Britney Spears and Rihanna kicked off the Billboard Music Awards in head-turning fashion Sunday night (May 22), with a racy live performance of their “S&M” remix complete with bejeweled handcuffs, pole dancing and a playful pillow fight. Spears later rocked the stage with Nicki Minaj during the hip-hop star’s performance.
Rihanna, whose “S&M” single shot up to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after she teamed up with Spears for the remix, led the duet in an all-white, bondage-inspired outfit, as silver gloved hands emerged from the floor and dancers surrounded her.
Spears’ surprise collaboration with Rihanna was rumored all weekend long, but it wasn’t until the pop star appeared onstage wearing a black blindfold — another nod to the song’s sexually deviant theme — that it became official. After engaging in a little racy chair choreography, Spears and Rihanna ended the number with a side-by-side pole dance and pillow fight, which left the stars covered in feathers and even laughing.
Spears and Rihanna’s performance opened the BBMAS, airing tonight on ABC from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. Host Ken Jeong followed Brit and RiRi with a musical number featuring cameos by Nicki Minaj and Pat Monahan, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Taio Cruz won the first awards of the night — Billboard 200 Album Artist of the Year, Digital Artist of the Year and Hot 100 Song of the Year, respectively.
Spears later returned to assist Minaj’s nautical-themed performance, which began with the rapper’s pop-inflected new single “Super Bass” and segued into the remix of Spears’ “Till the World Ends.” Spears emerged onstage, high-fived Minaj and danced alongside the rapper and her backup dancers for the chorus of her latest hit.