Photo credit:   Gettyimages

Photo credit: Gettyimages

The Grammy Awards have always officially been about handing out awards and recognizing the best in the music business from year to year. What sets it apart from other award shows is the performances by nominees and other brilliant artists during the show, turning it into a temporary concert venue seen by millions.

Most years the show may be fodder for the tabloids for a couple of days, but once in a while a performer will show such star power that his or her performance is replayed for decades. Here are 15 of the best, in no particular order.

15) 2012 Adele Returns from Throat Surgery

Hugely popular singer Adele spent most of 2011 on an intense world tour, or so she planned. Instead, she developed a bleeding polyp in her vocal chords, making it almost impossible for her to sing. She underwent throat surgery in November to remove the polyp and repair the damage to her throat and vocal chords. Fans were worried that the surgery would change the quality of her strong, pure voice.

The fans had absolutely no reason to worry. The Grammy Awards in February were Adele’s comeback performance. Aware of her fans’ concern, she went on stage with a goal of proving she still had the power and the tone to belt out her signature emotional ballads. Standing on stage without benefit of an orchestra or even her trademark piano, she belted out the first few bars of “Rolling in the Deep” a cappella, or without accompaniment. The relieved fans brought down the house.