Kanye West opened Sunday’s show in his first TV appearance since dissing Taylor Swift at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards. T.I. made a triumphant return to TV for his first performance since being released from prison in December. And 1980s hitmaker El DeBarge blazed back onto the stage to play old hits and the title track from his first new album in 16 years.
But most unexpected was Chris Brown, who offered an emotional tribute to Michael Jackson.