Blame it on the lame. Milli Vanilli’s Rob Pilatus (left) and Fabrice Morvan won the best new artist Grammy for their mulitplatinum debut, All or Nothing, and “performed” their hit “Girl You Know It’s True” at the 1990 ceremony – only to be exposed eight months later for lip-syncing everything! And that Grammy? Withdrawn.
DANCER DROPS THE 'BOMB'
At first it seemed like Michael Portnoy’s spastic dance in ‘98 was part of Bob Dylan’s rendition of “Love Sick.” But once security realized that the twitchy guy with “Soy Bomb” written on his chest wasn’t in the act, off the stage he went. Portnoy, a performance artist, later said, “Soy … represents dense nutritional life. Bomb is, obviously, an explosive destructive force. So, soy bomb is what I think art should be: dense, transformational, explosive life.” Umm … Ok?
WHAT A DRAG
Eurythmics frontwoman Annie Lennox could’ve been mistaken for the second coming of Elvis at the ‘84 show. Even Grammy organizers didn’t recognize her; they searched frantically for the singer before her performance of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” Finally, Lennox told the Canadian Press, the stage manager “realized who [I] was, and he just fell on his knees and rolled around.”
ELTON STANDS UP FOR EMINEM
Members of GLAAD were protesting Eminem’s four nominations (including album of the year) in 2001 over what they deemed homophobic lyrics, but Elton John took his own stand – onstage performing “Stan” with the rapper. “I know I’m going to get a lot of flak from various people who are going to picket the show,” John told the Los Angeles Times. “I’d 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.”
MADONNA FINALLY WINS
Nominated 10 times, Madonna had never won a Grammy for her music – until 1999. After opening the show with “Nothing Really Matters,” the singer took home best pop album for Ray of Light. “This is such a surprise and I am so honored,” she said, accepting the award with her producer William Orbit and engineer David Reitzas.
THE ORIGINAL KANYE
Even though his group wasn’t even nominated for song of the year at the ‘98 Grammys, Wu Tang Clan’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard jumped onstage when Shawn Colvin won for “Sunny Came Home.” “I went and bought me an outfit today that costed a lot of money today,” he yelled into the mic. “Cause I figured that Wu Tang was gonna win.” He ended his spiel with, “Puffy is good, but Wu Tang is the best.” Of all time, ODB? Of all time?
METALLICA OUT-METALED BY A FLUTE
When the hard rock/metal category made its Grammy debut in 1989, Metallica – up for And Justice for All – was in it to win it. But Grammy voters had a different idea, giving the award to flute prog-rockers Jethro Tull, whose acceptance speech was met with outraged boos from the audience.
At 52, “Smooth” musician Carlos Santana took home a whopping eight Grammys in 2000 – tying Michael Jackson’s seemingly unbreakable record for the most trophies won in a night by an artist (for Thriller). “To live is to dream. To die is to awaken. Please don’t wake me up,” Santana said. Even more impressive: His album Supernatural holds the record for most Grammys, with nine in total.
GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE ... HOGAN?
Cyndi Lauper lived up to the title of her hit album She’s So Unusual, arriving to the 1984 Grammy Awards with wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan. Playing the part of her bodyguard, Hogan wore a tux – sleeveless, of course – and carried Lauper to the podium when she won best new artist.
SLY WALKS OFF THE STAGE
Following an all-star tribute to Sly and the Family Stone at the 2006 ceremony, the reclusive pioneer of funk took the stage – in a silver Mohawk and jacket! – for his first performance in 19 years. But after only a few verses, the singer flashed the peace sign, then slipped off the stage in an appropriately sly move.
RICKY SHAKES HIS BON BON
Already a superstar in the Latin community, Ricky Martin shook the music world in ‘99 with his leather-clad hips as he gave a bombastic performance of “La Copa De La Vida.” Immediately afterward, Martin (who won a Grammy that year for Vuelve) released his first English-language single, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” – proving that, yes, America did really want it, olé, olé, olé!
“This is the first time in five or six years that I am sure that nobody is looking at me,” David Duchovny told Jennifer Lopez when they took the stage – amid whistles and catcalls – to present the first trophy at the 2000 Grammy Awards. The barely there Versace dress made history – and helped catapult Lopez to red-carpet stardom.