There’s a reason the Grammys are called “musics biggest night,” year after year it delivers unforgettable performances, hilarious antics, and of course, bragging rights when your fave wins. We thought there was no better time to relive some of our favourite memories from past shows. From Taylor Swift dropping and breaking one of her trophies, Lady Gaga arriving in a giant egg, to Riri accessorising with a hip flask, The Grammys always deliver.
Note: In no particular order.
1. Lady Gaga arrives in a giant egg (2011)
A star is hatched! If you were there in real-time then you deserve a veterans discount. This iconic moment turned a decade old this year and ten years later we are still talking about it like it happened yesterday. Tbh, she was truly ahead of her time for social distancing. Her arrival in the vessel was a metaphor for being reborn once you choose to love yourself. And if you didn’t already have enough reason to love Lady Gaga, this was proof she had more than made her mark on pop. Carried straight from the red carpet to the stage, Gaga emerged to belt out ‘Born This Way’ and went on to win three Grammys.
Later that week she revealed on the Jay Leno talkshow that she spent three days prior to the show in the “temperature-controlled” egg. Hope she at least had wifi in there!
— Gaga Daily (@gagadaily) February 9, 2019
2. Rihanna accessorises with a diamond-encrusted hip flask (2017)
Some opt for a statement handbag, oversized jewellery, or ten inch heels, but Badgalriri had the best accessory of them all… the trusty hip flask. She proved she was truly living her best life as she braced herself for a long evening of eight nominations. Usually stealing the show with just her mere presence, this time she became the queen of memes as she channelled everyone’s inner emotions, taking swigs throughout the night. Although she may not have won any awards, (undeservedly so, but that’s a whole other story), she won the hearts of the viewers.
That same year she also brought one to Coachella, this time in the shape of a bracelet on her wrist. For even easier access, of course.
— Lindy Segal (@lindysegal) February 13, 2017
3. Lorde becoming the first Kiwi to ever win in two of the big categories (2014)
“Well, hello”. We all remember Lorde’s face when she won her first ever Grammy award, likely because it was the moment she realized she had not prepared a speech, and also because it was the exact same reaction we all had watching from home. Beating out the likes of the big dawgs Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Pink, and Justin Timberlake, the teen sensation put Aotearoa back on the world stage in front of 30 million viewers after becoming the first New Zealander to win Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year at the 2014 Grammys with her global hit ‘Royals’.
She also made history as the youngest Kiwi to ever take home a Grammy, at the age of seventeen. Relive the moment below. Fun fact: at the 1:29 mark the lyrics say, “you can call me queen bee” as she literally walks past Queen B in the audience, nbd.
4. Kendrick Lamar makes a powerful political statement (2016)
After winning five of his 11 Grammy nominations, Kendrick Lamar blew the roof off Staples Center with a high-octane performance delivering a statement of systematic oppression to three songs off his critically acclaimed sophomore album To Pimp a Butterfly.
No doubt the performance of the night, Kendrick walked out on stage shackled in chains to perform ‘The Blacker The Berry’, a celebration of black identity, “Everything black, I don’t want black / I want everything black, I ain’t need black / Some white some black, I ain’t mean black / I want everything black”, before following it up with ‘Alright’ performed in front of a giant bonfire. He then debuted a new verse in tribute to the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, including the line: “On February 26th I lost my life, too”, before ending with a visual of the word “Compton” over an image of Africa in one of the most striking performances to hit the Grammy stage in the shows history.
— 🌎 (@bonillagotjokes) May 28, 2020
5. Taylor Swift won so many Grammys that she dropped and broke one (2010)
Just a typical problem that only Taylor Swift would have. Racking up a massive four wins out of eight nominations at the 2010 ceremony, the country queen became the youngest musician at the time to ever win the prestigious Album of the Year award for Fearless, as well as Best Country Album, Best Country Female Vocal Performance, and Best Country Song, both for ‘White Horse.’ Looks like she can’t have nice things, as when she was juggling them backstage in the press room for photos, the camera captured her exact reaction as one dropped and broke. This particular trophy now lives in a museum signed by Taylor herself with the word “Oops”. She’s up for another six nominations at this years show, will she become the only female to win Album of the Year three times? But more importantly, if she wins four or more, will she be able to hold all of them at once…
11 years ago today, taylor swift dropped and broke a grammy award while she was posing for pictures with her four grammys!
