AceShowbiz - One of the biggest nights in the music industry, the Grammy Awards is always hotly anticipated every year. With all eyes on it, producers and everyone involved in it do a lot of preparations to make sure everything is perfect on the D-day.
However, there are a lot of factors, such as human errors, people's reactions and others, that can make things unpredictable. While some could turn into nice surprises, many times this force majeure could turn the show disastrous.
As the 2022 Grammy Awards is right around the corner, let's take a look back at the most outrageous moments in the show's history to prepare for what may come at the coming ceremony.
Aretha Franklin earned the title as the Queen of Soul not without a reason. However, for a day only, she switched genre onstage at the 40th Grammy Awards for a good reason. She filled in for her good friend Luciano Pavarotti, who had just been deemed too sick to perform by his team of doctors, at "literally, a moment's notice."
With just one listen to Pavarotti's rehearsal tape and with no time to practice, the "Respect" singer delivered her own take on "Nessun Dorma". Her decades of experience did not disappoint as she earned a standing ovation from the crowd, which included Celine Dion and LeAnn Rimes, at the end of the performance.
More than a decade before Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift's speech at the MTV Video Music Awards, Ol' Dirty Bastard pulled it first at the 1998 Grammys. The Wu-Tang Clan member rushed onstage after Shawn Colvin was announced as the winner of Song of the Year to protest Puff Daddy a.k.a. P. Diddy's win for Best Rap Album, for which his group was nominated.
As he took the stage, the rapper said, "It's nice that I went and bought me an outfit today that costed a lot of money today, you know what I mean? 'Cause I figured that Wu-Tang was gonna win." He went on arguing, "I don't know how you all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu-Tang is for the children. We teach the children. You know what I mean? Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best, Okay? I want you all to know that this is ODB, and I love you all. Peace!"
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Milli Vanilli was an international sensation. Their debut album "Girl You Know It's True" was a huge success and brought them a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1990. However, the praises turned into backlash after it was revealed months later that members Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan didn't actually sing on the album.
Their Grammy was rescinded and criticism kept flowing in, although they had proven that they could actually sing. Their attempt at a comeback was abruptly cut when Pilatus suddenly died on the eve of their new album's promotional tour in April 1998 at the age of 32.
50 Cent was as outspoken as he is now back in 2004. After losing Best New Artist to Evanescence, he interrupted their acceptance speech onstage to protest their win. The band took it lightly, with frontwoman Amy Lee joking as she continued the speech, "In addition to 50 Cent, I'd like to thank my record label Wind-Up for finding us, especially Diana Meltzer for believing in me."
Meanwhile, 16 years after the loss, Fiddy was still salty about it. When he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2020, he brought up the 2004 Grammy event. "You got the largest debut hip hop album [but] you don's t got no Best New Artist trophy," he said. "The Best New Artist, they gave that s**t to Evanescence. Can you find f**king Evanescence? I ain't seen Evanescence since that night. Since that night they gave them the trophy."
To this day, Eminem has been accused of homophobia due to the inclusion of anti-gay lyrics in his 2000 album "The Marshall Mathers LP", so his duet with Elton John, an openly gay musician, at the 2001 Grammys was unexpected. Expressing their shock, GLAAD said they were "appalled that John would share the stage with Eminem, whose words and actions promote hate and violence."
John, however, defended Em in an interview with the Los Angeles Times before the performance, saying he would "rather tear down walls between people than build them up. If I thought for one minute that he was hateful, I wouldn't do it." The two moved forward with the performance, during which they held hands onstage. But Em made it even more controversial as he flipped off the audience in response to the backlash.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis snatched four awards at the Grammys in 2014, but they were not entirely proud of it. The duo faced a stream of criticism for winning Best Rap Album, for which Kendrick Lamar was nominated and viewed as the frontrunner.
Macklemore then texted Lamar, admitting, "You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have. It's weird and sucks that I robbed you. I was gonna say that during the speech then the music started playing during my speech and I froze." Being a good sport, Lamar praised Macklemore as "a genuine dude" and accepted his loss as saying, "Not everyone gets that shot."
Back in the early years of her career as a professional singer, Lady GaGa was known for her bold and elaborate outfits. Her appearance at the 2011 Grammy Awards would later become one of her most outrageous costumes as she arrived in an egg.
The "Alejandro" songstress made her grand entrance on the red carpet as she was carried in the human-sized shell by a fleet of scantily clad male servants. Carrying on with the theme for the rest of the night, she also emerged from the Hussein Chalayan-designed vessel during her performance of her hit song "Born This Way".
Leave it to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion to spice up every stage they grace. While the Grammys is often considered as more conventional than the MTV VMAs, the two female emcees apparently didn't get the memo to tone back their performance.
When performing their song of the summer "WAP" in 2021, the Bronx native and the Texas-born artist pulled off a raunchy performance that saw them dancing provocatively on a giant bed. The performance drew more than 1,000 complaints to the FCC as viewers claimed that it wasn't appropriate for children and included "pornographic content."
Also frequently bringing high fashion game on the red carpet, Nicki Minaj stunned everyone when she showed up at the 2012 Grammy Awards in a red hooded gown with a man dressed as the pope. She apparently set her arrival to fit her song "Roman Holiday", which she would perform later that night.
During the performance, the pope impersonator joined Minaj onstage and there was a depiction of an apparent exorcism. Needless to say, her performance drew criticism, one in particular was from the Catholic League, which partly blamed the Recording Academy for allowing the purportedly offensive stage show to proceed.
The 1998 Grammy Awards perhaps deserves the title as one of the most eventful nights in the show's history. Besides Aretha Franklin's performance and Ol' Dirty Bastard's protest mentioned above, another unforgettable moment from the show that night was when a stage crasher tried to steal the spotlight from Bob Dylan.
During the Nobel Prize winner's performance of "Love Sick", background dancer Michael Portnoy went rogue, ripping off his shirt, revealing the words "Soy Bomb" scrawled across his bare chest as he began dancing and contorting his body right next to Dylan. To this day, his actual motive was never revealed, but Grammys reacted by denying him his $200 background dancer payment without taking a more severe action.