Say what you like about Madonna, but one area she always delivers is when it comes to live performances.
Even when confronted with obstacles (or a very stubborn cape), you can always rely on the Queen of Pop to give it her all when it comes to her live routines, and that’s been showcased at an innumerable amount of awards shows throughout her decades-spanning career in music.
We’ve delived into the pop vaults and picked just 12 of our favourites...
‘Like A Virgin’ - MTV Video Music Awards 1984
The performance that started it all at the very first VMAs, the controversy surrounding her rendition of ‘Like A Virgin’ that saw her rolling around on the floor seductively cemented Madonna’s place as a pop culture icon. Little did people know, she was just getting started...
‘Vogue’ - MTV Video Music Awards 1990
Take note, Chezza and BritBrit. If you’re going to lip sync, the only excuse can be that you’re delivering a performance as flawless as this.
‘Sooner Or Later’ - Academy Awards 1991
This awards performance at the Oscars gave Madonna a rare opportunity to show off her vocals, while still paying homage to her idol, Marilyn Monroe. Sidenote: Her date to the awards that night was none other than Michael Jackson.
‘Bedtime Story’ - Brit Awards 1995
One of Madonna’s most overlooked tracks was also the only song she’d ever performed live at the Brits... until she finally returned to the UK awards bash for the first time in two decades in 2015, that is. And we all know what happened then (more on that later).
‘You Must Love Me’ - Academy Awards 1997
Later that evening, ‘You Must Love Me’ would scoop the Oscar for Best Original Song. So you see... Madonna was sort of involved in an Academy Award-winning track, which should come as a shock to anyone who’s seen ‘Body Of Evidence’.
‘Shanti/Ashtangi’ - MTV Video Music Awards 1998
After taking time out from the music scene, Madonna re-launched herself in full ‘Earth Mother’ mode with her ‘Ray Of Light’ album, helped by this performance at the 1998 Video Music Awards, which she kicked off by singing entirely in Sanskrit.
‘Like A Virgin’/’Hollywood’ - MTV Video Music Awards 2004
Indisputably one of the most iconic moments of the 21st century. Christina’s inky hair. Madonna’s shock arrival at the top of a cake. Justin Timberlake’s reaction. This performance has it all.
‘Hung Up’ - MTV European Music Awards 2005
Nothing says “disco” quite like a leotard-clad Madonna emerging from a giant glitter ball, right?
Feel Good Inc.’/’Hung Up’ - Grammys 2006
Over her long and illustrious career Madonna has collaborated with so many greats: Prince, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Missy Elliot, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell Williams, to name but a few.
But let’s not forget she also danced with a cartoon pop group at the Grammys way back in 2006, wearing - what else? - a purple leotard.
‘Same Love’/’Open Your Heart’ - Grammys 2014
And even last year, Madonna put in an appearance at the Grammys as part of Macklemore’s touching ‘Same Love’ performance.
While he performed his smash hit single, a number of mixed-sex couples tying the knot live on air, all presided over by, of course, Queen Latifah.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Madonna then stormed the stage to perform a stripped-back version of her hit, ‘Open Your Heart’.
‘Living For Love’ - Brit Awards 2015
The fall that was felt around the world... but say what you want about Madonna, she jumped right up and carried on with her performance.
A true pro.
Prince Tribute - Billboard Music Awards 2016
When it came to paying tribute to one of the biggest pop icons of all time, it felt only appropriate that it should be Madonna who took on the performance on his honour at the Billboard Music Awards.
Donning her best purple paisley, she whizzed through some of his most memorable numbers.