January 24: Performances that Happened This Weekend

From the NRJ Awards in France on January 23, a performance of “Russian Roulette” from the impossibly chic Rihanna. The singer would later go on to win the International Female Artist of the Year that night. Congratulations, Riri!

On Friday night, Madonna performed “Like a Prayer” for the Hope for Haiti televised benefit. I’m not going to speak ill of a performance meant exclusively for charity, but her “new” face has left me feeling distraught. Please Madonna: Age gracefully, both in your career and your own skin. The world will love you that much more for it!

On the same show, Christina Aguilera performed the Linda Perry-penned “Lift Me Up” off of her upcoming album, Bionic. Avoiding the sometimes stomach-churning vocal acrobatics she’s sometimes akin to, Christina offers up an intense, emotional show of talent. A wonderful performance.

Finally, Justin Timberlake‘s performance of “Hallelujah” for Hope for Haiti, featuring Matt Morris. I don’t even care for Justin anymore, but this is stunning. No ego, no Timbaland. In case you forgot why he’s in the industry in the first place, watch this now.

Also from the NRJ Awards comes David Guetta‘s performance of “When Love Takes Over” featuring Kelly Rowland in person (and sounding as strong as ever), as well as “Sexy Bitch.” The entire performance is complimented/made strange by the synchronized dancing of the audience, which is fairly precious to watch. Once the giant robot on stilts come wandering out amid glitter-ball gals and the background burlesque dancers, I’m completely lost. But I wish I were there at the same time.

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