january 31, 2010 pic.twitter.com/2diEI1HQZd
— Taylor Throwbacks ➐ (@ThrowbackTaylor) January 31, 2021
6. Eminem battles accusations of homophobia by performing with Elton John (2001)
After facing criticism for his “homophobic” lyrics in his 2000 album The Marshall Mathers LP, the rapper took to the Grammy stage hand-in-hand with Elton John (adorning a killer candy coloured suit) during his performance of fan fave, ‘Stan,’ in 2001 to silence critics. The moving collaboration transcended genres, with both artists coming together to deliver one of the most powerful performances the Grammys stage has ever seen. It was so good that two decades later and we’re still crossing our fingers for them to drop the official studio recording.
The six minute spectacle sparked a lifelong friendship between the pair, with Eminem even buying Elton a diamond-encrusted sex toy to congratulate him on his marriage to David Furnish.
7. Billie Eilish made history once again (2020)
Something Billie Eilish is becoming very familiar with after sweeping yet another award show. From growing up watching the Grammys on TV, making music in her bedroom, to scooping the four biggest awards at last years Grammys. Billie is now the youngest artist and only the second person in the shows history to win all four major categories; Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and the prestigious Album of the Year for her debut record When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. She also took home Best Pop Vocal album, for a total of five wins to add to the O’Connell household’s mantel piece.
Billie and her collaborator, brother and BFF Finneas ran out of people to thank as they took the stage multiple times, at one point even walking back out to accept another win after only leaving the stage moments before. There’s no doubt this superstar is going to have real estate in the front row of many Grammy award ceremonies to come.
8. The most unlikely trio take the stage together (2015)
Getting Rihanna, Paul McCartney, and Kanye West together to perform ‘FourFiveSeconds’ was a dream we never thought would happen due to all of their busy schedules, but it was the 2015 Grammys that blessed us with this performance that will forever live in our minds rent free. The ultimate multigenerational mash-up made up of a pop queen hitmaker, a Beatle and one of the G.O.A.T’s of the hip hop world truly defined the word “collaboration.” Dripping in couture, the trios silky smooth vocals and stage presence didn’t just receive a standing ovation… it had the entire audience on their feet from the very first note.
If this comment on the YouTube video isn’t a big mood then we don’t know what is, “gonna tell my kids this is the Beatles.”
9. Lady Gaga pays tribute to David Bowie (2016)
To no one’s surpise, Lady Gaga features in this list for a second time. That’s because, no other artist could pay tribute to the late musician and fashion icon David Bowie quite the same way as Gaga. Telling NPR that her “whole career is a tribute to David Bowie,” she walked the red carpet dressed as the legend, before performing a nine-song medley of his greatest hits from ‘Space Oddity’ to ‘Heroes.’
Both known for their outrageously bold and dramatic fashion, Gaga gave a tribute to Bowie as eclectic as his career. The performance was filled with special effects, costume changes and an appearance from ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘Black Tie White Noise’ producer Nile Rodgers.
10. Demi Lovato’s surprise debut performance of recovery song ‘Anyone’ (2020)
It’s no secret that Demi Lovato has struggled with drug abuse in the public eye, she’s consistently built the narrative of overcoming this addiction in her lyrics, interviews, and documentaries, attesting to six years of sobriety. But in 2018, the story changed after she released the song ‘Sober,’ with lyrics admitting to a relapse, “We’ve been down this road before / I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore.” A month later, Demi was hospitalised for a near-fatal overdose. Since this incident Demi has kept a low profile, but at the 2020 Grammys she returned for the first time in nearly two years with a powerful confession, debuting new song ‘Anyone.’
Her voice did the talking, whilst her strength, and bravery took the spotlight, crying out for help with lyrics, “I feel stupid when I sing / Nobody’s listening.” She later revealed that she wrote the song four days before her 2018 overdose. Her upcoming documentary “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil” out March 23rd is expected to touch more on her recovery.