iHeartRadio Music Awards Rewind
By Hayden Brooks
March 9, 2018
We’re back with the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards and our fifth year is going to be no less entertaining than previous ceremonies. With the announcement of the forthcoming show as well as this year’s batch of nominees, we thought it’d be fitting to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of the most notable moments from yesteryears. From Rihanna’s trendsetting hair, which went viral on the blogosphere, to Taylor Swift and Madonna’s historic onstage collaboration, there are plenty of highlights to look back on.
1. 2014: Rihanna's Trendsetting HairPhoto: Brian Friedman for iHeartRadio
Rihanna’s known to march to the beat of her own drum, so it was no surprise when she showed up to our 2014 show with bantu knots. It completed a gothic-styled look with a black sheer lace Givenchy Couture dress and dark green lipstick.
2. 2014: Ariana Grande's "Problem" performancePhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Ariana Grande brought "Problem" that same year as she pulled out all the stops for the sexy little number. Even Rihanna seemed to enjoy the set from her seat, prompting a new Rih GIF into the blogosphere.
3. 2014: Jared Leto and Billy Ray Cyrus twinning on the red carpetPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
We really don't think Jared Leto and Billy Ray Cyrus have that much in common, but their twinning looks on the carpet in 2014 said otherwise. At the show, the pair rocked lengthy hair and matching aviator sunglasses that had photogs turning heads.
4. 2014: Gwen Stefani presenting Pharrell with the iHeartRadio Innovator AwardPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Gwen Stefani presented Pharrell with the Innovator Award in 2014 and it made total sense. After all, the No Doubt singer and Skateboard P had collaborated in the past and they both appeared as judges together on Season 7 of The Voice.
5. 2014: Austin Mahone Accepts the Instagram AwardPhoto: Brian Friedman for iHeartRadio
Just a few years back, Austin Mahone won the Instagram Award. If you're wondering how and why that happened, all you had to do was take a look at his quick popularity on Insta and the string of shirtless photos that the teen heartthrob shared with Mahomies.
6. 2014: Usher's Tribute to Michael JacksonPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
It's one thing to premiere a new song on the radio, it's a whole other thing when you're helping premiere a Michael Jackson record with a special dance tribute. Usher did just that in 2014 when he offered the crowd a choreographed number to the King of Pop's posthumous release "Love Never Felt So Good.” Plus, it's not like Ursh doesn't consider MJ one of his idols. Back in 2011, he even danced with the legend during a collaborative performance of "You Rock My World.”
7. 2014: Pitbull and G.R.L.'s Performance on a BoatPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Pitbull is all about his hometown of Miami, so you know the rapper had to rep for the 305 when he teamed up with G.R.L. for a medley number of "Wild Wild Love" and "Timber" (sans Kesha.)
8. 2015: Cameron Dallas and Shawn Mendes
Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Once upon a time not too long ago, Shawn Mendes was still a budding Vine star, so a photo of him with fellow social media personality Cameron Dallas seemed fitting. Look how far his career has come.
9. 2015: Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Hudson Getting in "Trouble"
Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Prior to Iggy Azalea's public downfall, the rapper was still rocking on some of the biggest stages around and took to our 2015 ceremony to mirror the plot of her music video for "Trouble" alongside Jennifer Hudson.
10. 2015: Rihanna's Big Entrance for B*tch Better Have My Money"Photo: John Shearer for iHeartRadio
After sweeping the competition in 2014, Rihanna returned the following year to debut the live performance of “B*tch Better Have My Money” and she brought along a huge helicopter, dancers and an oversized green jacket that would have the Muppets scared to death.
11. 2015: Chris Brown and Jamie FoxxPhoto: John Shearer for iHeartRadio
Jamie Foxx pulled double duty at the 2015 ceremony, appearing as host and performer. For his stage set, he teamed up with Chris Brown for a collaborative performance of "You Changed Me,” giving fans double the trouble.
12. 2015: Nick Jonas and Chris BrownPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
iHeartRadio brings all kinds of stars together, so it's a bit of a moment to see this photo of Nick Jonas and Chris Brown in our archives.
13. 2015: Madonna and Taylor Swift Collaboration
Photo: John Shearer for iHeartRadio
Pop worlds collided when Madonna and Taylor Swift banded together for a live collaboration of "Ghosttown" during our 2015 ceremony. While Swift took on guitar duties, the Queen of Pop offered up the Rebel Heart ballad to the star-studded audience, reminding folks once again that she is isn’t going anywhere.
