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One of the greatest bands ever opens the show with a high-energy performance of their new single, "Get On Your Boots" — and Bono takes off his shades! "I knew I should have worn my boots," says presenter Whitney Houston.
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Justin Timberlake is a last-minute fill-in for Chris Brown on Al Green's classic, "Let's Stay Together." Keith Urban provides a soulful assist.
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Coldplay rocks out in what they described as recycled Sgt. Pepper outfits — but recycled from what, bean bags? A moving piano intro, a Jay-Z guest appearance, and Chris Martin's homage to Bono's dance moves help the pop-rockers deliver.
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Carrie Underwood delivers one of her feistiest performances ever of her hit, "Last Name." Her vocals get a little lost in the mix but no one cares because they're looking at the dress.
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Kid Rock gets all spiritual in a performance tinged with social commentary, religion, and a blink-and-you-missed it glance at his old mug shot. Oh, Kid Rock.
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The two former 15-year-olds team up on a heartfelt performance of Swift's "Fifteen." Well, heartfelt by swift — Cyrus just does a lot of heavy swaying. Eat it, Nick.
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Jennifer Hudson finishes a gospel choir-backed rendition of her stirring "You Pulled Me Through," by fanning away her tears. And some of ours.
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The Jonas Brothers and Stevie Wonder play each other's songs, but that doesn't make them equals. So Joe could stand to stop calling the musical legend "Stevie" and maybe go with "Mr. Wonder."
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In a performance filled with bananas, wild colors, and cleavage, Katy Perry takes the greatest fashion risk of the night by wearing — flats.
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Following Katy Petty, Kanye West and Estelle rock "American Boy" with no backup dancers, bananas from the sky, or on-stage musicians — just coordinated silver outfits, like true show biz professionals. One of the most low-key, but best, songs of the night.
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After a warm introduction by pal Morgan Freeman — weird! — Kenny Chesney takes the stage to deliver one of those mellow relaxing Kenny Chesney kind of songs. Less edgy than a padded room, but relaxing nonetheless.
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Who has more swagger than M.I.A.? No one. Due to deliver her first child on the day of the awards, she shows up anyway to rock out with Jay-Z, T.I., Kanye West and Lil Wayne on a song built around a sample from her "Paper Planes," thank you very much.
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Baby Boomer-in-chief Paul McCartney and Gen X hero Dave Grohl of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters unite to perform "I Saw Her Standing There," a song about a 17-year-old who, if she's still that age, is part of Gen Y. Once again, music brings people together — but weird!
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Best new artist Adele and Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles come together in one of the least likely collaborations of the night. But in the words of Snoop Dogg, game recognizes game.
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Radiohead fills this year's marching band quota by mixing their intense, brooding sound with that of USC football — wait, there's nothing brooding about football. Still, good stuff.
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Justin Timberlake pays T.I. back for his performance on "My Love" by doing the piano-and-backing-vocals thing on the Southern rapper's "Dead and Gone."
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One guy who doesn't need any collaborators is Neil Diamond, who blows the doors off every venue he enters with "Sweet Caroline."
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Pretty much every time you go see a classic Motown group these days, it's one original guy and three replacements. But this time that wasn’t so bad, because Four Tops original Duke Fakir was joined by Smokey Robinson, Jamie Foxx, and Ne-Yo. And their medley brought down the house.
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John Mayer and Keith Urban more than hold their own while learning a few licks from the legendary B.B. King
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Lil Wayne pays tribute to New Orleans with a little help from Robin Thicke — and then hometown heroes Allen Toussaint and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
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The night's big winners, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, say they went into their roots-rock collaboration with no expectations. Talk about modesty.