Billboard Music Awards 2011: Top Performance Outfits

If you were watching the Billboard Music Awards last night, chances are you spent the better part of your morning trying to reassemble the broken shards of your face because the night’s performances melted them right off. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the show because you were doing something else fabulous or you couldn’t tear yourself away from/were forced to watch the Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls matchup, we understand, and luckily for you, we have a delicious two-part fashion recap for you starting with our favorite performance outfits! Stagewear is pretty much guaranteed to be out-of-this-world, and the performers from last night’s BBMAs definitely didn’t disappoint: Cee Lo Green wore a blinged-out bedazzled suit for his medley performance (which included a twisting suspended piano), the Black Eyed Peas kept things futuristic in angular and light-up vestments, and Ke$ha descended from the rafters in a massive feathered bodysuit. But the powerhouses who really rocked out at full fashion volume were Rihanna, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé.


Rihanna performs at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 22.
Photo: Getty Images

Rihanna was all-white all night, from the red carpet to the stage. During her performance of “S&M,” she wore a white bondage (appropriate) latex bodysuit, crystal-encrusted handcuffs, over-the-knee heeled spectator boots, and suuuuper subtle micro-fishnets (because sometimes you have to know where to draw the line, you know?). Her ever-changing scarlet hair took the form of a wavy, feathered bob, and the performance was everything you’d expect from the girl’s song about kinky bedroom stuff (writing on the floor, stripper poles, yaddayadda), until…


Britney Spears performs at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 22.
Photo: Getty Images

BOOYA! Britney makes a surprise appearance in a matching black bodysuit with mid-calf black boots, and a latex bunny mask (which gave me horrifying flashbacks of Donnie Darko, but that’s more of a personal problem than anything else). She rips off the mask and the two take their respective Flashdance chairs. Finally, RiRi and Britney end their duet in a flurry of feathers from a black satin pillow fight and fuel the dreams of the country’s teenage boys for another week.


Nicki Minaj performs at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 22.
Photo: Getty Images

Nicki Minaj opens up her performance clad in all black-and-white, directing a choir of Barbies under black light. On top of her latticed cut-out mini, she wears an angular half-robot-half-armadillo inspired Gareth Pugh cropped jacket which is removed by someone in a chicken costume. (These parentheticals are to give you time to fully absorb the insanity that was that last sentence.) Beneath the jacket, we see her bondage-esque latex cone bra and the intricate webbing between the cups and straps.


Beyoncé performs at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 22.
Photo: Getty Images

Last night’s Millennium Award went to the one and only Beyoncé Knowles after a heartfelt montage of praises from legends like Bono, Stevie Wonder, and Barbra Streisand, and the most face-meltingly AWESOME live performance I’ve seen on TV in a while. Robed (if you can even call it that) in a chain-web bodysuit or minidress or you know what it’s technically called doesn’t really matter because your brain can’t even process simple things like letters and symbols when you watch this woman perform, Queen Bey goes so hard in her performance of of ’Run The World (Girls)’ (as if her music video wasn’t impressive enough) dancing in front of bananas animation that perfectly corresponded with the choreography and closed with a 30-plus girl-army of fierceness. Watch the performance for yourself below!