Before the 2013 BBMAs hit Las Vegas on May 19, check out 15 of the most memorable moments from the show's history
Jordin Sparks & John Legend (2012)
Held three months after the tragic death of Whitney Houston, the 2012 BBMAs paid tribute to the dearly departed singer with performances from John Legend and Jordin Sparks. On piano, Legend opened up the emotional, orchestra-backed performance with a poignant rendition of "Greatest Love of All." Sparks then added an impassioned rendition of the Houston standard "I Will Always Love You" that brought the house down.
R. Kelly (2005)
R. Kelly slowed things down when he gave a poolside performance at the 2005 BBMA ceremony, but his take on "Slow Wind" was one of the most passionate performances in the show’s history. "You're a Jamaican queen, oh yeah!/I'm an American king," the R&B royal sang while staring down the camera at the end of the clip, after getting dozens of beautiful women to sway seductively in place.
Britney Spears (2001)
Britney Spears opened up the 2001 BBMAs in marvelously sexy fashion with a performance of her Neptune-produced hit "I'm a Slave 4 U." For the live rendition, Spears and her ensemble pulled off the dance routine on a stage set inside the famous fountains of the Bellagio Hotel, as massive water jets shot off in the background. It doesn’t really get more Vegas than that.
Mariah Carey (1999)
In one of a lifetime's worth of powerhouse performances, Mariah Carey took the Billboard Music Awards stage in 1999 to gracefully deliver her ballad "I Still Believe." Afterward, she was joined by Queen Latifah and Stevie Wonder, the latter of whom told her, "We gotta sing together!
After helping put St. Louis hip-hop on the map, Nelly helped bring some sharp storytelling to the 2004 Billboard Music Awards. During his performance of "N Dey Say," Nelly sat on a stool and recounted stories of single mothers, homeless men and street hustles that were played out by actors next to him. The payoff? A unified group clapping along to the beat at the end.