As the 55th Annual Grammy Awards approach (airing February 10 on CBS), Access Hollywood counts down the most memorable moments from the show’s over half-decade history.
10. Milli Vanilli (1990) — Maybe they will always be remembered for all the wrong reasons, but Milli Vanilli will go down in Grammy history as one of the Top 10 Grammy Moments when they won a Grammy in 1990 for “Best New Artist.” The world was in shock when it was revealed that the pair hadn’t sung a single note on their multi-platinum debut, “All or Nothing.” Milli Vanilli became the first artists to ever be stripped of their Grammy win.
9. Jennifer Hudson (2009 & 2012) – JHud earns a spot for two memorable Grammy moments. First, it was hard not tear up when watching the touching 2009 Grammy performance of “You Pulled Me Through” by “Dreamgirls” star Jennifer Hudson. Despite coping with the murder of her mother, brother and nephew just four months earlier, Hudson was able to flawlessly pull off a legendary performance of her song “You Pulled Me Through,” marking her comeback to the spotlight. A full choir sang behind her adding even more emotion and passion to the piece. Hudson barely finished the song, as she too, got emotional singing the last lyric of the song in this unforgettable performance. In 2012, the Grammys were just one short day after the shocking death of Whitney Houston. The “American Idol” alum took to the stage with less than a day of preparation to perform an emotional tribute to the late superstar.
8. Beyonce & Tina Turner (2008) — Eight-time Grammy winner and legendary diva Tina Turner united with modern-day diva Beyonce Knowles, making for quite the memorable performance of “Proud Mary.” The then 68-year-old Turner proved she could still wow a crowd with her infamous hip-shaking dance moves while Beyonce kept up beside her.
7. P!nk (2010) – The superstar awed audiences in 2010 with an incredible performance of her ballad, “Glitter.” Not only was the singer’s vocal performance spot on, but she sang live while executing an acrobatic aerial routine, raising the bar for pop stars everywhere! (And we’d like to add a special nod to P!nk’s amazingly fit physique, on display for millions in a nude unitard as she belted out the hit while spinning precariously – often upside down! — stories above the wide-eyed crowd.) She earned a rousing well-deserved standing ovation for her incredible display of strength and talent.
6. Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone (2005) — Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone paid homage to Janis Joplin in the unforgettable performance of Janis’ “Piece of My Heart” at the 2005 Grammy Awards show. The song, packed with raw emotion, was Etheridge’s first public appearance since undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She bravely stepped out on the stage, her head bald from chemotherapy, and sang her heart out. Etheridge rocked out on her guitar as she and Stone sang in perfect harmony together, mixing Stone’s soothing voice with Etheridge’s famed raspy rocker’s tone. In that one performance, she declared her victory over a potentially deadly disease.
5. Michael Jackson (1984) – Hard to have a Grammy list without the King of Pop! Nobody will forget the 26th Annual Grammy Awards when Michael Jackson was recognized with 12 nominations and eight Grammy wins for “Thriller.” Not only did he steal the night, but he set a record in the process for the most nominations in one year!
4. Yoko Ono’s Salute To John Lennon (1982) — One of the most touching moments in Grammy history brought an audience of thousands to their feet at the 1982 Grammy Awards, as Yoko Ono accepted the Grammy for Best Album on behalf of her deceased husband, the legendary John Lennon, just 15 months after she watched him be gunned down by a deranged fan. The applause from the crowd had a tremendous effect on Ono who afterwards said, “I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love from the audience that (son) Sean and I felt as we walked to the podium…”
3. Jennifer Lopez (2000) – Not everything is all about the music! Outrageous fashion is always a staple of Grammy night, and no red carpet ensemble embodied that more than J.Lo’s infamous see-through jungle sarong that she wore to the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2000. Accompanied by her boyfriend of the time, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jennifer’s dress raised major eyebrows on the red carpet with its down-to-the-navel neckline. One wrong move would have meant a major malfunction (which fortunately never happened!). J.Lo’s dress is forever etched in our minds as the most daring of daring, and it launched a trend or revealing gowns (note: Toni Braxton’s similar gown in 2001).
2. Eminem & Elton John (2001) — How can we forget the controversial 2001 Grammy performance of “Stan” by Eminem featuring Elton John? The gay community had previously criticized Eminem, about his homophobic lyrics making this Grammy duo an unexpected, but impressive, one. When asked about his part in the performance, John told the Los Angeles Times, “I’m a big fan of [Eminem’s] music… I’d rather tear down walls between people than build them up.” Elton John played piano, singing the chorus to Eminem’s popular song. The performance was a success, ending with a hug between John and Eminem and the two joining hands, as the audience applauded the new friendship.
1. Adele (2012) – The adorable Brit stole our hearts at the 2012 Grammys, winning a record SIX awards! The “Someone Like You” songstress managed to maintain her composure (casually chewing gum and appearing relaxed) until her acceptance speech for Album Of The Year for “21.” She broke down in tears while saying her “thank yous” and had the audience in stitches when she wiped her nose and proclaimed, “I’ve got a bit of snot!” The night was also especially memorable as the singer belted out a flawless version of her hit, “Rolling in the Deep” — her first public performance after undergoing a troubling vocal cord surgery.
Catch the 2013 Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 10 on CBS.