From 50 Cent to Nine Inch Nails, everyone's had their Grammys moment
The Grammys are always packed with controversy and this year will be no exception. Fans were left furious back in 2014 when producers cut to an advert before the end of Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Lindsey Buckingham and Dave Grohl’s set. “Music’s biggest night… to be disrespected. A heartfelt FUCK YOU guys,” tweeted Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor. Here are 18 more shocking moments.
Topless protestor Michael Portnoy interrupted Bob Dylan’s performance in 1998. Michael jumped on stage, ripped off his shirt to reveal ‘SOY BOMB’ painted on his chest and started dancing. Dylan didn’t bat an eyelid.
In 2004, 50 Cent lost out on the Best New Artist award to Evanescence. In protest, he silently walked across the stage during their acceptance speech. In fairness, we’d probably do the same if Evanescence beat us at anything other than gothic dressing.
The Grammys introduced a Best Rap Artist category in 1989, but didn’t air the award on TV. Will Smith, Jazzy Jeff, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Salt-N-Pepa boycotted the awards in the year following, with MTV holding boycott parties. “It’s live graduating from high school and not being able to walk down the aisle,” said Will Smith.
After getting into a spot of bother with Frank Ocean in a car park a few weeks before the 2013 Grammys, it’s safe to say Chris Brown wasn’t his biggest fan. So when the R&B singer bagged Best Urban Contemporary Album and got a standing ovation, Chris behaved like any mature 3-year-old would and remained seated, before appearing to get a tongue-lashing from Adele for his behaviour.
At the 2014 Grammy Awards, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis scooped four gongs, beating Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Jay Z to Best Rap Artist – much to distaste of pretty much the whole rap community, including Macklemore himself. He sent Kendrick a text saying: “You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have.”
After Eminem received criticism from the LGBT community for homophobic lyrics on his ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ album, everyone was surprised when Elton John showed his support for the rapper by duetting with him at the 2001 Grammys. The pair performed ‘Stan’.
‘Blame It On The Rain’ duo Milli Vanilli bagged Best New Artist trophies at the Grammys in 1990, but had to give them back later that year. It turns out neither of then had contributed any vocals to their album.
Arriving with P Diddy, J Lo shocked viewers at the 2000 Grammy Awards by donning a sheer sarong-like frock that was split from neck-to-navel and waist-to-toe.
In 2012, Nicky Minaj arrived on the Grammy red carpet with the an actor dressed up as the Pope as her date. The Catholic church were like ‘woah.. stop being sacrilegious’, but things only got worse. Nikki’s performance of ‘Roman Holiday’ included a priest performing an exorcism.
When Kanye West collected his Best Rap Album award at the 2005 Grammys, he addressed the fact everyone thought he’d kick off if he didn’t win. “I know everybody asked me the question ‘what’s Kan gon do… I know he’s going to wild out or do something crazy'”, said Kanye. “Everybody wanted to know what I’d do if I didn’t win. I guess we’ll never know.”
Billy Joel took a stand against the Grammy producers’ habit of cutting speeches and tributes short in 1993. He stopped his performance of ‘River Of Dreams’ to ‘waste commercial time’. “Valuable advertising time going by,” he said. “Dollars, dollars, dollars.”
When Beyoncé and Jay Z opened the 2014 Grammy’s with a raunchy performance of ‘Drunk In Love’, Jay kept in the controversial lyrics in which he compares himself to Tina Turner’s abusive husband Ike. “I’m Ike Turner, turn up, baby, no, I don’t play,” he rapped. “Now eat the cake, Anna Mae said, “Eat the cake, Anna Mae!”
Wu-Tang’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard stormed the Grammy stage in 1998. He stole the mic and started ranting about Puff Daddy beating them to Best Rap Album. “I went and bought me an outfit today that cost me a lot of money, because I figured that Wu-Tang was gonna win,” he said. “Wu-Tang is for the children. We teach the children. Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best.”
Nas and Kelis got viewers talking at the 2008 Grammys by turning up in matching tops to promote Nas’ album ‘N*gger’.
When Taylor Swift performed ‘Rhiannon’ with Stevie Nicks at the 2010 Grammys, a technical issue led to her… err.. not sounding her best. She was mocked by journos and bloggers – The Washington Post described it as “off-key caterwauling”. Taylor reacted by writing song ‘Mean’ about her haters.
In 1990, Sinead O’Connor received four Grammy nominations but asked that her name be removed. She boycotted the awards – refusing to accept her Best Alternative Music Performance trophy for ‘I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got’ – because of the “commercialisation of the awards”.
When Bon Iver picked up Best New Artist in 2012, Justin Vernon felt conflicted about his win. “It’s really hard to accept this award,” he said. “There’s so much talent out here… and there’s a lot of talent that’s not here tonight. It’s also hard to accept because you know, when I started to make songs I did it for the inherent reward of making songs, so I’m a little bit uncomfortable up here.”
Heavily pregnant MIA performed ‘Swagga Like Us’ at the 2009 awards wearing a daring see-through dress (with spots hiding her rude bits). “When I read these books on childbirth, they are like, ‘If you want to induce labour, try having a game of arm wrestle with your friend,'”she said. “I am like, “Oh my God, my option isn’t an arm wrestle – it’s like being onstage and with Jay Z.'”