Britney Spears Opens 2016 BBMAs With Explosive Medley Performance
The undisputed princess of pop, Britney Spears, opened the 2016 Billboard Music Awards this evening (May 22) with an explosive performance medley. The six-time Billboard Music Award-winner danced her way through nearly two decades' worth of iconic pop hits, though noticeably—and unfortunately—bypassing her first two albums, ...Baby One More Time and Oops!... I Did It Again. (That's okay: What doesn't kill us makes us "Stronger," right?)
The Vegas diva kicked off her performance with "Work Bitch," the throbbing EDM-pop banger off her 2013 album Britney Jean. Swathed in a sparkling red circus ringleader ("...I call the shots...") jacket and shiny matching go-go boots, Brit Brit wiggled her way through the track, a little stiff at first, pyrotechnics bursting behind her and her dancers.
After slipping into something a little more comfortable—i.e. removing her jacket to reveal a bedazzled crimson bikini and belly chain—the music icon strutted and bounced her way through "Womanizer." She began to loosen up during a fierce dance breakdown for the 2008 electro-pop jam, but it was during the next song, interestingly enough, where Britney really seemed to give into the sheer bliss of her performance: "I Love Rock 'N' Roll."
Smiling and strumming her invisible air guitar like a pro, Britney got a little more
personal playful for the Crossroads cover track, before finally straddling a giant wheel-on guitar onstage, a prop lifted straight from her Vegas Piece of Me residency. It was a curious choice for a greatest hits medley (one missing such legendary bops like "...Baby One More Time" and "Crazy"), but out of all the songs she performed, it seemed to give her the most joy.
Afterwards, the pop star turned the heat up a notch, blasting through three of her sexiest hit singles: the sensual, trip-hoppy "Breathe On Me," the slinky "I'm a Slave 4 U," and the wispy "Touch of My Hand," the latter of which she punctuated with an assisted back handspring.
Finally, she closed her performance with "Toxic," her iconic 2004 banger off In The Zone. It was a triumphant return for an artist who once graced fans with that 2001 MTV Music Video Awards performance, and judging by some of the reactions of the crowd—Troye Sivan, Demi Lovato, and Zendaya to name a few—the Holy Spearit had blessed the audience indeed.
See Photos From The 2016 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet