The Most Shocking - and Most Moving - Grammys Moments of the 2000s
From upsets to confusing performance art pieces, the music awards show is never without buzz
2020: A TRIBUTE TO KOBE BRYANT
The 2020 Grammy Awards began just hours after news broke that Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among those killed in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles. Host Alicia Keys brought out Boyz II Men to help her pay tribute to the basketball star, a moment all the more poignant since the awards ceremony was held at Bryant's home arena, L.A.'s Staples Center.
Before launching into "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye," Keys asked people to take a moment and "hold [those who died] inside of you."
"Share our strength and our support with their families," Keys continued. "We never imagined in a million years we'd have to start the show like this, never never never never never never, so we wanted to do something that could describe a tiny bit how we all feel right now."
2020: THE RETURN OF DEMI LOVATO
Lovato performed for the first time in over a year and a half, and when she did, she didn't leave a dry eye in the house or a person in their seat.
She performed "Anyone," a song that was written before she overdosed at her home in Hollywood Hills, California, in July 2018. Lovato began singing the first few lyrics of the emotional song before becoming so overwhelmed with emotion that she started over.
When she tried again, she proved that she is back and better than ever, flexing her vocal chops and earning herself a standing ovation.
2019: CARDI B BECAME THE FIRST WOMAN TO WIN BEST RAP ALBUM
The "Money Moves" rapper was visibly shocked when she was called onstage, and had a hilariously hard time beginning her acceptance speech.
"Babe, I can't breathe. Oh my goodness, woah child. I'm sorry," she said with husband Offset beside her as she attempted to speak. "I'm sorry, I just woah - the nerves are so bad. Maybe I need to start smoking weed."
2019: ALICIA KEYS DAZZLED THE AUDIENCE BY PLAYING TWO PIANOS SIMULTANEOUSLY
Keys took a break from her hosting duties to wow the crowd with an epic dual-piano performance.
"I always wanted to play two pianos," she said nonchalantly, as she straddled a piano bench between the two instruments and launched into a medley of wide-ranging hits.
2018: KESHA DELIVERED AN EMOTIONAL PERFORMANCE OF 'PRAYING'
Joined onstage by a chorus dressed in all-white and fellow stars Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Bebe Rexha and Julia Michaels, the Rainbow singer moved audience members to tears as she belted her emotional single. As if the massive display of girl power on stage wasn't moving enough, the stars ended the song with a group hug as the crowd gave a standing ovation.
2018: BROTHERS OSBORNE, MAREN MORRIS & ERIC CHURCH PAID TRIBUTE TO VICTIMS OF THE LAS VEGAS SHOOTING
"On Oct. 1, all of country music was reminded, in the most tragic way, the connection we share with our fans and the healing power music will always provide," said Church before the song. "A few months earlier and a continent away, the same was true in Manchester, England," Morris added. "The painful truth is that this year, in just those two events, 81 music lovers, just like us, went out to enjoy a night of music and never came back home, with many more injured and still healing."
"So tonight, to honor those who were lost, Eric, Brothers Osborne and I - who were all there in Las Vegas that tragic weekend - wanted to come together and honor the memory of the beautiful music-loving souls so cruelly taken from us," she continued.
2017: ADELE WON ALBUM OF THE YEAR, DEDICATED HER AWARD TO BEYONCÉ
Following her record of the year win, Adele broke down in tears when she walked to the Grammys stage to receive the night's final and biggest prize for her album, 25.
"I'm very humbled and I'm very grateful and gracious, but my artist of my life is Beyoncé and this album to me, the Lemonade album, was just so monumental," she said, acknowledging the singer, who was mere steps away from her.
"It was so monumental and so well thought-out and so beautiful and soul-baring," Adele continued. "We all got to see another side to you that you don't always let us see and we appreciate that. All us artists here adore you. You are our light!"
2016: SOFIA VERGARA DANCED WITH PITBULL
You can't make this stuff up. To close out the 2016 Grammys, Vergara hit the stage during Pitbull's performance of "Taxi," initially dressed as a bedazzled taxi. They proceeded to dance for the remainder of the song.
