This Sunday the 56th annual Grammy Awards will broadcast from Los Angeles. Since it’s the biggest night in music, fans expect greatness from the event. While every ceremony hasn’t lived up to expectations, it at least always leaves one memorable moment from the night. Whether it’s an amazing performance, an odd duet, or the routine stage crashing, the Grammys always gets people talking the next day. Here are some of the biggest moments that people couldn’t get over.
How Many Did He Win? (1984)
When Michael Jackson won his first Grammy in 1980 for “Off the Wall” he swore his next album would win more. He kept good to his word. In 1984, Jackson took home a total of eight Grammys for the ground breaking album “Thriller,” breaking the previous record of Paul Simon’s seven. Jackson still holds the record for most awards won during a single evening. The only other person to come close was Adele in 2012 for winning six. The image of Jackson cradling eight awards in his arms is one of the most iconic and memorable of the singer.
Man in the Mirror (1988)
At the 30th Grammy Awards, Michael Jackson gave one of his most powerful and memorable performances of Grammy history and his career. He began singing his current hit “The Way You Make Me Feel” while pulling off some of his infamous dance moves. Michael’s love interest from the music video, Tatiana Thumbtzen, even joins him on stage. Then the lights go down and Jackson dives into the moving “Man in the Mirror” joined by a full choir. The performance is notable due to the feeling the singer puts into the song, including dropping down to his knees several times. It was an emotionally driven performance for the singer and viewers at home felt it too.
No Grammy for You (1990)
For some strange reason people couldn’t get enough of Milli Vanilli’s “Girl You Know it’s True.” It was so popular that it earned them the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1990. Of course they were outed for lip synching during a live performance. After this, the public learned it wasn’t actually the duo singing on the track. Due to pressure from the media and the public, the Grammy committee decided to revoke their award in the same year. Though later in the 90’s they tried to make a comeback by actually singing, the magic was already gone.
Way Before Kanye (1998)
Though rapper Kanye West is best known for his erratic and rude stage crashes at award ceremonies, ODB from the Wu-Tang clan mastered it. During Shawn Colvin’s acceptance speech for Song of the Year, ODB hops on stage protesting Wu-Tang’s loss in the Best Rap Album category. Some of his most memorable lines from his rant are “Wu-Tang are for the Children” and “I went and bought me an outfit today that costed a lot of money today because I figured Wu-Tang was gonna win.” It left Colvin and viewers at home stunned and confused.
Soy Bomb! (1998)
The 40th Grammys was a night filled with stage crashing. Bob Dylan got firsthand experience while performing “Love Sick.” In the middle of the performance back up dancer Michael Portnoy rushed next to Dylan shirtless with “Soy Bomb” written on his chest. He then started doing weird contortions and dance moves before he was escorted off stage. He was actually hired to stand in the background and groove to Dylan’s music, but it’s obvious Portnoy had his own plans. He later said “Soy Bomb” meant a “spontaneous explosion of the self’ to re-invigorate the current music scene.”
Living La Vida Loca! (1999)
In 1999, America caught Latin fever! Several Latin artists started making names for themselves, but no one did better than Ricky Martin. His performance of “The Cup of Life” is one of the most memorable moments from the ceremony. Not only was it the start to his highly successful career, but many couldn’t get over his good looks. With many more catchy singles throughout his career, this is still his biggest highlight.
The Infamous Dress (2000)
This is the one event where you can always find the biggest names in music. With so many stars under one roof it’s hard to catch them all, but at the 2000 Grammys all eyes were on JLo. Jenny from the Block made jaws drop in the green Versace dress with a neckline that left nothing to the imagination. It was one of the most talked about moments of the year and even today it’s still remembered. South Park creator Matt Stone even showed up to the 2000 Oscars in the same dress much to the dismay of anybody who had to walk past him.
