The world’s biggest awards for music happened last week - the 61st Grammy Awards at Stales Centre in Los Angeles. It came with appreciation of music, and a whole load of entertainment. Hey, this is Justalkin brought to you by in.com. Did you know that the Grammy Award is made of a trademarked alloy called ‘Grammium’? Some artists walk away with the trophy made of this alloy, while yet others walk away with a controversy. Let’s take a look at some infamous incidents at the Grammys, on this podcast.
We’ve heard of plenty incidents at award shows where hosts have screwed up - like Steve Harvey at the Miss Universe pageant in 2015. Cut to 1977 - the year where Stevie Wonder released his best loved album till date - Songs in the Key of Life. He was supposed to perform live via satellite from Nigeria, but after a few terrible tech glitches, host Andy Williams said “Stevie, can you see me?” Wrong choice of words to ask a blind musician - I’m sure he was really flustered! But Stevie went on to win the Grammy for ‘Album of the year’ that night, so he had better things to remember the event by.
Ads are the biggest turn off when you’re watching something but planners and producers and media houses need to make money for the entertainment they’re providing us! Frank Sinatra was given the ‘Grammy legend’ award in 1994, and we love him as a singer, but the producers decided to interrupt his acceptance speech which went on for longer than expected. They cut to the scheduled ads, and when Billy Joel went on stage to perform after that, he didn’t take it lying down. He purposely extended his performance, even including words like “valuable advertising time going by, dollars dollars dollars” before he finally stopped. He had made his point - you don’t cut off someone like Sinatra!
Bob Dylan was one of the performers at the ‘98 Grammys and had a team of extras backing him up to ‘give him a good vibe’. Except, Michael Portnoy, one of the extras, decided to do a little extra something. He jumped up on stage while Dylan was in the middle of ‘Love Sick’ and pulled off his t-shirt, revealing the words ‘Soy Bomb’ painted on his shirt, apparently because he wanted people to know about the nutritious value of Soy. Weird choice of place, but he was on stage for 35 seconds before being escorted out by security. If he could pull off a stunt like that at the Grammys, we could do something half as crazy ourselves!
The 1998 Grammys were very action packed! Wu Tang Clan and Puff Daddy were both nominees for the Grammy Award for best rap album, but Puff Daddy won, and it didn’t go down too well with the clan! And as the ceremony moved on, Shawn Colvin came up on stage to receive her Grammy award for the ‘Song of the year’, but everyone got a different kind of spectacle - Ol’ Dirty Bastard from Wu Tang Clan mysteriously appeared on stage, and gave a speech instead! He spoke about how the Wu Tang Clan made great music and they were the real deal, and that he had bought himself a new outfit for the Grammys and he deserved to win. Even years later, he said he didn’t regret going up and stage-crashing in that manner.
Eminem was one of the world’s best known artists in 2001, but there were some activists and groups who weren’t big fans of his lyrics because they thought some of them were violent and homophobic. So it came as a surprise to everyone when it was announced that Eminem would perform a duet at the Grammys with the gay and diplomatic Elton John! But Elton has been known to pick art over politics any day, and Eminem would reach out to a whole new audience - moms and dads included, with a duet at the Grammys with John. A surprise, but a good one.
Lady Gaga is one of a kind as a singer and an artist but what really made us take notice of her was her fashion sense - the whacky and unapologetic public image that the diva has. She turned up for the 2011 Grammys inside a pod that was shaped like an egg with people dressed up in color co-ordinated clothes who carried this pod, and she made the entrance of the year at the awards ceremony. And the song she chose for her performance that night? ‘Born this way’. If that’s not a statement I don’t know what is.
For the first time ever in the history of the Grammys, the most dramatic thing to happen was an award being revoked. When German act Milli Vanilli received the Grammy Award for best new artist in 1990, it was supposed to be the start of a great new career graph for them. But shortly after that, they shocked everyone when they revealed that they hadn’t actually sung any of the songs on the album! They were just the faces for two other singers, and they’d been trapped by producer Frak Farian through a very cleverly worded contract, so they had their Grammy revoked. If lip-syncing was still a problem, people wouldn’t turn up to watch Justin Bieber!
Nicki Minaj came to the 2012 Grammys with a partner - not just any partner - she decided to turn up with the Pope! She herself turned up looking like Red Riding Hood and she was arm-in-arm with some poor old man and she went on to perform “Roman holiday” on stage, which included choreography that looked like an exorcism and this guy dressed at the head of the Catholic church was also part of her shenanigans. If she wanted to offend people, get people to notice her, and pull off a Lady Gage-like stunt, they were all ticked off her bucket list in one shot! But she’s Nicki Minaj - with enough implants for all criticism to bounce off her.
The Grammys bring us the best in business when it comes to music, and to let the world know that you can have your 15 minutes of fame. What you do with those 15 minutes is up to you! This is Justalkin brought to you by in.com.