iHeartRadio Music Awards 2015: Our 5 favorite moments
Sunday’s iHeartRadio Music Awards ceremony showed a few growing pains in its second year. Host Jamie Foxx was barely present, starting off the night with a disjointed monologue that included both a solid Robin Thicke potshot and cheap barbs directed at Bruce Jenner’s transition. A segment or two later, he seemed to be cut off—then he barely appeared for the rest of the night.
Foxx aside, though, the show wasn’t without its watercooler moments moments. Here are the five best things we saw there:
Rihanna’s first live performance of “Bitch Better Have My Money”
Gen X’s pop queen joined up with millennial royalty to play a new song. Swift joined Madonna on an initially darkened stage to rock the introspective “Ghosttown.” It could’ve been gimmicky—like, if Taylor and Madonna doubled up on a mic Springsteen style, which they didn’t—but the in-house mix turned out well, with the 56-year-old queen of pop’s voice gracefully showing her age.
Kelly Clarkson bringing it
“Heartbeat Song” doesn’t crack the list of top songs in Clarkson’s oeuvre; it’s tough to compete with the transcendent nature of “Since U Been Gone” or “Stronger.” But she went for it when performing the single Sunday night, dismissing any claims of lip-synching before they could even be made. Clarkson won American Idol 13 years ago—and this performance showed she’s still got the vocal chops that sealed her victory.
BONUS: Charlie Wilson’s suit
Uncle Charlie should be the first and only U.S. Crooner Laureate—whenever that award is established. He flanked Snoop Dogg for his performance of “Peaches N Cream”— and beforehand, he was caught in a blue/purpleish getup with floral decorations. Incredible.