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The 50 Best Britney Spears Performances, Ranked

Everything is iconic.

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50. "I Will Be There" live from Orlando.

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What makes it special: This is the only professionally recorded live performance of "I Will Be There" known to exist (jk there is one at Arthur Ashe too), and it's important that we don't forget about this classic album track. The Disney concert special, in general, was cute, and this choreo is cheesy AF but perfectly 1999 Britney.

48. "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know" live from the Crazy2K tour.

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What makes it special: The Crazy 2k Tour wasn't that much different than the ...Baby One More Time tour, but her performance of "Last to Know" was definitely something different. The magic carpet (production value!) going over the audience was a big draw. Those live vocals and that iconic flippy-bob haircut too!

47. "Silent Night" from the Rockefeller Center tree lighting.

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What makes it special: Probably the only time we'll ever see Britney perform a Christmas song (though can you imagine if she randomly bursted out into "My Only Wish" on Piece of Me?). Kenny G could never.

46. "Anticipating" live from The Dream Within a Dream Tour.

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What makes it special: I will always have a special place for this performance in my heart. It also has her most famous concert sing-off. "Anticipating" should have been a single (not only in France).

45. "Me Against the Music" live at the American Music Awards.

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What makes it special: Huge stage, that ponytail, and random live vocals. It's also "cool" how she switched to the Rishi Rich remix mid-song. She's also wearing an (iconic) half-silver top thing. Legendary.

44. "How I Roll" live from the Femme Fatale tour.

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What makes it special: The performance concept, while simple, is just so damn cute. You can tell she really enjoys performing this song every time. A Femme Fatale tour favorite.

43. "Gimme More" live from the Femme Fatale tour.

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What makes it special: THE RESURRECTION OF "GIMME MORE"! This is on the list for more symbolic reasons because it was the first time she performed "Gimme More" after the VMAs. Also this performance screams "Godney: Queen of the Nile." I AM HERE FOR THAT.

42. "...Baby One More Time" live on Good Morning America.

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What makes it special: Out of all her early "Baby" performances (with live vocals), this one is her best. She is most comfortable on the stage, and the live band ads a really raw (and urban?) element.

41. "Lucky" live on on the Today show.

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What makes it special: Brit's summer stage stint on the Today show was v. cute. What a time to be alive! This performance of "Lucky" is on this list because of the live vocals and her adorable microphone choreography. I almost put her Top of the Pops performance of "Lucky" on the list but I think the Today one just slightly beats it out.

40. "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart" and "... Baby One More Time" live on the Grammys.

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What makes it special: Britney's only live Grammy performance! The dance break is awk AF and everything about this performance doesn't really make sense but still, this performance is unforgettable. Those robots?! What were you thinking, Britney?! <3

39. The M+M's Tour.

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What makes it special: What was this even? We probably will never find out, but this was the strangest "tour" Britney's ever had. When I'm 75 and tell my kids, "Britney had a tour at a place called the House of Blues" they'll all be like WTF.

38. "Black Cat" live from the ...Baby One More Time tour.

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What makes it special: The Baby tour was relatively basic (no shade — it really was), and the '80s medley was definitely a standout. "Black Cat" was the best part of it. Everyone knows Britney stans for Janet (more than Madonna), and it was dope to watch her sing this in concert. That leather outfit too >>>

37. "If U Seek Amy" live from the Circus tour.

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What makes it special: "Amy" is a fan-favorite performance from the Circus tour mainly because of the energy she gives throughout it. That purple fur thing is also iconic.

36. "The Hook Up" live from the Onyx Hotel Tour.

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What makes it special: "The Hook Up" was always a secret highlight for me on the Onyx Hotel Tour. SHE'S BAREFOOT, PEOPLE. Your faves would never (be barefoot on a stage like that)!

35. "Get Naked" live on the Circus tour.

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What makes it special: Britney gets a lot of flack for her lack of leg movement nowadays, but it's easy to forget the elaborate choreography that goes into each performance. No place is that more apparent than "Get Naked" on the Circus tour. Also this performance is pure sex. The dick euphemisms are iconic.

34. "Everytime" live during Rock In Rio.

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What makes it special: The ponytail. The live vocals. The piano playing. Ladies and gentleman, it's Barefoot Naturalney at her finest. How can you not FEEL when she gets on her knees! At 2:33 when she sticks her tongue out I die. *Cries*

33. "Don't Go Knockin' on My Door" live from London.

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What makes it special: This list wouldn't be complete without Britney's purple catsuit from the Oops tour. Love the doors at props. Love this underrated performance.