14. 2015: 5SOS Accepting the Best Fan Army AwardPhoto: Brian Friedman for iHeartRadio
When it comes to fan allegiance, the 5SOS Family ruled our 2015 show when they beat out the BeyHive, Swifties, Team Breezy and more for the Best Fan Army title. It’s awesome to know that industry honchos offered you an award, but it’s probably better to hear that your own fan base scored you an accolade.
15. 2015: Left Shark and Ian ZieringPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Ian Ziering has starred in a string of Sharknado films, so it was only natural that Left Share took the stage with the actor during our 2015 ceremony to present an award.
16. 2015: Taylor Swift's Reaction to Winning the Best Lyrics AwardPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Taylor Swift has always been in on the jokes even in her early career years when she offered award show cameras surprised reactions to her wins. Back in 2015, Swift played off the fuss when she was awarded with the Best Lyrics Award at our show and went off on Justin Timberlake.
17. 2015: Justin Timberlake Accepting the iHeartRadio Innovator Award from Tom FordPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Justin Timberlake saw the culmination of his accolades when he received the Innovator Award in 2015, courtesy of a presentation by Tom Ford. “You can't have innovation without creation, so finally, I want to thank my best friend, my favorite collaborator — my wife, Jessica, at home, who's watching,” he said on stage. “Honey, I can't wait to see our greatest creation yet. Don't worry, Daddy's heading home right now to innovate by learning how to change a poopy diaper and get my swaddle on.”
18. 2015: Taylor Swift Winning BigPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
You already know that we love us some Taylor Swift and after her monumental 1989 era, it was simply deserving that she walked away with some major trophies during the 2015 affair.
19. 2016: Diplo, Justin Bieber and Big Sean Hanging BackstagePhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Diplo is sort of like a social butterfly at award shows. He’s here. He’s there. He’s everywhere. Back in 2016, he appeared alongside Justin Bieber and Big Sean for a quick photo opp, proving that he’s always down to share the spotlight.
20. 2016: Jason Derulo HostingPhoto: Brian Friedman for iHeartRadio
Jason Derulo also played double duties during the 2016 affair when he hosted and performed "Swalla." Oh, and do you remember when he stage dived?" "I'm not really the crowd surfing size. I feel like there's a weight limit, and I think I passed that, because I felt like a little cave-in when I landed,” he admitted later on. “But all in all, I was still safe. I was good, but a couple fingers might've been broke. It was a little scary when I did it, though."
21. 2016: Bono and The Edge Accepting the iHeartRadio Innovator Award from PharrellPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
In 2015, Pharrell won the Innovator Award, so it made sense that the hip-hop titan presented U2 with their award in 2017. "Innovation, I think it's something about searching out the future before it's arrived," Bono said during his and the Edge's acceptance speech. "[It's] making 'what might be' the 'what is.'"
22. 2016: Taylor Swift Accepting the Best Tour Award from Justin TimberlakePhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Taylor Swift has mad love for Justin Timberlake and the pop pair traded exchanges when JT presented the her with the Best Tour Award in 2016. Don’t you love when pop royalty comes together?
23. 2016: Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift Showing Some PDAPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Speaking of Miss Swift, the chart-topper and then boyfriend Calvin Harris had some major PDA moments in front of the camera when they appeared at the 2016 ceremony together.
24. 2016: G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha Performing "Me, Myself & I"Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
It’s safe to say that both G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha’s star power rose significantly after they released “Me, Myself & I” in 2016 and the iHeartRadio Music Awards was just one of the many venues that they performed the pop hit.
25. 2016: Nile Rodgers Joins DNCE OnstagePhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
"Cake by the Ocean" tastes so much better when Nile Rodgers is on board. Back in 2016, DNCE performed their signature track and surprised the audience when they invited the disco legend on stage and mashed things up with Chic's "Le Freak."
26. 2016: Demi Lovato and Brad PaisleyPhoto: Andrew Swartz for iHeartRadio
Demi Lovato surprised the crowd at our 2016 affair when she performed "Stone Cold" alongside Brad Paisley, who helped out on guitar. Now, while it gave the performance a nice twang, it also offering Lovatics a small glimpse of what would happen if she attempted a crossover.
27. 2016: ZAYN Makes His Solo Award Show Performance DebutPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
It’s known that ZAYN doesn’t do well with big public events because of his anxiety, but the former One Direction-er pulled it together when he made his award show performance debut with "Like I Would" off his debut LP.
