The 8 Weirdest Grammy Moments Of All Time

    what. just. happened?

    by gabriel bell · February 15, 2016

    Face it, the Grammys are weird. Just the very idea of handing out little gold-plated statues of phonographs to people who produce music in front of millions of people is kind of bizarre. You can't even play music on those things! Then there’s the issue of who actually wins the honors: That often goes not to those who made the best music or sold the most albums, but who seems most like a “Grammy winner." Very, very weird. 

    Yet, in the context of the unspoken weirdness that is the annual Grammy Awards ceremony, some moments have stood out as particularly and unavoidably odd as all hell. We’ve got musical legends bum rushing the stage, artists showing up in eggs, performers dissing the Grammys while actually holding their awards, and random dudes dressed up as the Pope. Yes, friends, the Grammys are weird, and here, collected for your midday bafflement, are their weirdest moments of all.

    <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Nicki Minaj Gets Papal, 2012<br /></strong></span>So, yes, when Minaj rolled out her Roman Zolanski persona and performed &ldquo;Roman's Revenge&rdquo; and &ldquo;Roman Holiday&rdquo; with <a href="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-KUkuSf1-fI" target="_blank">a fleet of dancing priests, an exorcism, and limited flight powers</a>, it was a true, delicious head scratcher. It was a camp triumph of the highest order that future generations should study at school. That said, showing up on the red carpet with the Pope (that is, a dude <em>dressed </em>like the Pope), however, was in its own quiet way even more notable.</p>
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    Photo Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

    Nicki Minaj Gets Papal, 2012
    So, yes, when Minaj rolled out her Roman Zolanski persona and performed “Roman's Revenge” and “Roman Holiday” with a fleet of dancing priests, an exorcism, and limited flight powers, it was a true, delicious head scratcher. It was a camp triumph of the highest order that future generations should study at school. That said, showing up on the red carpet with the Pope (that is, a dude dressed like the Pope), however, was in its own quiet way even more notable.

     

     

    <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Jethro Tull Magically Becomes Heavy Metal, 1989<br /></strong></span>Jethro Tull, with its flute, &lsquo;60s crunchy pedigree, and jammy concept albums is not a heavy metal band. They are not even hard rock. And, yet, they magically won the very <em>first</em> award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance because, as stated, the Grammys are weird. Weirder still is that Metallica&mdash;perhaps the most important heavy metal band of all time&mdash;had been nominated for their best-selling, most popularly embraced album in the their history. And, hell, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OaodlYmleeQ" target="_blank">Jethro Tull wasn&rsquo;t even <em>at </em>the ceremony</a>. So odd.</p>

    Photo Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

    Jethro Tull Magically Becomes Heavy Metal, 1989
    Jethro Tull, with its flute, ‘60s crunchy pedigree, and jammy concept albums is not a heavy metal band. They are not even hard rock. And, yet, they magically won the very first award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance because, as stated, the Grammys are weird. Weirder still is that Metallica—perhaps the most important heavy metal band of all time—had been nominated for their best-selling, most popularly embraced album in the their history. And, hell, Jethro Tull wasn’t even at the ceremony. So odd.

    <p class="p1"><strong>JLo Wears <em>That </em>Dress, 2000<br /></strong>Less like an actual gown and more like the remnants of a giant butterfly Donatella Versace&nbsp; captured and killed with her own hands, this was The Dress before <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dress_(viral_phenomenon)" target="_blank">The Dress</a>. It also made everyone&rsquo;s eyes fall out of their heads, spawned a nation of haters to accuse her of indecency, turned on David Duchovny, launched a fleet of parodies, altered how people thought of Jennifer Lopez, and changed what was acceptable on the red carpet forever. Also, Lopez looked great. Really great. This thing should be in a museum somewhere.</p>

    Photo Scott Gries/Getty Images.

    JLo Wears That Dress, 2000
    Less like an actual gown and more like the remnants of a giant butterfly Donatella Versace  captured and killed with her own hands, this was The Dress before The Dress. It also made everyone’s eyes fall out of their heads, spawned a nation of haters to accuse her of indecency, turned on David Duchovny, launched a fleet of parodies, altered how people thought of Jennifer Lopez, and changed what was acceptable on the red carpet forever. Also, Lopez looked great. Really great. This thing should be in a museum somewhere.

    <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Eddie Vedder Wins, Sandbags Winning, 1996<br /></strong></span>Let it never be said that Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder is not a man of principle. Still, it would have been more polite for him to accept his award and keep his misgivings to himself instead of<a href="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AHEYs0CMe4U" target="_blank"> trashing the very (weird) idea of the awards themselves</a>. You know, Groucho Marx (or maybe Woody Allen) once said, &ldquo;I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.&rdquo; This, right here, is the ultimate example of that. Bon Iver did <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m9V7a_-DzU" target="_blank">just about the same thing in 2012</a>, but not as well.</p>

    Photo via Getty Images.

