Top 10 Most Memorable Grammy Moments



Top 10 Most Memorable Grammy Moments

Script by Tiffany Azuma

You can't have the biggest night in music without creating some crazy, memorable moments. Welcome to and today we'll be counting down the Top 10 Grammy Moments. For this list, we're looking at the most memorable moments, whether they're good or bad. Performances aren't eligible for this list, since we've already done a Top 10 for those.

Special thanks to our user Jerome Magajes for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at
Top 10 Grammy Moments

You can’t have the biggest night in music without creating some crazy, memorable moments. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Grammy Moments.
For this list, we’re looking at the most memorable moments, whether they’re good or bad. Performances aren’t eligible for this list, since we’ve already done a Top 10 for those.

#10: The Hip-Hop Community Boycotts
“31st Annual Grammy Awards” (1989)

Sometimes the best way to make a statement is by not showing up. That’s exactly what Will Smith, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and other members of the hip-hop community did when they learned that the award for Best Rap Performance would not be televised at the 1989 ceremony. Will Smith made it clear that he didn’t have an actual problem with the Grammys as an awards body but he did feel that hip-hop was being given  second-class treatment. He and Jazzy Jeff did win the Grammy that night for “Parents Just Don’t Understand” but their protest spoke louder than any award could.

#9: Helen Reddy Thanks A Female God
“15th Annual Grammy Awards” (1973)

It’s a pretty common occurrence that musicians thank God in their acceptance speeches but not many people have made the act a political statement in quite the way Helen Reddy did. At the 1973 ceremony, Helen Reddy went up to accept Best Female Pop Performance for her feminist anthem, “I Am Woman.” In a speech that took less than 10 seconds, she surprised the crowd when she referred to God as a woman. People refer to God however they want now, but at the time it was quite the anti-patriarchal statement that millions of Americans were hearing for the first time.

#8: Lady Gaga Arrives in an Egg
“53rd Annual Grammy Awards” (2011)

Lady Gaga has done many kooky things during her time in the spotlight, and we can’t even say that her 2011 Grammys entrance was even the weirdest, but it’s definitely in her top five. As a part of her performance for “Born This Way,” Gaga arrived at the ceremony in an egg. That’s right, an egg. She was carried in by a group of models in the egg because she was “incubating.” The shell was later cracked onstage just in time for her to sing the hit song. We have to hand it to her for making her moment last all night.

#7: Jethro Tull Beats Metallica
“31st Annual Grammy Awards” (1989)

With any awards show, you can argue about who takes home the trophies since it’s all a matter of opinion, but in this instance . . . there was clearly a wrong choice. In the inaugural Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance award, many expected  Metallica to take home the award. But the Grammys shocked everyone when Jethro Tull inexplicably won, despite not even really being a hard rock or metal group. Many criticized the governing body for being out of touch with trends in music, and Jethro Tull became the brunt of many jokes, due to them having a flute player in their ranks, an instrument that definitely doesn’t scream “hard rock”.


#6: Kanye Interrupts Beck
“57th Annual Grammy Awards” (2015)

Kanye, aka the #1 stan in the Beyhive, made Grammy history when he, well,  pulled a Kanye and chose a new target to interrupt: Beck. Well, not quite. In a joke move, Kanye pretended as if he was going to interrupt Beck when he won Best Album of the Year for “Morning Phase.” Beck was up against Beyoncé for her self-titled 2014 album and many thought this moment would be a repeat of the Taylor Swift VMAs drama. West jumped up on the stage right as Beck arrived and a bewildered Beck actually waved Kanye back on but he returned to his seat instead of speaking. Kanye  later told reporters that Beck should give his award to Beyoncé.

#5: Michael Jackson Wins Big
“26th Annual Grammy Awards” (1984)

Michael Jackson isn’t known as the King of Pop for nothing. At the 1984 ceremony, he became truly ascendant when he won a record breaking eight Grammys in one night for “Thriller”. This record haul still hasn’t been topped. Those Grammys included the coveted Album of the Year and Record of the Year among six others. He was up for 12 awards that night, a special honor in itself. Interestingly enough, he lost out to Sting for “Every Breath You Take” for Song of the Year, despite having both “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” in contention. Can’t win ‘em all!

#4: Ol’ Dirty Bastard Interrupts Shawn Colvin
“40th Annual Grammy Awards” (1998)

Years before Kanye interrupted Taylor, Ol’ Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan was the first to pull the move. At the 1998 ceremony, ODB felt the spirit overtake him, and he jumped up on stage as Shawn Colvin was going up to accept her award for Song of the Year. She hadn’t made it up to the stage yet so he didn’t technically interrupt her, but he did steal her spotlight. Feeling salty about Wu-Tang’s loss to Puff Daddy for Best Rap Album, he used his stolen speech time to say that Wu-Tang was the best out there and that they were “for the children,” quite possibly one of the best arguments out there.

#3: Bob Dylan Gets “Bombed”
“40th Annual Grammy Awards” (1998)

What was in the water in 1998? This is perhaps one of the most bizarre moments in the show’s history. Bob Dylan was invited to perform at the show due to his nominations for that night. During his performance of “Love Sick,” Dylan was clearly alarmed when one of his backup dancers (well, head nodders) started gyrating around with the words “Soy Bomb” written across his chest. Like the seasoned pro he is, Dylan kept on performing and eventually the interloper was escorted off the stage. The world later found out that “Soy Bomb” was New York performance artist, Michael Portnoy. He described the phrase as meaning a “spontaneous explosion of self.” Okay, bro.

#2: Jennifer Lopez Wears “The Dress”
“42nd Annual Grammy Awards” (2000)

Before J.Lo was really J.Lo, she was defined by “the dress.” At the 2000 Grammys, she shocked the world and made headlines when she appeared in a very revealing Versace gown. The green and blue see-through silk chiffon dress was cut all the way down to her navel and showed about, oh, 90% or so of her chest area. It’s a wonder she kept it in place all night as she presented the Best R&B Album with David Duchovny. J.Lo and her dress went viral before it was a thing, and perhaps only Pharrell and his hat at the 2014 Grammys has had anywhere near as much chatter about something worn to the ceremony.

#1: Milli Vanilli Wins Best New Artist
“32nd Annual Grammy Awards” (1990)

People sometimes claim that the Grammy for Best New Artist award is cursed, but in this instance we think Milli Vanilli was doomed long before they won they award at the 1990 ceremony. The German dancin’ duo were the toast of the awards that night as they scooped up the Grammy and performed their hit, “Girl You Know It’s True.” Only, it turned out they didn’t sing any of it. Later that year it was revealed that the duo lip-synched their entire album and were the attractive faces (and dancing feet) in front other people’s voices. Singer Charles Shaw, one of three actual singers on the group’s songs, came forward about the sham scam and, due to the public outcry, their Grammy was later revoked.