As the 2014 Grammy Awards approach (airing Jan. 26 on CBS at 8PM ET), we're taking a look back at some of the most wild moments from the show’s extensive history. From Nicki Minaj’s bizarre exorcism onstage to Jennifer Lopez’s see-through Versace dress, there are plenty of surprises on music’s biggest night. Check out The Boombox’s list of the 10 Most Outrageous Grammy Moments.
The-Dream's Unique Fashion Statement
The-Dream didn't make any Best Dressed fashion lists for his over-the-top wardrobe at the 2013 Grammy Awards. The hit-maker, along with Jay Z and Frank Ocean, won the Best Rap Sung Collaboration award for 'No Church In the Wild,' which resulted in one of the funniest moments of the night. While The-Dream and Ocean gave their heartfelt thanks to family and friends, Hov decided to clown The-Dream for wearing a 'Boyz N da Hood' cap with a 'Parental Advisory' beanie. "I would like to thank the swap meet for his hat," he joked, taking aim at poor wardrobe selection. We don't blame Jay for poking fun at his outfit. What were you thinking, Mr. Nash?
Cee-Lo Green Performs as a Psychedelic Peacock
Cee Lo Green is famous for rocking outrageous outfits during his stage shows. But at the 2013 Grammy Awards, the Atlanta rapper-singer took it to another level. Backed by the Muppets, Green appeared as a psychedelic peacock while playing a grand piano for 'Forget You,' the sanitized version of his chart-topping hit, 'F--- You.' The crooner’s regalia was complete with red, blue and yellow feathers, humongous sunglasses and a glittering headpiece. Green was later joined by actress Gwyneth Paltrow to sing the second verse of the song, which she also famously performed on an episode of 'Glee.' "I really hate your ass right now," she sung to Green.
Let’s keep it real. There are winners and there are losers at the Grammy Awards. But then you have the sore losers. For example, at the 2004 Grammys, 50 Cent was among the five contenders for the Best New Artist trophy. Many people thought Fif was a shoo-in for the award after his successful year promoting 'Get Rich or Die Tryin'.' But alas, he didn’t win. Instead, the honor went to rock band Evanescence. While the group was accepting their award, 50 Cent appeared onstage and casually walked off with a sly smile on his face. Not quite a Kanye moment, but it was close.
Andre 3000's Performance Offends Native Americans
It was a great moment in hip-hop when OutKast won the coveted Album of the Year trophy at the 2004 Grammy Awards for their fantastic double LP, 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.' But the group’s historic win was overshadowed by Andre 3000’s performance. Near the end of the Grammy show, Three Stacks and his background dancers were all dressed in green-colored Indian attire complete with war paint, feathers and fringe for their energetic number of 'Hey Ya.' The performance drew ire from the San Francisco-based Native American Cultural Center who called for a boycott of CBS, the Recording Academy and OutKast’s label at the time, Arista Records.
"It was the most disgusting set of racial stereotypes aimed at American Indians that I have ever seen on TV," said NACC board member Sean Freitas in a statement. "It was on par with white people dancing sexually in black face, or yarmulkes… I am shocked and outraged."
CBS would later apologize for the performance. "We are very sorry if anyone was offended,” said Nancy Carr, a rep for the network.
Nicki Minaj Exorcist Performance
Nicki Minaj can definitely put on a show, but her appearance at the 2012 Grammy Awards was simply bizarre. The Queen Barbz's strange performance, dubbed 'The Exorcism of Roman,' featured a fictional pope and a bevy of dancing monks. If that wasn’t blasphemous enough, Minaj then levitated to the rafters to simulate being possessed by the devil. WTF? Minaj defended her religious spectacle and said it was a complete success. "It’s the most comfortable I have been on stage in my entire life,” she said. “Because, first of all, the Grammys chose ‘Roman Holiday'... And I could not play them another record after they heard that." Really? Holy crap.
Eminem & Elton John Performing 'Stan'
Eminem was the target of backlash by the LGBT community for his homophobic lyrics on his classic album, 'The Marshal Mathers LP.' When it was announced that Em would be performing at the 2001 Grammy Awards, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation protested the decision. In response, Em performed 'Stan' with piano rocker Elton John, who was a big supporter of the controversial rap star. At the end of their performance, the two icons hugged, and then Eminem flipped off the audience. It was certainly one of the most memorable moments at the Grammys.
Milli Vanilli's Best New Artist Grammy Revoked
What a scandal. After winning the Best New Artist trophy at the 1990 Grammy Awards, Milli Vanilli had to give it back after it was discovered that Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus didn’t actually sing on their debut album, 'All or Nothing.' Fab & Rob tried to cop a plea and blame the trickery on producer Frank Farian but the damage was already done. The duo became the first artists to ever be stripped of a Grammy. Fab and Rob made a few comeback attempts, which all failed. Sadly, Rob died in April 1998, of an apparent drug overdose.
Jennifer Lopez Wows in Barely-There Versace Dress
At the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2000, Jennifer Lopez was fearless and fierce in a green Versace dress that left little to the imagination. J.Lo wowed those in attendance by rocking the jungle-inspired look with a plunging down to the navel neckline. After watching the video, we forgot what award she and David Duchovney were presenting on the telecast. Lopez's boyfriend at the time, Diddy, was a lucky man that night. Honorable Mention: Toni Braxton's minimal dress at the 2001 Grammy Awards. Whoa!
Chris Brown Assaults Rihanna
A tragic incident overshadowed the 2009 Grammy Awards when reports surfaced that Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna just hours before the awards ceremony. This meant Grammy organizers had to scramble to adjust the show's schedule since both performers were expected to perform that night. According to a police report, Breezy kicked RiRi out of his Lamborghini while stopped on a street in Los Angeles after the two had a violent argument. Brown physically attacked Rihanna and left the singer on the side of the road with serious swelling and bruising on her face and lips. Brown was subsequently arrested and later charged for assault. The incident continues to haunt both artists even though they have reconciled and remain good friends.
Ol' Dirty Bastard Bum Rushes the Stage
In what had to be the most memorable, yet outrageous, moment at the 1998 Grammy Awards, Ol’ Dirty Bastard bum rushed the stage to give audiences an endearing message. Apparently, after the Wu-Tang Clan lost to Puff Daddy (aka Diddy) in the Best Rap Album category, the late ODB jumped onstage -- prior to songwriter Shawn Colvin accepting her award for Song of the Year -- to explain that his clothes "costed [sic] a lot of money" and that Wu-Tang teaches the children. "Wu-Tang Clan is for the children. Puffy is good but Wu-Tang is the best," he said. R.I.P. ODB!