Over the past 42 years, the American Music Awards have produced dozens of memorable performances, from the quiet grace of Madonna's duet with Babyface in 1995 to the controversial sexuality of Adam Lambert in 2009 to the historic collaboration of "We Are The World" in 1986. As we look forward to the 2014 American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 23, check out these 10 memorable moments in the show's history:
Beyonce - 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)' (2008)
Flanked by a pair of dancers just like in her "Single Ladies" music video, Beyonce shimmied and glimmered through the "Sasha Fierce" classic during the 2008 show. Moving her stunning body in a simple black-and-white outfit, Queen Bey effortlessly commanded the stage with some well-timed audience engagement and without any big-budget histrionics. Simply stated, it was a classic Beyonce performance in a long line of them, and had us pointing to our ring fingers by song's end.
Pink - "Try" (2012)
Re-creating the "Try" music video onstage was no easy task for P!nk, but she sure made it look easy. Simultaneously singing the heart-tearing single, contorting her body effortlessly alongside her male counterpart and avoiding the flames set to engulf their broken home, the pop star once again demonstrated a knack for understanding what is expected for an awards show performance, and then going five notches above that expectation.
Madonna and Babyface - 'Take a Bow' (1995)
Perched on adjacent platforms and backed by a full orchestra, Madonna and Babyface delivered their classic "Bedtime Stories" ballad with equal aplomb. Seventeen years later, the style battle is still difficult to judge -- but we'll give the slight edge to Kenneth Edmonds for rocking the no-fuss button-up. We have to give him something, since the telecast's cameraman certainly didn't give Babyface any extended airtime in this clip!
Britney Spears - 'I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman' (2002)
Remember when Britney Spears sang live? Perhaps you don't. Then let's take a YouTube-authorized time machine back one decade, to a time when Brit slayed "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" at the 2002 American Music Awards. With beau Justin Timberlake watching on and footage from "Crossroads" (!) playing behind her, Spears showcased her vocal prowess -- check out that emotional finale! -- while sporting a tasteful evening gown. Sing your heart out, Brit.
'We Are The World' (1986)
"It was a song, it was an idea, and it was a prayer that was heard around the world," Diana Ross told the audience at the 1986 AMAs of "We Are The World," the African famine relief charity single that was the result of a stunning collaborative effort between pop music's biggest stars. After honoring Harry Belafonte with a special award of appreciation, a slew of the "World" performers, including Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen, came onstage for a once-in-a-lifetime performance.