2016: TAYLOR SWIFT SEEMINGLY ACKNOWLEDGED KANYE WEST'S CONTROVERSIAL 'FAMOUS' LYRICS
Swift took home album of the year for 1989, and she used her acceptance speech to respond to Kanye West's lyrics that claim he made her famous. "[A]s the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammys twice," Swift said. "I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame."
2015: BECK BEAT OUT BEYONCÉ FOR BEST ALBUM
The rocker's Morning Phase was named album of the year, beating out Pharrell, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and, most shockingly, Beyoncé, whose surprise album Beyoncé lit the world on fire. Clearly joking, Kanye stormed the stage and pretended to consider interrupting Beck … but then returned to his seat. "Come back!" Beck said, playing along.
2014: MACKLEMORE WON, KENDRICK LAMAR SNUBBED
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis swept the whole awards show, winning for best rap song ("Thrift Shop"), best rap performance ("Thrift Shop") and best rap album (The Heist). Many felt that Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City should have won best rap album. Macklemore eventually acknowledged that Lamar "was robbed"… and even posted an Instagram photo of the apologetic text message he sent to Lamar. "He deserved best rap album," he commented on the post.
2014: BEYONCÉ KILLED IT, PER USUAL
All hailed Queen Bey in 2014, when she opened the Grammys with a Flashdance-esque performance of "Drunk in Love." JAY-Z joined her on stage, Grammy censors buzzed, the crowd gave a standing ovation and #surfboart started trending.
2014: A MOVING MASS WEDDING WITH A FAMOUS OFFICIANT
Anyone who snoops around friends of friends' wedding photos on Facebook was in heaven when Queen Latifah married 33 couples during Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's "Same Love" performance in 2014. Madonna joined them onstage, as well as collaborators Mary Lambert and Trombone Shorty. And 13 million followers cheered when Katy Perry caught the #samelove bouquet.
2012: JENNIFER HUDSON DID WHITNEY HOUSTON PROUD
2012: NICKI MINAJ SANG, WAS EXORCISED
Is it a sin to love Minaj? Apparently so. The "Roman Holiday" performer's on-stage exorcism in 2012 had everyone saying a few extra Hail Marys.
2012: ADELE WENT A CAPPELLA
For just a moment in 2012, viewers were too mesmerized by Adele's a cappella opening of "Rolling in the Deep" to Tweet or text. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief that came out of throat surgery better than ever, and quickly resumed their keyboard tapping.
2011: LADY GAGA HATCHED FROM AN EGG
For her unforgettable performance of "Born This Way," Gaga was all about the theatrics … and committed to a very grand entrance in which she emerged from a giant egg, wearing a yolk-colored latex bra and yellow skirt. Unexpected? Yes. Epic? Also yes.
2010: PINK WENT TO NEW HEIGHTS
Singing with both feet on the ground is so 2000s. "I thought I was going to fall on my nude butt," Pink said of her 2010 Grammys performance, in which she sang "Glitter in the Air" while suspended from silk drapes. It became her go-to move both on tour and in awards show performances.
2009: M.I.A. PERFORMED IN THE BEST PREGNANCY OUTFIT EVER
There is no question that M.I.A.'s nine-months-pregnant performance of "Swagger Like Us" at the 2009 Grammys was one of the most rock 'n' roll performances of all time.
2008: AMY WINEHOUSE WON ALL
2008 was the year of Amy Winehouse, whose breakthrough album Back to Black swept the Grammys with five trophies. Even more emotional than her wins was her shout-out to her troubled husband, Blake Fielder: "To my Blake, my Blake incarcerated."
2008: HERBIE HANCOCK BEAT OUT KANYE WEST AND AMY WINEHOUSE
While everyone saw the competition for best album as exclusively between Kanye West's Graduation and Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, jazz legend Herbie Hancock ended up winning for his full-length tribute to Joni Mitchell.
2002: GIRL POWER PREVAILED
Before there was "Bang Bang," there was Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mya and Lil' Kim's amazing remake of "Lady Marmalade," which they performed live together in 2002. The track was off the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack.
2001: EMINEM AND ELTON JOHN PERFORMED TOGETHER
In response to countless accusations of homophobia, Eminem performed "Stan" alongside Elton John at the 43rd Grammy Awards. "If I didn't make a statement with Elton John tonight, I don't know what else to do," he told MTV after the performance.