With the Grammy Awards being aired this Sunday, we take a look at some of the best moments the musical honors have given us over the years. Here’s to hoping there are plenty more to choose from and add to this list next year, because there are some talented acts out there.
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS
10. Radiohead and the Southern Cal Band, 2009
Though a culturally iconic band, there aren’t too many music Execs who like Radiohead due to their “pay-what-you-want” download tactic from back in 2007 for fans to purchase their album “In Rainbows.” After seeing them deliver a rendition of “15 Step,” they were both bold in planning and perfect in execution while on stage
9. Eric Clapton, 1993
After receiving enormous support following the tragic death of his son Conor, Eric Clapton took to the stage and delivered one of the great performances of his career. Clapton not only added three Grammy Awards that night—including “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year”—but his live rendition of “Tears in Heaven” was powerful stuff.
8. Marvin Gaye, 1983
Most music fans know that Marvin Gaye is one the founding soul men of Motown, but it had been since about then that he put out his last hit. With his 1982 album, “Sexual Healing,” fans figured his drought would be about to end. Winning two Grammy’s that night, Gaye proved that he was back atop music’s elite.
7. Michael Jackson, 1984
Speaking of musical legends and early Motown, there wasn’t anyone bigger than Michael Jackson. Winning a Grammy record eight awards in 1984 for his album “Thriller,” Jacko not only stole the show, but also displayed his now famous—and highly duplicated—sequined glove. Oh yeah, and he showed up with Elizabeth Taylor as his date—yet, to this day, no one has any idea why?
6. Adele’s Return, 2012
There are a few things that we all know about British singer Adele—she’s mega-talented and everyone loves her. So when she got the chance to show-off her pipes for the first time since a throat surgery threatened her career, the entire audience let out some relief. Just to prove she had recovered, Adele sang the first few bars of her hit “Rolling in the Deep” a cappella, proving that she was, in fact, back.
5. Lady Gaga and Elton John, 2010
They both might be way out there, but both Elton John and Lady Gaga know how to put on a great show. Look no further than in 2010, when they performed “Poker Face,” “Speechless” and “Your Song” together, banging their fingers on a conjoined piano and rocking out with matching rhinestone frames.
4. Kanye West and Daft Punk, 2008
If Kanye West is involved, it typically means that something memorable is about to happen. That was, once again, the case at the ’08 version of the awards, when he teamed-up with Daft Punk—who is sampled on West’s song, “Stronger”—putting on a giant light show display that absolutely got the crowd hyped.
3. T.I., Jay-Z, M.I.A, Lil Wayne and Kanye West, 2009
As great as Kanye was on-stage in performing with Daft Punk during 2008’s show, he was even better—and polarizing—when he took center stage with fellow MC’s T.I., Lil Wayne, M.I.A and, of course, Jay-Z. Killing it with the song “Swagga Like Us,” the rappers showed everyone that if there were any doubt of who was on top, all anyone had to do was look up and see who was flowing.
2. P!nk, 2010
Just when you thought you got a good workout in, singer P!nk had to go put you to shame with this performance a few years back.Taking a page out of Cirque Du Soleil’s playbook, the singer not only twisted her way through an acrobatic performance, but somehow maintained enough breath to sing during the entire thing, as well. It was a complete show-stopper.
1. Jennifer Hudson, 2012
The crushing news of former musician Whitney Houston’s death in the wee hours before the Grammy Awards two years ago shocked the music industry beyond belief. Houston was such a force whether performing or as an influential artist, working with a variety of people in the room, that she just had to be honored in some way. That came via Jennifer Hudson, who did her best Houston by belting out her famous song, “I WIll Always Love You.”—it gave everyone chills.