20 Best MTV VMAs Opening Performances

Michael Jackson, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and more: Who kicked it off the best?

18

Eminem and Rihanna (2010)

Eminem, in his sensitive artist phase, makes the emotional, majestic hook of "Not Afraid" even huger with an orchestra and a bunch of drummers. Unlike the wacky VMA days when he would march a bunch of Slim Shady clones into Radio City Music Hall, there's not much smoke and mirrors, but there is a lot of emotion. Eminem, performing his most severe, never puts his hoodie down; Rihanna patiently walks over, a calm to his storm. 

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