32. "What You See Is What U Get" from the Oops!... I Did It Again tour.

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What makes it special: The pole-dance choreography with the pink cowboy hat!!!!! Every time I watch this performance I feel like a stronger woman. Thank you, Britney!

31. "Lonely" live from the Dream Within a Dream Tour.

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What makes it special: "Who's this chick? I think she wants to battle me." It's so hard not to just put every performance from the DWAD Tour on this list because every performance was so good. "Lonely" was a step above the rest because of the screen element. That shit was cool.

30. "...Baby One More Time" live from the 1999 VMAs.

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What makes it special: This was (obviously) the first of many memorable Britney VMA performances. It's short and sweet and the dancer introductions are iconic. TJ forever. "Right now I'd like to introduce to you some friends of mine" slays me.

29. "Me Against The Music" live at the NFL kickoff.

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What makes it special: This was the debut performance of "Me Against the Music." It's also one of the only times she performed the Penelope Magnet (M-A-G-N-E-T) remix of it (though it's not the full remix). NFLney, y'all!

28. "Womanizer" live on The X-Factor U.K.

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What makes this special: Her best TV performance of "Womanizer." It's all about the hair flip (heard round the world) during the breakdown for this one. A+.

27. "Oops! I Did It Again" live from MTV's Britney Live special.

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What makes it special: Britney Live was a solid Britney special. Her performances were great. Around this time period, she was performing "Oops" with live vocals all over the place. This is one of the better times.

26. "Slave" live on Letterman

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What makes it special: Britney uses the entire Letterman studio, which is...iconic. Her live vocals give me life. When she dances on Dave's desk it's truly a *moment*.

25. "You Drive Me Crazy" live from Hawaii.

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What makes it special: This list needed a performance from her Live in Hawaii special because duh, and her early live versions of "Crazy" were such a treat. I always liked how she did the album version of "Crazy" because the bridge sounds great live. Her chair dance/"Is this the end?" part is so early B.

24. The 2001 Super Bowl halftime show.

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What makes it special: The best Super Bowl halftime performance of all time!!! Britney and Justin walking down the catwalk looking at each other makes me long for happier times.

23. "Work Bitch" live in Las Vegas from the Piece of Me tour.

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What makes it special: It's the opening number in Vegas and basically sets the mood for the whole show...that she's going to work, bitch. The big dance sequence at the end is always something to look forward to. The rigid motions and "military-esque" choreo is everything.

22. "Break the Ice" live in Las Vegas from the Piece of Me tour.

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What makes it special: "Break the Ice" is Britney's most upsettingly underrated (and shit on) single. That animated video broke my heart. Still, it was nice to see it included in the Piece of Me set list. The breakdown has quickly become one of the highlights from Piece of Me. Everyone who makes the pilgrimage to mecca (Planet Hollywood) knows it's a highlight of the show.

21. "Stronger" from the American Music Awards.

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What makes it special: Britney always brings a little extra to the AMAs. She totally hits the dance break, and this is simply her most memorable performance of "Stronger" ever.

20. "Circus" live on Good Morning America.

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What makes it special: Holy shit is this a hot performance! Those leather pants and that midriff... What the fuck?! Effortless. I remember being upset with this performance back in the day, but now I appreciate its greatness. Circusney forever.

18. "...Baby One More Time" live from the Onyx Hotel Tour.

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What makes it special: The cabaret mix of "Baby" is so damn good and really f*ckin' hot! How she holds back with the chorus until the end gives me butterflies. The chair dance and martini toss are huge.

17. "Piece of Me" live on the Circus tour.

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What makes it special: One of everyone's favorites from the Circus tour. She always felt the fuck out of this one. The hair flips and caged gyrations. Yes yes yes!!!

16. "Slave" live from the Dream Within a Dream Tour.

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What makes it special: "Oh my goodness, it's a little hot in here. I'm gonna ask a question: Have you ever heard a song that kind of just took over your body? I don't know, you just felt like a slave to the music. Hehe." AMEN. She totally nails the choreography and the green top is everything. The pole dancing and back bend at the end do things to me.

15. "Overprotected" live from Albany, New York.

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What makes it special: The Albany, New York, concert from the Dream Within a Dream Tour stop is super special to Britney fans. It's also a huge mystery. For some reason, three performances were broadcasted on Japanese TV. Even stranger, all three performances featured live vocals. Your favorite folklore could never. Anyway, the "Overprotected" choreography from the Dream Within a Dream Tour was fucking awesome, and this performance was rock solid. Now someone please leak this whole show!

14. "The Way You Make Me Feel" with Michael Jackson.

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What makes it special: Two pop legends on one stage for one time only. The chemistry they have is undeniable. That green dress makes me want to be a better person. The fact that this performance is so memorable and there is basically no choreography shows the power and natural magnetic draw of these two together. RIP.

13. "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" live on the American Music Awards.

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What makes it special: This Crossroads-themed performance!!!! Her 100% live vocals and hand scarf drive me wild. The breakdown at the end with her backup singers gives me life. Liveney <3

12. "Like a Virgin" live at the 2003 VMAs.

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What makes it special: THE KISS. The best part about the kiss was the roar the audience gave after it. Stunt-wise, this is the best VMA performance of the past 20 years. The look Justin Timberlake gives the camera after the kiss is classic. #teambritney

11. "You Oughta Know" from the Circus tour in Chicago.

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What makes it special: 9/9/09. Never forget. This will go down in Britney history as the most random performance EVER. This came out of absolutely nowhere and slayed all of our lives. It's almost like a dream. I still can't believe it.

10. "Gimme More" live from the 2007 VMAs.

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What makes it special: INFAMOUS. This performance is completely infamous. What would the world be like without this performance? I don't even want to know.

9. "Everytime" live on Saturday Night Live.

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What makes it special: Her best live vocals of "Everytime." The SNL stage sets the mood perfectly for the song, and the harp adds that extra umph. Chills every time (get it?).

8. "...Baby One More Time" and "Crazy" live at the EMAs.

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What makes it special: I know I'm going to get a lot of flack for including this performance instead of her 1999 Billboard performance but WHATEVER. The energy of this crowd makes this performance infinitely better than the Billboard one. I also think this "Crazy/Baby" medley is one of her best medleys of all time. The remix is on point. Also: THE BACKFLIP.

7. "Boys" and "Slave" from Korea AND the ABC special.

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What makes it special: Britney KILLED IT in Korea on her In the Zone press tour. The "Slave" split breakdown is insane. Gladiator Skirtney destroying lives! I know it's controversial, but this performance shits on her ABC special performance of the same song BUT because I'm democratic and the two performances are basically the same I've included that one as well.

6. "Toxic" live from the ABC special.

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What makes it special: This is arguably her best performance of "Toxic" ever. I say "arguably" because there are just so many good performances of it. I fucking hate how I had to be the one to choose!

5. "Breathe on Me" live from the Onyx Hotel Tour.

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What makes it special: This performance ALMOST makes me want to be straight. Jesus Christ. Never in the history of beds has there been choreography this hot. I remember the first time I saw her and checkerboard-head make out, I screamed. I still scream every time I watch this performance today. Fuck.

4. "Slave" live from the 2001 VMAs.

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What makes it special: Her biggest (set- and production value–wise) VMA performance! We tend to forget that Britney premiered "Slave" on the VMAs, meaning this was the first time anyone in the world heard the song. The iconic-ness! This outfit is also one of her most imitated. It also created a minor celeb out of Banana, the snake. When (normal) people think of Britney, they tend to think of this performance.

3. "Me Against the Music" and "I've Got That Boom Boom" on TRL's "Spankin' New Music Week."

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What makes it special: This is peak In the Zoneney. Those brown leather chaps and purple panties are literally too much. The choreography was ON POINT and the energy of Times Square takes it next-level. Also LIVE VOCALS!!!!! This is arguably the best set of performances from the In the Zone era. Both hold a special place in Britney stan hearts. Fedoraney forever.

2. "...Baby One More Time" live from the Dream Within a Dream Tour.

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What makes it special: The Wade Robson remix of "Baby" is, without a doubt, the best tour remix of a Britney song ever. It's actual fire minus the flames. The onstage waterfall was truly flowing (THERE WAS A LOT OF WATER), and Britney always seemed like she was having so much fun. The end of the performance, when she's just hanging there smiling, always does it for me too. Also she was wearing a like $20,000 diamond top with a plastic cowboy hat. That's iconic. Everything about this performance was PERFECTION.

1. "Satisfaction" and "Oops" live from the 2000 VMAs.

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What makes it special: This performance literally changed the trajectory of Britney's career. No other performance of her career caused so much buzz. The striptease! The crimped hair! The rhinestoned thong! I'M DEAD. When archaeologists look back on the VMAs in a thousand years they will find this performance and be like, "Damn." And I know it's controversial to put this ahead of the 2001 VMA performance, but let's be real, this one CHANGED HER. 2000 VMA performance FOREVER.

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