Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar & More of the Best Awards Show Performances Of 2018

Ariana Grande and Cardi B also made the list.

Awards shows are a time for artists to shine and showcase their live performance skills. They're also an opportunity to pull out all the stops and wow fans at home. And some of the biggest stars in the world did just that this year, with a wide array of fun and glossy dance numbers and serious sets taking on social issues.

One thing they all had in common was that they rocked the stage and got everyone talking.

Here are Billboard's top award show performances of 2018.

Taylor Swift at the AMAs - "I Did Something Bad"

Swift opened the AMAs with a fiery and fierce performance of "I Did Something Bad." From playing male dancers like violins on the smoke-filled stage to the giant snake that loomed over the set, this one kicked things off with a boom.

Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J. Balvin at the AMAs - "I Like It"

This trio had one of the most fun numbers of the year. The live band, vibrantly colored costumes colors and electrifying dancing lit up the stage. Cardi, though, stole the show with her high-energy moves and a bike ride across the stage.

Ariana Grande at the VMAs - "God is a Woman"

Grande's vocals on this song were so incredible people thought she might be lip-syncing at the awards show. Re-imagining Leonardo da Vinci's iconic The Last Supper as all-female, the pop star sang and danced across the stage and showed off her unbelievable range with a whistle note at the end. She even brought out her mother and grandmother to share the stage at the end in a sign of female solidarity.

Jennifer Lopez at the VMAs - Medley

Lopez was honored with the Video Vanguard Award for her work in music and film at this year's show. The 49-year-old star performed a medley of her hits including "Waiting for Tonight," "Get on the Floor," and "Love Don't Cost a Thing" that featured multiple costume changes and high-energy dance numbers that touched on pretty much every era of her career and proved that Jenny From the Block still has it, and more.

Kendrick Lamar at the Grammys - "XXX," "DNA," "New Freezer," "King's Dead" 

K-Dot opened this year's Grammys with a political performance addressing racial hostility in America featuring cameos from U2's Bono and the Edge. The most impactful moment came at the end, when the dancers dressed in red hoods were shot down one-by-one in a bracing statement about gun violence.

Kesha at the Grammys  - "Praying"

Kesha's performance will go down as one of the most powerful of 2018. Dressed in all-white and joined by fellow female singers including Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, Andra Day and Bebe Rexha, she took a stand against sexual assault. Singing with raw emotion, Kesha brought many to tears as she shared her truth and empowered message of forgiveness and strength.


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