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On The Table Read, the “Best Entertainment Celebrity Magazine in the UK“, experts at RantCasino analysed data from YouTube to find the greatest Billboard Music Awards performances of all time.

The 29th Annual Billboard Music Awards will be held on May 15th and this year will be the first with full attendance since 2019 due to the pandemic.

NSYNC at the Billboard Music Awards on The Table Read
NSYNC at the Billboard Music Awards

With a star-studded list of performers including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mary J. Blige and more, this year is set to be a big one with memorable performances to come.

This inspired the experts at RantCasino to uncover some of the most memorable past Billboard Awards performances, by scraping view count data from YouTube to find the most popular performances from the last thirty years.

Top 10 Most Popular Billboard Music Awards Performances

RankArtist and PerformanceDateView Count
1Bruno Mars – Treasure19th May 201319,148,106
2Whitney Houston – I Have Nothing8th December 199313,298,533
3Celine Dion – The Show Must Go On22nd May 20163,038,166
4Rihanna & Britney Spears – S&M Remix22nd May 20111,923,963
5Kesha – It Ain’t Me, Babe22nd May 2016966,086
6NSYNC – Just Got Paid5th December 2000655,704
7Beyoncé – Me, Myself and I10th December 2003654,813
8Janet Jackson – The Pleasure Principle/So Excited6th December 2006497,086
9Mariah Carey – I Still Believe7th December 1998238,371
10Miguel – Adorn19th May 2013133,627

The Results

Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars on The Table Read
Bruno Mars at the Billboard Music Awards

Coming in first place with a staggering 19 million views is Bruno Mars’ performance of Treasure in 2013.

This performance featured Bruno and his band The Hooligans in full 70s fashion under a glistening disco ball. This performance featured a dance breakdown, very reminiscent of the 1970s and boy bands alike. This record reached #5 in the USA and may have received a high amount of views due to Mars and the disco genre’s popularity.

Whitney Houston

Ranking second with over 13 million views is Whitney Houston’s unforgettable performance of I Have Nothing in 1993. Coming from the back-to-back success of I Will Always Love You and I’m Every Woman off The Bodyguard soundtrack, this song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. This performance is remembered as one of Houston’s greatest, as noted by Rolling Stone, owing to its high placement in this ranking.

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Celine Dion

Celine Dion at the Billboard Music Awards on The Table Read
Celine Dion at the Billboard Music Awards

Trailing in third is fellow vocal trinity member Celine Dion, with her cover of Queen’s The Show Must Go On in 2016 which has received over 3 million views.

This was a poignant performance, having lost both her husband and brother in the same week that year, Celine chose a rather fitting tribute to them both, showing that while there are losses, the show really must go on.

Mariah Carey

In ninth is Mariah Carey’s cover of I Still Believe in 1998 with 238,000 views. This song was originally sung by Brenda K. Starr whom Mariah sang backup for before her career started. Mariah began the performance with her trademark whistle notes, and ended it by receiving the award for the most hits on the Billboard Hot 100, having had 13 under her belt since her career began eight years earlier.

Miguel

Just scraping into the top 10 on this list is Miguel’s performance of Adorn in 2013 earning over 113,000 views. This performance was memorable for Miguel attempting a stage jump, and accidentally hitting an audience member in the head with his foot, resulting in a lawsuit two years later.

Methodology

RantCasino were keen to discover which Billboard Music Awards performances were the most popular.

  1. The 15 Billboard Performances were extracted from Billboard’s 15 Greatest Performances Ever as a seed list.
  2. Each performance was entered into YouTube and view count data was scraped.
  3. Each performance was then ordered and ranked by view count to determine the most viewed, most popular was implied by most viewed.
  4. All data was obtained by RantCasino on 10/05/22 and is accurate as of then. 
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