The Grammy Awards is genuinely one of the most prestigious award-giving bodies to recognize the talents of artists and musicians in the industry. These star-studded ceremonies are filled with iconic moments that are worth remembering.
Take a look back in time and discover some of the most impressive moments of all time at the Grammy Awards.
Michael Jackson Wins Eight Grammys
It was 1984 when the King of Pop Michael set a phenomenal record of winning eight Grammy Awards win in a single night. When the music legend won his seventh Grammy for Thriller, he tied with Paul Simon’s record for most wins at night.
Not only that, but he also took his sunglasses off for the first time upon the request of his friend, Katharine Hepburn. He then broke Paul Simon’s record by winning his eighth Grammy with Beat It, which was awarded as the record of the year.
Michael Jackson came home with a sweet eight golden statues and set a new record for the entire Grammy Awards orchestration!
Lady Gaga Arrives As An Egg And Hatches From It
It’s no surprise that Lady Gaga wears the most eccentric and bizarre outfits of all time on the red carpet, but the artist took it a notch higher at the 2011 Grammys - she arrived as an egg!
Gaga was carried down the red carpet inside an egg-shaped vessel by her handlers and couldn't entertain interviews that time because the latch got stuck. Later, she emerged from the egg to perform her LGBTQ anthem, Born This Way, which she performed in a yolk-colored latex ensemble to complete the egg production.
The artist, who later won three Grammys that night, told Jay Leno that she stayed for 72 hours inside the temperature-controlled egg. Leave it to Gaga to really up the ante with her avant-garde fashion!
Patti Labelle Joins A Performance Of Lady Marmalade
No one would ever forget that iconic performance of the best quad ever in the history of the Grammys - Christina Aguilera, Mya, Pink, and Lil’ Kim - and their performance of Lady Marmalade in 2002 Grammys.
Aside from being the last time the song was performed live with the four of them together, the quad even invited the legendary Pati Labelle that night, whose group originally sang and performed Lady Marmalade.
Lady Marmalade, the soundtrack of the hit film Moulin Rouge!, won as the best pop collaboration with vocals during the 2002 Grammys.
Eminem Performs With Elton John
In the 2001 Grammys, no one expected to see the controversial rapper, Eminem, come out on that stage with Elton John to perform the rapper’s song, Stan. It was one of the most iconic performances in Grammy Awards history, especially because Eminem was being accused of homophobia with his lyrics.
Host Jon Stewart said that after performing with Elton, Eminem also had agreed to go to the bathroom with George Michael, who, aside from being one of the most talented artists, was also known for being gay.
The duo held a show-stopping performance which ended with an emotional embrace as they held hands and bowed to the audience. To date, the rapper’s friendship with the legendary British music icon Elton John is stronger than ever, despite the backlash Elton received from the LGBTQ community.
Queen Latifah Proves To Be An Ally
On another episode of supporting the LGBTQ community, the 2014 Grammys held another impressive moment of its own that’s worth topping this list. When Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert performed their song Same Love, Queen Latifah married 33 LGBTQ couples onstage.
Not only did Madonna join the incredible performance of the gay-rights anthem, but Queen Latifah also performed a wedding ceremony on a stage that resembled a church altar, too.
This moment made history in the Grammys and since then became one of the best moments to happen on television.
Radiohead Brings A Marching Band
Radiohead made a jaw-dropping performance in the 2009 Grammys for collaborating with the USC Trojan Marching Band to perform the song 15 Step. They understood the assignment and brought an entire marching band to recreate the polyrhythmic sound of their song.
Known for their unique musical style, Radiohead pulled a page from Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk and gave musically-inclined college students a chance to perform on the big stage.
While it’s not entirely known if all members of Radiohead were there, it was nonetheless one of the greatest performances during the night. Radiohead ended up taking home the Best Alternative Music Album Award for In the Rainbows.
Beyoncé Rocks The House With A Pregnant Belly
The Grammy legend, with a total of 28 awards and 79 nominations, once again wowed the stage during the 2017 Grammys while she was carrying another human being inside of her. Her performance opened with an emotional dialogue on the gift of motherhood and birth, then proceeded to sing Love Drought and Sandcastles.
