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Top 2011 Grammy Moments

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Best 2011 Grammy Moments

A Moment Like This

Today is Valentine's day, and one thing's for sure we were in love with the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards that aired on CBS last night.Held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the show may have lacked a host to move everything along, but it still became a night to remember. Whether it was Usher and Justin Bieber dancing down memory lane, Jennifer Hudson breaking it down for Aretha Franklin or Rihanna appearing on stage in a flame-inspired Dior gown, the 3.5 hour long award show was filled with everyone doing the most! ESSENCE.com takes a look at the strangest, most fashionable and most memorable moments of the evening...

Nicki Minaj Loves Leopard Print

Last night was such an avante garde moment for fashion, that rapper Nicki Minaj — who usually baffles us with her styling choices — ended up appearing pretty tame (Who could top Gaga in an egg?). Wearing all-leopard-everything, yes we mean everything (romper, gloves, leggings, boots, and even hair), Nicki left us underwhelmed. We woke up this morning not asking why did she wear that, but who was the poor person who had to sit behind that hair all evening?

Lady Gaga is Hatched

Only Lady Gaga could make an entrance on the red carpet and on stage in human-sized egg. Lauriann Gibson, Gaga's creative director and Diddy's former choreographer explained it saying, "She's has been incubating for sometime now for her performance, we must hurry off because she's dilating." What? It's too bad that when she "birthed" herself on stage, the performance left many wanting more.

The Fantastic Five

Aretha Franklin was unable to attend the Grammy's this year, but still had the honor of the award show opening up with a tribute to her.Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams, and Florence Welch all took the stage to salute the Queen of Soul. Every single person especially J. Hud and Yolanda Adams gave us chills and did Mama Franklin justice.

Long Live the Pompadour

In what could be described as the best musically entertaining performance of the night, singers Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars, along with rapper B.o.B set the stage on fire.After Bruno Mars surprised us playing the drums and Janelle took us to church singing "Cold War," one question remained. Whose pompadour hairstyle was the biggest and the best?

Cee-Lo Stole the Show

Cee-Lo had his moment last night! Airing on CBS, Cee-lo was completely dressed like the NBC bird with multi colors feathers, a bedazzled helmet, white sunglasses, and a silver breastplate. His censored Muppets, and actress Gwenyth Paltrow dancing on his piano in a body suit and stunning shoes brought the Grammy Awards back to life. Cee-Lo Green's performance was so unforgettable it should have been him, and not Gaga, jumping out that egg.

Rihanna Left Us Wanting More

Rihanna is a wonder to look at-and she knows it.From her guady but amazing black and yellow Dior couture dress and her "Love The Way You Lie Part 2," performance with Eminem, to her revealing red two-piece outfit for her "What's My Name," performance with Drake-Rihanna looked fierce. However, no matter how she styled her hair, or how much her whining skills improved, we weren't blind to the fact that Rihanna's vocals came up short.

Teddy Pendergrass Tribute

Since Teddy Pendergrass' death last year, the Grammy committee had been remiss to pay tribute to the soul legend.So we guess Grammy producers thought it be a good idea to have the country trio, Lady Antebellum, (winners of Song and Record of the Year), sing about 30-seconds worth of his song, "If You Don't Know Me By Now," in his honor. Fail! Teddy P. deserved more than that, and we know Tyrese was somewhere fuming in his seat feeling cheated.

Esperanza is "Best New Artist"

"Best New Artist," is one of the most coveted awards of the night, and this year's list of nominees included both Drake and Justin Bieber. Most people placed their bets on Bieber to take home the trophy, so it was a total shocker when Esperanza Spalding's name was called as winner. One of the biggest upsets in Grammy history, the 26-year-old jazz bassist snatched the Grammy and for once the underdog ended up victorious. If the Grammys had hopes to renew music lovers' interest in the show and get them excited again, this win accomplished that. Congrats to Esperanza!

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