If the Oscars and Golden Globes are famous for shocking and controversial speeches, the Grammy Awards are renowned for some unequivocally outrageous moments. For years, the Grammys have generated a colorful history of crazy moments full of artists crashing the stage, loud fashion statements, lashing out at others or just upping the shock value.
To celebrate the 61st Annual Grammy Awards and all its eccentricity, we look back at some of the craziest, zaniest moments throughout the years of this prestigious award show.
With a dress that turned heads and caused a national commotion, Jennifer Lopez’s green Versace gown is one we will always remember. With a neckline that plunged past her naval and a hemline that kept the FCC on alert of a potential wardrobe malfunction, her dress definitely shocked crowds and audiences across the world.
With cheers and catcalls from those in the auditorium, fellow presenter David Duchovny stepped aside to let her have the spotlight, telling her "this was the first time in five or six years that nobody is looking at me."
He might be this generation’s Elton John, but at the 2013 Grammy Awards, Cee Lo Green took his outrageous fashion to another level. Backed by The Muppet, Green appeared in a psychedelic peacock outfit while singing on a grand piano, “Forget You” with actress, Gwyneth Paltrow.
Complete with red, blue and yellow feathers with huge sunglasses and a shiny headpiece, it was definitely eye-catching.
We’re all about making grand entrances and standing out from the crowd, but no one does it better than Lady Gaga. As the queen of jaw-dropping and impossible to forget stunts, Gaga’s red carpet arrival is one that stands out. Gaga was literally carried down the carpet to the show in a giant egg.
The artsy getup was symbolic of her “rebirth” as an artist. During her performance for “Born This Way,” Gaga “hatched” from the egg for a set that was out of this world.
Before Kanye West bum-rushed the stage on Taylor Swift and declared Beyoncé’s video to the best of all time, Ol’ Dirty Bastard stole the limelight during Shawn Colvin’s win for Song of the Year in 1998 to say, “Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best” after the Grammys awarded Puff Daddy for Best Rap Performance.
It was news that tragically overshadowed the Grammys in 2009 when reports surfaced just hours before the ceremony that Chris Brown had assaulted girlfriend, Rihanna. With organizers of the show scrambling to adjust the show’s schedule as the two were set to perform, police released images of Rihanna who showed serious swelling and bruising to her face and lips.
The music industry was shocked as the haunting images and details spread like wildfire on social media and raised a dialogue on abuse. Brown was subsequently arrested and charged for assault.
In an odd performance that later angered the Catholic League, Nicki Minaj’s on-stage exorcism was something audiences definitely didn't expect. After arriving to the show with an actor dressed as the Pope, her performance began on stage with a mock confessional skit, followed by a taped video depicting her “exorcism.” As Minaj appeared on stage with choir boys and dancing monks among stained glass windows reminscent of a church, the singer soon elevated to heights greater than a demon-infested Regan MacNeil ever could.
It was a great hip-hop moment for OutKast when they won Album of the Year in 2004, but their win was overshadowed by an insensitive performance that offended an entire nation of Native Americans. Featuring green-colored Native attire with war paint, feathers and fringe for their energetic number, “Hey Ya,” the performance sparked criticism from the San Francisco-based Native American Cultural Center who called for a boycott of CBS and OutKast.
A rep for CBS came out apologizing after NACC board members said the performance was on par with “white people dancing sexually in black face.”
For Bob Dylan’s performance of “Love Sick,” dancers were hired to give Dylan a good vibe and groove to the tune. However, dancer, Michael Portner decided to break uniformity and protest by tearing off his shirt. Contorting spastically alongside the legendary crooner with the words, ‘SOY BOMB’ across his chest, Dylan didn’t bat an eye — even when Portner was pulled off stage. The outrageous incident was later parodied on Saturday Night Live with Will Ferrell as Portner.
One of the boldest performances to come out of 2015 Grammys was an unusual, yet beautiful performance starring former SNL alum and actress, Kristen Wiig. Startling and odd, the quirky performance had our jaws dropped the instant Wiig came out dancing alongside Sia’s muse, Maddie Ziegler.
Dressed in a skin-tone leotard and iconic blond bob, Wiig pranced on stage like a professional, lip-syncing and fake-fighting with Ziegler.
We love bold fashion statements and hats have a great way of creating a bold look, but none have been as extraordinary as Pharrell Williams’ has. During the 2014 ceremony, Williams sported a vintage Vivienne Westwood head-topper that not only drove people on social media complete bananas, but the hat went on to became an instant meme that flooded the internet.