted with Gotcha! The kid in 2:20 summed our expression all along.
Usually Saturday Night Live is what propels someone’s career to fully blast. Take the case of Adele whose Grammy victories in 2008 were credited to her huge exposure from her SNL performance during the middle of the Grammy voting that year. It seems another new artist was about to have the same fate… until the actual performance kicked in. Lana del Rey sang the song beautifully; however, she was standing like a dead log and her presence is that of watching paint dry. She then awkwardly turns and it gets less enthusiastic that it was just all kinds of awkward until the performance ended. General consensus was that it was not the sole reason why her career did not really went through as promise, but it gave the impression to casual listeners.
When performing Starships over at The Today Show, Nicki Minaj got so comfortably weird when she already missed the first line of the performance. Then she suddenly turned and made those weird faces as if she’s talking to a spirit in front of her. By 2:28, it seemed as if the spirit already possessed her as she shouts at the mic in a commanding voice then she showed you dance steps of what NOT to do in a Zumba class. Ah Nicki. How can one take thou seriously? LELZ.
Cassie is one of those one-hit wonders that tried to establish a career in the midst of the one named R&B female artists that were in demand during that time like Ashanti and Ciara. As much as Me and You was a catchy song, she can’t even catch a break with this performance. If not the DJ, the back up singers are overpowering her vocals here. Much to her chagrin, it was also the perfect metaphor to her career. Everyone upstaged her that her career did not sky rocket at all.
During the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards, Beyonce made a slight homage to the Queen of Pop Madonna by starting her performance with something similar to Material Girl. The performance will then cross over her Baby Boy performance. Everything is doing fine, and Sean Paul even appeared, but starting at 2:50, the prerecorded track started to skip and as much as Beyonce hoped it will soon be back so she danced for quite some time, even she gave up when the music kept on repeating to “Baby you;re so damn fine.. Oh!“. This led to an early exit by the pair with Sean Paul probably pissed as he tried to insert his rap thrice but to no avail, and he wasn’t able to perform at all except for his “Uhs.”
Firework is probably one of the most inspirational mainstream songs of the past few years. So it is just fitting that when Katy Perry performed it at the 2010 American Music Awards, she even had a children’s choir do it with her. Sad thing though was while Katy was coming down from below, Katy was struggling so hard not to reach the note, but any note AT ALL. You know it’s a bad performance when the kid choir who are supposed to guide you actually upstaged you. So the picture above is the one that depicts a woman of a real struggle.
Back in the 2000s, before she was even seen as a reality star, Jessica Simpson was actually a vocalist, and a good one at that. Among the four female youngsters of their era, Jessica was categorized into the vocalist category together with Christina Aguilera. However, even vocalists have bad days as well. During her performance of the emotional I Wanna Love You Forever, Simpson pulled in all the emotions needed. With that said, her vocals struggled come the bridge part and it was like hearing a goat to be killed. It was so embarrassing that even Jessica knew it and she couldn’t contain her tears (of embarrassment) in the end. She’s lucky to have a supportive audience though that they still gave her a standing O despite that disaster of a performance.
Speaking of Jessica, having messy live performances seem to be a hobby over at the Simpson household. This one is of her younger sister Ashlee. Performing in front of thousands of live viewers, Ashlee treated the fans of the Orange Bowl with her performance of her song Lala. It seems though that what the actual audience was hearing is what the whole of America is hearing as well. The moment she finished her performance, a resounding shouts of Boo was heard all over the place. Poor Ashlee. She was really rockin out to the song thinking she nailed this one.
In the only live performance of this collaboration,
vocal powerhouse Rihanna and Britney Spears did a live duet of S&M Remix over at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. The concept is probably yin-yang, battle of the better portrayal of a cheap slut or anything that’s opposite. Rihanna is in white while Britney is in black. They were both tied to chains in two adjacent poles. The funniest part of the performance (aside from Rihanna’s vocals, which was already a given) happened when Britney appeared hissing like a snake and then they started doing a pillow fight. It seems as if a) Britney was not informed, b) Britney was not interested c) Britney thought Rihanna was one of the dancers or d) all of the above. Rihanna was giving her best trying to create a fun pillow fight while Britney was really not into it at all. Spell awkwardddddddd.
In their live performance, 12 different female singers of different genres all came up with a wonderful idea to help raise finds for cancer survival. In theory, this is the project that is to die for. Nearly each and every female singer must be a part of this. But then again, watching the live performance of the song makes all the other female singers happy that they’re not a part of this collaboration. First, you have Beyonce’s hair. Second, Miley Cyrus waiting for Beyonce to look for her as she keeps on making all the cute faces starting at 0:25. Third, Rihanna obviously pissed she had to share all her parts with Miley Cyrus yet Miley gets the longer lines. Fourth, Mariah standing like a dead log only to have her microphone turned off when it was her part already. Ugh. This was just weird on so many levels.
There’s probably something about Good Morning America that makes singers go cray cray when they perform here. Now, in 2008, Fergie performed the Heart original Barracuda in front of the live studio audience. The Fergie Cray Cray Show started at 1:11 with Fergie touching herself. Then starting at 1:46, Fergie became a little too flirty and clingy to the lead guitarist by hanging on his keychain. Poor guitarist don’t know what to do and left in the middle. But wait, the best is yet to come because come 2:18, she started gyrating her body in front of the young kids in the audience. From then, there’s nothing stopping her and she gave cartwheels and crawled and shouted all in one. Whether she wasn’t laid by Josh Duhamel prior to that, no one can tell. Let’s just say we don’t think Fergie is a morning person.
It was supposed to be the performance that will have everybody raving. Well, it actually did… but for all the wrong reasons. Britney was probably at her lowest moment, and even she was not into it. Everything about it was really cringe worthy, and I felt that even she did not like to be there. She wasn’t dancing, she wasn’t even barely moving at all, and the whole audience from 50 Cent to Rihanna were also uncomfortable while watching. To give her credit though, Blackout was her best album to date.
Well you have to at least give credit to the 14 prior performances above because they had the balls to finish it. But the same can’t be said in this iconic SNL moment when the wrong song was played when Ashlee Simpson was “ready” to sing Pieces of Me. While waiting for the right song to be played, Simpson candidly showed some awkward dance movies which she thought was cool and would erase the readers’ perception regarding the mishap. So sad because not only did it fail to recover her performance, it basically was also the start of the demise of her music career.
What was your favorite from the list? Are they all bordering on embarrassing? I’d shamelessly admit that i was entertained by all of them though.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl