10 of the most memorable moments in Billboard Music Awards history

JB Lacroix/WireImage/GettyPink performed in front of fire at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.
  • The 2019 Billboard Music Awards is scheduled to air live on Wednesday, May 1.
  • Taylor Swift, BTS, Mariah Carey, Madonna, and many more artists are slated to perform during the annual award show.
  • From Céline Dion’s rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” to Britney Spears and Rihanna’s “S&M” performance, here are some of the most memorable moments in the history of the award show.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

When the 2019 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) air live on Wednesday, some of the biggest names in music are sure to debut some unforgettable fashions and put on some memorable performances that viewers won’t be able to stop talking about for years to come.

Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie are slated to kick off the show and viewers can also expect to see performances from stars like Madonna, BTS, the recently-reunited Jonas Brothers, Halsey, Mariah Carey, and Kelly Clarkson – who is hosting the ceremony for the second year in a row.

Ahead of one of the biggest nights in music, here are some of the most memorable moments from past BBMAs.


Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins of TLC attended the 1995 Billboard Awards in the form of a cardboard cutout of her likeness.

KMazur / Contributor/GettyThe group wore matching outfits.

With their cardboard cutout of T-Boz in tow, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes accepted a few awards for TLC, including artist of the year.

It’s unclear why T-Boz didn’t attend the show in person.


Back in 1999, Blink-182 opened up the awards show in the buff.

Frank Micelotta Archive / Contributor/GettyThey introduced the award show’s hosts with some strategically placed signs.

While holding some strategically placed signs, the band introduced the show’s co-hosts Kathy Griffin and Adam Carolla.


Back in 2000, Destiny’s Child won big with nods for artist of the year, duo/group of the year, hot 100 singles artist of the year, and hot singles 100 duo/group of the year.

Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/GettyThe performance involved a giant cage.

During the evening, the trio replaced one of their acceptance speeches with a song.

They performed a medley of “Independent Women,” “Say My Name,” And “Jumpin’ Jumpin'” during the show.


Back in 2011, Britney Spears and Rihanna served up an extra steamy performance of “S&M.”

Ethan Miller/GettyThe performance ended with a pillow fight.

In addition to ending the bondage-themed spectacle with a playful pillow fight, the duo exchanged a kiss onstage (but it was not aired by ABC, per The Hollywood Reporter).

Read More: 22 things you probably didn’t know about Britney Spears


Beyoncé’s interactive performance of “Run the World (Girls)” at the 2011 ceremony stole the show.

Ethan Miller/GettyBeyoncé performed with a ton of dancers and graphics.

Intricate artwork, holographic Beyoncés, and an army of real-life dancers kept viewers captivated until the very end of this performance.

“I never worked so hard on anything in my life as that performance for the Billboard Awards,” the “Lemonade” songstress shared in a 2011 interview with AOL, according to Entertainment Weekly.


While accepting his lifetime achievement award in 2013, Prince surprised viewers by trading in his speech for a musical mash-up.

Ethan Miller/GettyHe wore a fringed jacket and sunglasses.

The “Purple Rain” hitmaker took out his guitar and performed a rendition of “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Fixyourlifeup.”


During the 2015 BBMAs, One Direction gave a shoutout to Zayn Malik just a few weeks after he quit the band.

Michael Tran/GettyThe band originally had five members.

In 2015, the now four-piece boyband (Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson) accepted the awards for best touring artist and top duo/group.

“… There’s one more person to share this with and that’s our brother, Zayn,” Payne said when the group accepted the award for top duo/group.

On March 25, 2015, Zayn Malik officially left One Direction and the four remaining members continued to release music and perform on tour.

This was the band’s first time attending an award show as a group of four.

Read More: THEN AND NOW: The members of One Direction


Pink is no stranger to pulling off aerial stunts and she set the stage ablaze while performing “Just Like Fire” at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.

Getty/Kevin Winter / StaffThere was fire on the stage.

The songstress managed to nail her song’s notes while swinging through the air on a gold rope. At one point, she was perched in front of a giant clock, which was engulfed in fire at the end of the performance.


While accepting the millennium award at the 2016 BBMAs, Britney Spears made a memorable entrance when she rode in on a giant guitar during her performance.

JB Lacroix / Contributor/GettyShe performed some of her most iconic hits.

The singer proceeded to perform a medley of her greatest hits, including favourites like “Toxic” and “Slave 4 U.”


There wasn’t a dry eye in the house during Céline Dion’s 2017 BBMAs performance.

John Shearer/BBMA2017 / Contributor/GettyShe wore a white gown.

The famed singer performed an impressive rendition of the song while surrounded by twinkling lights and projections of scenes from “Titanic.” The performance was a nod to the 20th anniversary of the film’s release.

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