    Eddie Vedder Wins, Sandbags Winning, 1996
    Let it never be said that Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder is not a man of principle. Still, it would have been more polite for him to accept his award and keep his misgivings to himself instead of trashing the very (weird) idea of the awards themselves. You know, Groucho Marx (or maybe Woody Allen) once said, “I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” This, right here, is the ultimate example of that. Bon Iver did just about the same thing in 2012, but not as well.

    <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Lady Gaga Arrives In An Egg, 2011<br /></strong></span>That year saw Gaga at the height of her powers&mdash;well, at least in terms of eye-grabbing spectacle. In perhaps her most self-indulgent (but sort of amazing) public performance yet, she claimed to have spent 72 hours incubating in this semi-opaque egg before being carried down the read carpet, onto the stage, and then<a href="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xl0N7JM3wZk" target="_blank"> &ldquo;hatching&rdquo; during a performance of &ldquo;Born This Way.&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;Yes, this was engineered weirdness, but it was wonderful.</p>

    Photo Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

    Lady Gaga Arrives In An Egg, 2011
    That year saw Gaga at the height of her powers—well, at least in terms of eye-grabbing spectacle. In perhaps her most self-indulgent (but sort of amazing) public performance yet, she claimed to have spent 72 hours incubating in this semi-opaque egg before being carried down the read carpet, onto the stage, and then “hatching” during a performance of “Born This Way.” Yes, this was engineered weirdness, but it was wonderful.

    <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Bob Dylan vs. Soy Bomb, 1998<br /></strong></span>Guys, remember Soy Bomb? Yes, for a few fleeting moments the hero known as Soy Bomb (aka accomplished artist <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Portnoy" target="_blank">Michael Portnoy</a>) <a href="https://www.youtube.com/embed/w0k7rKsCiLg" target="_blank">jumped onto the stage and into our hearts</a>&nbsp;(that is, until he was whisked off to the wings). Oh, but the best part of Soy Bomb&rsquo;s bombing wasn&rsquo;t his dance or his body graffiti. Nope, it was that musical legend Bob Dylan looked at him, decided he DGAF, and kept playing like he&rsquo;d seen it all before (which is because he probably had).</p>

    Image Via YouTube.

    Bob Dylan vs. Soy Bomb, 1998
    Guys, remember Soy Bomb? Yes, for a few fleeting moments the hero known as Soy Bomb (aka accomplished artist Michael Portnoy) jumped onto the stage and into our hearts (that is, until he was whisked off to the wings). Oh, but the best part of Soy Bomb’s bombing wasn’t his dance or his body graffiti. Nope, it was that musical legend Bob Dylan looked at him, decided he DGAF, and kept playing like he’d seen it all before (which is because he probably had).

    <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Ol&rsquo; Dirty Bastard vs. Sean Colvin (For The Children), 1998<br /></strong></span>Also from 1998&mdash;a good year for weirdness and stage crashing&mdash;comes our final and favorite weird Grammys moment. Upon hearing that pop folkie Shawn Colvin, and not his Wu-Tang Clan, had won the award for Best Song, the late man, myth, legend <a href="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BS181X4F3bw" target="_blank">Ol&rsquo; Dirty Bastard jumped on stage, grabbed the mic, and forcefully protested the decision</a>. After all, he&rsquo;d bought a new suit and everything. More than that, &ldquo;Wu-Tang is for the children.&rdquo; Was Colvin for the children? Still unclear. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jJ7bWO1Vcc" target="_blank">50 Cent did somewhat the same thing</a>&nbsp;when Evanescence beat him out for Best New Artist in 2004. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYsrvIkquzU" target="_blank">Kanye did it</a>, too. Yet, it&rsquo;s ODB&rsquo;s rant that is the one Grammys moment we want to take home and marry forever.</p>

    Image Via YouTube

    Ol’ Dirty Bastard vs. Sean Colvin (For The Children), 1998
    Also from 1998—a good year for weirdness and stage crashing—comes our final and favorite weird Grammys moment. Upon hearing that pop folkie Shawn Colvin, and not his Wu-Tang Clan, had won the award for Best Song, the late man, myth, legend Ol’ Dirty Bastard jumped on stage, grabbed the mic, and forcefully protested the decision. After all, he’d bought a new suit and everything. More than that, “Wu-Tang is for the children.” Was Colvin for the children? Still unclear. 50 Cent did somewhat the same thing when Evanescence beat him out for Best New Artist in 2004. Kanye did it, too. Yet, it’s ODB’s rant that is the one Grammys moment we want to take home and marry forever.

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