28. 2016: Justin Bieber Runs Through the Crowd During "Company"Photo: Andrew Swartz for iHeartRadio
We all know what kind of pandemonium ensues when Justin Bieber makes his way near any Beliebers and our 2016 show was witness to it all when the pop titan ran into the crowd during his performance of “Company.”
29. 2016: Selena Gomez and Taylor SwiftPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift were inseparable when the celeb besties took to our 2016 show, so you can’t blame photographers for snapping some photos backstage of the affair.
30. 2016: Iggy Azalea and Demi Lovato Hanging BackstagePhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
We can say the same for Iggy Azalea and Demi Lovato, who were snapped spending some time together during the ceremony. Now, wouldn’t an all-star shot of the four of them be perfect?
31. 2016: Selena Gomez and PharrellPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Skateboard P was also spotted at the 2016 show, offering Selena Gomez a warm hug behind the scenes. Gomez previously admitted that the multi-talent is on her list of dream collaborators, but, unfortunately, nothing ever came about their run-in.
32. 2017: It was a family affair for the Cyrus'.Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Say what you want about Miley Cyrus, but the pop star is a family gal and she showed support for her entire unit in 2017. For her appearance, she showed up with her mother Tish, father Billy Ray and younger sister Noah. In fact, she even helped introduce Noah’s performance and reminded us that she is indeed her sister’s biggest fan.
33. 2017: Labrinth and Noah Cyrus Performed "Make Me (Cry)"
Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Noah Cyrus was a vision in red when she nailed a rendition of "Make Me (Cry)" during the ceremony. However, it's hard not to kill things when you have older sister Miley rocking a shirt and sign in your honor.
34. 2017: The Chainsmokers performed "Something Just Like This" with Chris MartinPhoto: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Just last year, The Chainsmokers and Chris Martin took the stage together to perform two of the biggest songs of the year: “Something Just Like This” and “Paris.” It turned out to be a truly multi-generational affair, particularly for the batch of screaming girls in the audience.
35. 2017: Katy Perry and Skip Marley were "Chained to the Rhythm"
Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Before Katy Perry’s poor rollout for WITNESS, the pop titan kicked off her era on a mildly successful note when she released the woke pop hit, “Chained to the Rhythm.” It may not have received the success that she anticipated, but at least she kept her usual cooky and colorful aesthetic for the performance’s sets. This one in particular featured a giant hamster and accompanying wheel.
36. 2017: Ed Sheeran won Best Lyrics for "Love Yourself" -- but he also performed "Shape of You" and "Castle on the Hill" Photo: Andrew Swartz for iHeartRadio
You know what you’re going to get when you see Ed Sheeran’s perform: great vocals and live instrumentation. However, we did not know that the pop singer/songwriter was going to take the stage to accept the Best Lyrics award for Bieber’s “Love Yourself” in 2017. Nonetheless, he did write the track, so it was a nice reminder of his pen game even if it was behind one of the biggest pop stars of our time.
37. 2017: Shawn Mendes begged for "Mercy"Photo: Andrew Swartz for iHeartRadio
Leave it to Shawn Mendes to show his vocal growth with a simple performance backed by his band. In front of a psychedelic set, the teen sensation churned out a vocally impressive number when he took center stage for the three-minute song.
38. 2017: Big Sean brought the movesPhoto: Brian Friedman for iHeartRadio
Big Sean doesn’t necessarily need backup dancers and over-the-top props, but the rapper did show off some extra pizazz when he performed a medley of cuts like “Voice in My Head,” “Bounce Back” and “Moves” in 2017.
39. 2017: Thomas Rhett brought his living roomPhoto: Andrew Swartz for iHeartRadio
Have you ever wanted to see what it’s like inside of Thomas Rhett’s living room? Well, our 2017 show got as close as we could when the country singer performed his song “Star of the Show” inside of a living room-inspired set up.
40. Bruno Mars took home the Innovator AwardPhoto: Florent Déchard
Bruno Mars took home the biggest award of the night in 2017 when he was deemed the Innovator of the year. After a high-energy performance of “Treasure” and “That’s What I Like,” the pop star accepted the coveted title and offered the audience with a small piece of gratitude. “We’ve come a long way. We used to play in bars not too far away from here, two-hundred seater rooms. You see these guys in the videos, you see these guys in the Super Bowl,” Mars said. “This is my family right here.”