The Real Slim Shady (2001)
2001 was an exciting and rough year for Eminem. On one hand, he had the highly successful album “The Marshall Mathers LP” climbing the charts. On the other, many began protesting his language saying it promoted homophobic behavior and accused the rapper of hating gay people. To prove everyone wrong, the rapper brought Elton John on stage for a rendition of “Stan.” At the song’s end, the two hugged and held hands showing that Eminem wasn’t such a bad guy after all.
The Original Lady Marmalade (2002)
In 2002, no matter where you went you heard the instant hit “Lady Marmalade” remade by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mya, and Lil Kim. All of the ladies came out in sexy lingerie singing the popular song and sounding better than the record. Just when the crowd thought it was over, Patti LaBelle rises from the stage wearing a stunning red dress showing the young divas how its done. The surprise guest got squeals and cheers from the crowd making it one of the best performances of the night.
Red, White, and Black all over (2004)
Though the White Stripes had already been around for a few years, they were getting mainstream recognition in 2004. Not only were they up for several awards that year including, Album of the Year for “Elephant,” they treated the crowd to an electrified and high energetic mash up of their hit “Seven Nation Army” and a cover of “Death Letter.” From then on, Jack White would hit the Grammy stage several more times for more big wins and amazing performances.
The American Idiot (2005)
This was a huge year for Green Day. They released their highly successful album “American Idiot” the previous year and it didn’t go unnoticed on Grammy night. Though they were up for several awards including album of the year, they took home Best Rock Album. They also did an explosive performance of the title track filled with tons of pyro. It got them a standing ovation showing why Green Day are still one of the best live acts around.
Gorillaz and Madonna join forces (2006)
The animated band The Gorillaz opened the 2006 Grammy Awards with their cartoon, holographic images projected on a large screen. Thanks to this technology it looked like you could actually touch them. De La Soul joined them on stage briefly for their hit “Feel Good Inc,” but the real highlight came when Madonna strutted on stage, walking around the members while singing her big hit at the time “Hung Up.” It was one collaboration no one saw coming and one that has gone down in Grammy history.
The Boys Are Back In Town (2009)
While the 51st Grammys didn’t have many outrageous moments, one that stuck out is Blink-182 taking the stage to announce their comeback. The guys went on an “indefinite hiatus” in 2005 causing each member to seek new projects. In 2008, drummer Travis Barker was involved in a plane crash which took the lives of everyone except for Barker and DJ AM. Tom Delonge later said when he heard about the crash he realized he almost lost his friend and it was time for them to make amends. They released their first album in eight years entitled “Neighborhoods.” Blink fans everywhere were ecstatic to see the guys together once again.
Taking Things to a New Level (2010)
Pink is a Grammy favorite and in 2010 she took the ceremony to new heights, literally. She began her bittersweet song “Glitter in the Air” by walking out on stage in a beautiful white dress before shedding it to show off a fitting body suit. Many wondered why she was stripping in the middle of the crowd, but when she walked towards the acrobats nobody saw what came next. Pink soaring and twirling through the air while she continued singing looking as graceful as ever. When she landed back on the stage the crowd went wild. It proved to be one of the most exciting performances of the night.
Dave Keeps Fighting (2012)
It’s no surprise the Foo Fighters won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance, but it’s Dave Grohl’s speech on the state of music that got everyone talking the next day. Speaking about the band’s win, he stated:
“To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what’s important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that’s the most important thing for people to do… It’s not about being perfect, it’s not about sounding absolutely correct, it’s not about what goes on in a computer. It’s about what goes on in here [your heart] and what goes on in here [your head]. ”
Grohl later clarified he was talking about the human element missing from music when critics questioned his thoughts, especially when he performed with Deadmau5 later in the night. Either way, everyone still loves Dave Grohl.
The Return of Adele (2012)
If there was one person who took over the 54th Grammys it was Adele. It was her big return to the stage after her throat microsurgery, which many feared would affect her signing career. The fears were put to rest after her amazing performance of “Rolling in the Deep.” She then went on to win all of the six awards she was nominated for that night equaling the record of most awards won by a female artist in one night, originally held by Beyonce.