Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show features young, models sashaying in lingerie and theatrical wings, so the show’s musical performances need to generate an equal amount of heat with beats, flounce or attitude. These performers registered a solid 10 on the “steam-o-meter.” The 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will air on December 9th at 10pm ET/PT on CBS.
Rihanna’s 2012 performance was as smooth as the silky boy shorts donned by Alessandra Ambrosio. Clad in a diaphanous cover-up, booties with sky high heels and 1940s waves in her hair, the Caribbean beauty warbled songs that captured the night perfectly: Phresh Out The Runway and Diamonds. With her stunning looks, lissome moves and dulcet tones, Rihanna may have been the real “angel.”
Black Eyed Peas 2009
With black light blanketing the space and the audience waving green glow sticks, Black Eyed Peas offered a futuristic performance of “Boom Boom Pow,” the cracking 2009 hit that invites swagger. As the Peas’ chorused, “Gotta get that,” gotta get that,” Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr and the other models catwalked down the V-shaped jet-black runway in colossal wings, spacey accouterments and, of course, tiny tops and bottoms. Who needs Freud when you have Fergie?
Justin Timberlake 2006
GQ’s Man of the Year in 2013 made models, mothers and maidens swoon at VSFS in 2006. As the camera shows JT walking to the stage, models talk about how much they love his moves. Timberlake teases with his seductive falsetto ballad “My Love” accompanied by acoustic guitar then starts swaying down the sparkly runway with dancers mirroring his every step. Even Giselle Bundchen, whose relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio had fizzled and had not yet begun to date Tom Brady, was enamored of JT. When he returns to the stage later and finishes his performance of “Sexy Back,” well, it’s time for a smoke and a sigh.
Balancing falsetto and his cool, melodic alto, Usher sang “What’s your name, I want to know who you are,” as if he were in a bar and the nearly naked wing-clad women bouncing past him were girls looking for a date – and he sold it big time. While Lenny Kravitz looked on in the front row and Heidi Klum strode by, Usher launched into his absurdly catchy “Yeah” adding fluid, balletic moves that Michael Jackson would have approved of. Yeah, indeed.
Katy Perry 2010
Can you get anymore apropos than Katy Perry, a living doll, singing “Teenage Dream,” a line that should be the post script to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show? Alas, there weren’t any “skin tight jeans” on the catwalk, but rather transparent a la Perry Candyland outfits and get ups that young boys imagine girls wear to slumber parties. Perry segued into her mega hit “Hot ‘n’ Cold,” an ode to hormone fluctuations over the ages, while looking as though she herself should be one of the VS “angels.”
Taylor Swift 2013
Last year Taylor Swift was wearing almost as much sparkle and glitter as the Angel’s themselves in her Union Jack costume and silver minidress. “I’ve always loved the idea of the Victoria’s Secret show because it’s so glamorous and it’s so fun and festive,” Swift said. “It’s such a show. It’s such a spectacle. Getting to be here and hang out with these girls and being friends with one of them, I don’t think you could ask for anything better.” In addition to making a guest appearance on Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark,” Swift gave a lively performance of “I Know You Were Trouble.” She will return again this year with Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Hozier.
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.