Unforgettable happenings from music’s biggest night
The 62nd Grammy Awards are right around the corner, airing Jan. 26 on CBS. The competition for all 84 categories is fierce, and while, try as we might, can’t predict the winners, one thing is for certain: Expect the unexpected. From outrageous red carpet outfits to jaw-dropping performances, these are the most memorable moments in Grammy history.
Steve Martin’s bottomless ensemble
In 1979, comedian and actor Steve Martin was so excited to present the award for Best Pop Vocal Performance during the 21st annual Grammy Awards that he rushed to the podium without wearing pants. Martin was handed his dry-cleaned trousers on stage, but the fashion statement already made its mark. In 2017, Twenty One Pilots went pantsless while accepting the award for Best Pop Duo/Group pantsless, keeping the trend going.
J.Lo’s infamous dress
Grammy fashion is nothing short of eye-catching, but Jennifer Lopez took it to a whole new level in 2000 with her now-iconic see-through dress. The dramatic drop neckline and high slit of the green silk-chiffon Versace number not only turned heads, it solidified J.Lo’s spot as a Hollywood fashionista.
Eminem and Elton John unite on stage
The Grammys aren’t all fun and fashion. In 2001, a surprise performance by Eminem and Elton John sent a message of love amidst a contentious scandal. In the months leading up to the 43rd annual Grammy Awards, the controversial rapper was facing backlash on his stance on homosexuality. Eminem took the stage hand-in-hand with Elton John for a performance of his song “Stan.” The two even shared a hug and have since reportedly become good friends.
A Princely tribute
There was a noticeable void at the 59th annual Grammy Awards, after Prince’s untimely death in 2017. Singer Bruno Mars paid tribute with an over-the-top performance that the “Purple Rain” icon would be proud of. Bruno’s electric cover of “Let’s Go Crazy” became an instant classic.
Bob Dylan’s “Soy Bomb”
File this one under bizarre Grammy moments. In 1998, while performing “Love Sick,” rock legend Bob Dylan was interrupted when Michael Portney, who will go down in history as “Soy Bomb Guy,” jumped on stage. Portnoy removed his shirt, revealing the words “Soy Bomb” painted on his chest before he began a robot-inspired dance. He was quickly removed from the stage, but not before going down in Grammy infamy.
James Corden hands out consolation puppies
The Late Late Show host James Corden knows how to break bad news. After presenting the Best Comedy Album to Dave Chapelle in 2018, he had a consolation prize for all of the losers. He presented Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman and Jim Gaffigan with a puppy to comfort them after their defeat. Corden caught heat for the stunt, but the puppies are returned to their training agency safely at the end of the night.
Jennifer Hudson’s moving Whitney Houston tribute
There was not a dry eye in the room after Grammy Award-winning singer and Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson took the stage at the 54th annual Grammy Awards to pay stunning tribute to Whitney Houston a mere 24-hours after her shocking death. Hudson’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You” will go down as one of the most emotional moments in Grammy history.
Frank Sinatra gets the boot
When a legend like Frank Sinatra takes the stage, people listen. Or so you’d think. In 1994, Bono presented Ol’ Blue Eyes with the Legend Award. It should have been a touching moment, but it took a turn for the awkward when the broadcast unceremoniously cut Sinatra’s long-winded speech off mid-sentence and went to commercial.
M.I.A. performs on her due date
M.I.A. didn’t let the risk of going into labor stop her from delivering a killer performance at the 2009 Grammys. The “Paper Planes” rapper joined Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, T.I. and Kanye West for a powerhouse performance on her due date. Donning a black-and-white polka dot dress that put her bump on full display, M.I.A. slayed. Her son was born three days later.
Lady Gaga makes an egg-stravagant entrance
Lady Gaga has had many showstopping looks over the years—the meat dress, anyone? But in 2011, Gaga eggs-pertly incorporated her daring fashion into her performance of “Born This Way.” The singer was carried down the red carpet in a giant Hussein Chalayan-designed egg from which she didn’t emerge from until she took the stage.