The noted photographer shares his favorite moments of 2009, including the Obama Inaugural Celebration and Grammy Awards

When it comes to pop music, photographer Kevin Mazur has seen everything. A rock fan who began shooting bands in the 1980s as a way to secure a spot in the front row of every concert he attended, he’s logged countless frequent-flier miles this year, capturing, among other things: Beyoncé, Bono, and Bruce Springsteen rocking for Obama; Michael Jackson’s last rehearsals just days before the singer’s death; Jay-Z’s Answer the Call 9/11 concert in New York; and, most recently, Kanye West’s infamous microphone grab at the VMAs. Mazur gave EW a peek into his huge trove of photographs while offering up the intimate stories behind them — beginning with this first one involving a true Kid at heart.

Randy Jackson, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow
Backstage at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, June 16, 2009

”Randy Jackson came up to talk to Sheryl Crow. She was with Kid Rock that night, who is goofing off with me here. I’ve known him for a long time. Years ago, he came up to me in Miami at an MTV event when I was backstage and introduced himself as Bobby. Then someone came over and said, ‘Hey, did you meet Kid Rock?’ And I said, ‘What? I just met Bobby.”’

Opening night of the Sticky & Sweet Tour in London, July 4, 2009

”The person on the left is one of Madonna’s fans who dresses up like her and follows her. He’s at all the shows, all over the world. She knows him — that’s why she’s reaching out and singing to him. I don’t know how he gets up front every time, but to be that dedicated a fan, he deserves it. It kills me because I got my picture taken with her back in the ’80s at Danceteria in New York. The photographer never sent it to me. I would die to have that picture.”

Bono and Queen Latifah
The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, Jan. 18, 2009

”At the end of the show, the president greeted the performers and thanked them for doing the concert. When the president left, all the celebrities were going over to Obama’s chair to try it out. So I ran over there as Queen was sitting down. Bono happened to be there. I ended up taking all these pictures of everybody in that seat.”

President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Stevie Wonder
The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, Jan. 18, 2009

”Stevie Wonder performed ‘Higher Ground’ for the president with Shakira and Usher. It was freezing, but Obama was rocking out. Here, Stevie is giving the president a harmonica and Obama is saying, ‘Really, you’re giving this to me? Really? I can have this?’ He is a huge Stevie Wonder fan.”

Coldplay and Paul McCartney
Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Feb. 8, 2009

”One of my favorite events that I get to shoot is the Grammys from the audience. The boys went over to Paul McCartney right after they won a Grammy. They were goofing around with him about the fact that they were dressed like Sgt. Pepper’s.”