Date: February 15, 2006
Set designer: Vanessa Beecroft
Music performed: "Diamonds From Sierra Leone," "Gold Digger," "Touch the Sky"
Kanye West's performance at the BRIT Awards in 2006 has been lauded as one of the best performances in the history of the British music awards show. On February 15, 2006, the rapper took the stage at London's Earls Court Arena, emerging from an explosion of lights and throwing up the roc before beginning his epic performance. With a live orchestra to accompany his rhymes, Kanye strutted back and forth across the platform under the spotlight, spitting the lyrics to "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" and eventually segueing into the performance that would steal the show that night.
Seventy-seven backup dancers, spray-painted gold from head to toe, sashayed confidently onto the stage, joining Kanye as he rapped, "If you ain't no punk, holla we want prenup!" from "Gold Digger." The backup dancers, whose performance and appearance were conceptualized by artist Vanessa Beecroft, walked and posed confidently on their makeshift runway, parading their glitzy, barely-clad bodies. Meanwhile, Kanye continued to deliver an equally energetic and tireless show, one which most consider to be indicative of his future direction in stage design.