But Beyoncé’s legendary act doesn’t end there - she did all of that while balancing herself on a tilted chair. Although she only ended up taking home two Gramophones with her, her performance deserved another award category of its own.
Beyonce is the most awarded and nominated woman, most awarded artist, and the second-most awarded person in all of Grammy history.
Melissa Etheridge Performs After Undergoing Chemotherapy
Even cancer could not stop Melissa Etheridge from giving one of the best performances in her life during the 2005 Grammy Awards Night. With a shaved head due to her battle with breast cancer, the singer sang Piece of My Heart with a fiery duet with Joss Stone.
This was the first time she appeared on stage since her cancer diagnosis, and Melissa showed the world that she could still rock anything with her talent and passion for music.
The audience was not only stunned with their powerful performance but was inspired as well by Melissa’s courage and determination.
Beyoncé And Prince Open The Grammys
A star-studded show opening to the prestigious awards night was given by no other than the royals of the music industry, the queen Beyoncé and Prince.
Their jaw-dropping and spectacular production of a Purple Rain medley and Crazy in Love brought the house down and were one of the best show openings in the history of the Grammys.
Beyoncé ended up winning five Grammys that night, adding to her collection of Gramophones that made the night even spectacular.
Eric Clapton Sings For His Son
Singer-songwriter Eric Clapton performed an emotional rendition of his song Tears in Heaven during the 1993 Grammys. The performance of the song, which he wrote after his four-year-old son Conor’s death, came two years after the tragedy.
After winning six Grammys that night, Eric Clapton gave an acceptance speech which is regarded as one of the most moving and heartfelt speeches in the history of the Grammys.
“The one person I want to thank is my son for the love he gave me and the song he gave me,” Eric said. The song Tears in Heaven won the Record of the Year Award in which he ended his performance with.
The Beastie Boys Present A Rock Award
The iconic group, The Beastie Boys, took the stage with DJ Hurricane in the 1987 Grammys and strutted their way onstage in perfect lockstep with their iconic goofiness.
They announced the rock category winners and finally bestowed the best male rock performance to Robert Palmer. As Robert takes the stage to receive the award, Adam “MCA” attempts at a handstand and/or breakdance spin (we’re not entirely sure!) but humorously fails.
Prince Spins And Splits
Another one of Prince’s most iconic performances, the music legend closes the 1985 Grammys with Baby I’m A Star. He shouts to the audience, “Do you want some more?” before doing a flawless spin and seven perfect splits.
The performance continues with the members of the audience dancing on stage as Prince exits up the aisle.
Prince closed the show after taking home two Grammys for his Purple Rain soundtrack and Chaka Khan’s cover of his I Feel for You. Prince is missed and will forever remain to be one of the music industry’s amazing legends.
Yoko Remembers John Lennon
Yoko Ono, the wife of the late The Beatles member John Lennon, accepted the Album of the Year Award during the 1982 Grammys for their album Double Fantasy. Yoko walked up the stage with producer Jack Douglas and six-year-old son Sean.
Ono fondly remembered her husband and said, “ I don’t know what to say. I think John is here with us today. Both John and I were always really proud and happy that we were part of the human race. He made good music for the earth and for the universe.”
Yoko and John’s album won the Grammys just two years after John was tragically shot by one of his fans.
Taylor Swift Performs Amid The Pandemic
Without a doubt, every Taylor Swift performance is legendary, especially with her long history with the Grammys. In 2009, she was interrupted by Kanye during her acceptance speech for her first-ever AOTY award, to which she clapped back when she accepted her seconnd AOTY during the 2016 Grammys.
Despite Taylor’s numerous performances and wins at the prestigious awards night, nothing would come close to her recent performance of Cardigan, August, and Willow at the 2021 Grammys.
Her mature and bare vocals singing songs from what is considered her best albums to date is one of the most impressive performances in the history of the Grammys.
Taylor became the first woman and fourth artist ever to win the AOTY award thrice, each for a different genre, making her one of the best artists in her generation that shaped the music industry today.
If you can’t get enough, catch some replays of the Grammys and binge-watch nights of recognition, admiration, and applause to some of the greatest music legends to ever exist in history.
Let’s look forward to more talents to be recognized and take home the most coveted Gramophone in the music industry.