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AMAs 2011: Performance Recaps

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

The 2011 American Music Awards offers a slew of performances. From Nicki Minaj giving new meaning to the term “super bass” to Jennifer Lopez and will.i.am stepping out in glow-in-the-dark get-ups, The BoomBox serves up a recap of the night’s show-stealing performances.

Nicki Minaj and David Guetta, ‘Turn Me On’

Speakers proved to be the focal point of David Guetta and Nicki Minaj‘s American Music Awards performance. Guetta, whose ‘Nothing But the Beat’ album dropped in August 2011, manned the turntables and threw up his hands to get the party started before Minaj came out and gave a stellar performance. The pink-wig wearing MC gave audience members a surprise when she showed off her backside first, which sported a pair of bass-pumping speakers as she moved through her song with the DJ, ‘Turn Me On.’ Dressed in a silver, hip-hugging pantsuit, the Queens native closed out the set with her ‘Pink Friday’ single ‘Super Bass.’

Chris Brown, ‘All Back,’ ‘Say It With Me
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

The R&B crooner let his lyrics star during his set rather than showcase an outfit that grabbed eyes and turned heads. Wearing a plain white T-shirt and minimal jewelry, he stood behind the mic and dropped syrupy lines from ‘All Back.’ ‘Say It With Me’ was the follow-up and the track the ‘F.A.M.E.’ creator used to display his captivating dancing abilities. Chris Brown decided to don a cool white jacket as he glided across the floor with graphics of himself doing similar motions on a screen behind him.


Ludacris and Enrique Inglesias, ‘Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)’
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ATLien Ludacris emerged from the audience to support Enrique Inglesias as he sang his chart-climbing record ‘Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You).’ Dressed in a wintery sweater and rocking shades, the MC, who just released the mixtape ’1.21 Gigawatts: Back to the First Time’ last week, he rapped lines like “Tonight I’m gonna do everything that I want with you/ Everything that you need/ Everything that you want/ I’m gonna, honey, I wanna stunt with you/ From the window to the wall/ Gonna give you my all.”


Jennifer Lopez, ‘Papi;’ ‘On the Floor’ Feat. Pitbull
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Bronx bombshell J.Lo opened up her performance looking like an angelic goddess, with a champagne colored flowing gown covering her curvy frame. Though she started off slow, the mother of two kicked her set up a notch when she sang the lyrics to her ‘Papi’ track but not before shedding some of her ensemble. A crew of shirtless male dancers supported Jennifer Lopez, who pumped her fists and displayed some fancy footwork. Her long hair flowing, she then pulled more pieces off her awards attire to showcase a form-fitting body suit, with glittery gems covering her bosom and other regions. Pitbull supported the pop superstar for their joint track ‘On the Floor.’

Pitbull, ‘I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho);’ ‘Give Me Everything,’ Feat. Lil Jon; ‘Rain Over Me’ Feat. Marc Anthony

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Lil Jon called on his shouting skills to hype up the crowd during Pitbull’s stage show extravaganza. The shades-wearing MC served as DJ, yelling out to audience members, making sure there was not one dull moment before Pit took the mic. Snippets of his songs ‘I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)’ and ‘Give Me Everything’ — two undeniable club bangers — played before the Miami native showed face. But first, Marc Anthony, sang through his part on their joint track ‘Rain Over Me.’ Then the smooth pop rap star, decked out in a red blazer, grabbed up the mic to serve up his verse on the song.


Mary J. Blige, ‘Mr. Wrong’
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige stepped out in an all-white number — white blazer and matching pants — shining in the spotlight while performing ‘Mr. Wrong,’ a song off her forthcoming album, ‘My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1).’ The 40-year-old R&B songstress took center stage, holding the microphone while standing on a spinning base decorated with columns. She stepped down closer to the crowd and was joined by six female dancers, who thrusted and moved to her sound. When she closed out her set, Blige took a moment to pay respects to her dear friend Heavy D, whose funeral she attended Friday (Nov. 18) in Mount Vernon, N.Y. “Rest in peace,” she said, as a photo of the fallen rapper, who died of health complications Nov. 8, appeared onstage.

Drake, ‘Headlines’

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Joined by a backing band, the Toronto native looked like he stepped right out of his ‘Headlines’ video and onto the American Music Awards stage. Wearing the same black hoodie and black gloves from the visuals, the 25-year-old Young Money MC rapped through the track, which appears off his sophomore LP, ‘Take Care,’ released last week. Drizzy jumped around in the spotlight and waved his hands in his signature manner before thanking the AMAs audience for their support.

Will.i.am and Jennifer Lopez, ‘T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)’

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez rocked a side ponytail and a Tron-esque glowing dress as she opened up for the Black Eyed Peas frontman on his new single, ‘T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever),’ his foray into solo work. Will.i.am emerged from the shadows, sporting a glowing tracksuit, and planted himself in front of a sea of anonymous ball-holding dancers that moved into formation and created shapes like an arrow. Mick Jagger appears on the song but made a “cameo” by showing up on a video screen, screaming out his vocals in a snazzy suit.

Watch Drake’s ‘Headlines’


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