The Grammy Awards are #MusicSermon’s Easter, so we take some time going through awards moments over the years for some of our church faves.
A couple of quick disclaimers. One: This is a kind of random representation, not a “best of”. Two: Finding quality Grammy clips can be hit or miss. Also, 60 years.
Let’s start with some Michael Jackson moments.
Things to peep: Emmanuel Lewis as an accessory, the potentially shady shout out to Jermaine, Joe’s hair. MJ won 19 career Grammy’s (4 for Thriller, 2 with The Jackson 5) and had a few moments at the awards spanning the years. With his brothers, with his collaborators… (“We are the World” won both Song of the Year and Record of the year in ‘86).
With his sister (being honored with the Grammy Legend Award in 93)
Please see Brooke Shields (rumored one-time paramour, but sideeye.gif) pull a whole 35mm camera out to take a pic.
And of course just on his own, with his magic. “The Way You Make Me Feel” & “Man in the Mirror” (back end of the previous clip) 1988.
Shoutout to Siedah Garrett on background (and co-writer of the song. Respect her royalty checks.)
Let’s talk about Auntie Re.
Other churches have Easter Speeches, #MusicSermon has Grammy Acceptance Speeches.
20 time Grammy winner (3 of those being “special awards” including Lifetime Achievement). 5 songs in the Grammy Hall of Fame. First artist to ever win Best R&B Female Performance in 1968 for “Respect”. She won the award the next 8 years straight, so for the first several years of its existance it was called the Aretha Franklin award.
With all of Aretha’s awards, we of course have performances.
1970, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” wins Album Of The Year, the title track wins Record Of The Year and Best Contemporary Song. She’s owning Simon & Garfunkle’s song while they’re in the audience watching.
“Ever Changin’ Times” with Michael McDonald 1992 (the year she received the Legend award.)
“Can’t Turn You Loose” 1980 (won Best R&B Female Vocal. Otis Redding cover)
Mariah seems like an appropriate direction to go in next.
“Vision of Love” 1991
In 1991, Mariah takes home Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal for “Vision of Love.” And Mimi might really have had the mosr “Oh, this old thing?” demeanor I’ve ever seen in a Best New Artist win.
Mariah’s had something like 35 Grammy nominations, but only 5 wins. Which may explain this moment the other year…
But in between 1991 and then, there were some moments.
Like “One Sweet Day” w/ Boyz II Men in 96. Nominated for Best Pop Collaboration & Record of the Year.
And “We Belong Together” in 2006, winner for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Performance. She goes into “Fly Like a Bird” on the back end of this, and I looooove her performances of this song… love when she lets the spirit in.
Moving on to Auntie Patti. There’s not a lot of Grammy footage for her, but there is a clip of what — to my knowledge — is the only win of its kind.
In 1992, Patti and Lisa Fischer TIED for Best Female R&B Performance.
She stepped in as the revered elder she is to help neices Pink, Christina, Mya, Missy and Kim with their “Lady Marmalade” performance in 2002.
A quick break to remind everyone about JLo & THE DRESS. 2000.
The folklore is, people were looking for pictures of Jennifer in this dress in such volume after the Grammys, it prompted the idea for Google image search, which launched the following year (I have to confirm that).
JLo wasn’t the only one with a jaw dropping dress moment at the Grammys. The following year, in 2001, Toni Braxton had “The Dress.”
I’m not sure why this wasn’t a full performance, but here’s Toni with Kenny G (remember R&B sax, ya’ll? Let’s bring that back). “Breathe Again” 1992
One of the things I love about the BIG Grammy wins for people: Best New Artist, Album of the Year, etc, is noting who presented the award to them. Whitney (and Sting) present Album of the Year to Lauryn Hill 1999.
Let’s get into Whitney.
“Saving All My Love For You” beats out Madonna, Pat Benatar & Linda Ronstat for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. 1986
“Saving All My Love For You” 1986
ET followed Whitney for her first big night.
In 1988, Whitney was nominated for Album of the Year, and opened the 30th Grammy Awards with “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, which took home Best Female Pop Vocal.
Whitney had 25 career nominations and won 6 awards, including Album of the Year for The Bodyguard, plus Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal for “I Will Always Love You” 1994.
Remember I told ya’ll I like to note who presents awards to artists during their first big Grammy moments.
Whitney presents Best R&B Album to Jennifer Hudson. 2009. (I’m so mad Jennifer took her purse with her on stage like she Aretha!)
Of course the Grammys are bittersweet when it comes to Whitney, because she died the night before the awards - just hours before mentor Clive Davis’ annual gala — in 2012.
The next night, Jennifer sang in tribute to Whitney.
Let’s talk about Stevie.
With 25, Stevie is tied in fourth place for the most Grammy wins. He, Paul Simon, and Frank Sinatra are the only artists to win Album of the Year three times. Stevie won in 74, 75 and 77.
(Little Richard and Chuck Berry, though.)
I do have to make one quick detour to Richard Wayne Penniman, or Little Richard.
It’s true Richard never won — or was even nominated for — a competitive Grammy, but he now has 4 Hall of Fame awards and a Life Achievement Award. 1988.
Ok, back to Stevie…
“That’s What Friends Are For”: Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group 1987.
Being honored as the Grammy’s Man of the Year, 2015.
With Daft Punk, Nile Rogers & Pharrell for “Get Lucky” in 2014.
With Alicia Keys & Lenny Kravitz for “Higher Ground” in 2004
With Usher, “If It’s Magic” 2015
I used to be the main one complaining that Stevie was out here entirely too much, we needed to make him special (especially when I saw him do “Think I Invited Sex ). But I know now that he genuinely loves and enjoys doing it.
Sidenote while we’re on Usher - Ush and the Godfather himself, James Brown. “Caught Up” into “Sex Machine.”
Since we mentioned Alicia, let’s look at young AK and 2002’s Song of the Year, “Fallin.”
In 2002, Alicia took home Best Female R&B Vocal, Best R&B Album, Best R&B Song, Song of the Year & Best New Artist, proving Clive Davis, who’d recently launched J Records, still had the touch.
Best R&B Album win (w/ Jamie Foxx, Pamela Anderson and Ja Rule…the ‘00s were a crazy time).
Fun fact: Originally, Olivia (yes, LHHNY Olivia) was positioned as a prime artist at J Records. Clive showing her off everywhere. Then “Fallin’”broke. Poor thing.
Alicia has 15 career Grammys to date, including Best Female R&B Performance for “If I Ain’t Got You” 2005.
While we’re on Jamie Foxx…
Jamie, Kanye, the FAMU Marching 100 (shout out to the Rattlers) “Gold Digger” 2006.
“Jesus Walks” ((with a then semi-unknown John Legend & the Blind Boys of Alabama) 2005. I miss Kanye’s BIG performances.
(Sorry about the sound quality.. again, Grammy clips can be hit or miss)
Kanye’s tied with Jay for most Grammy wins for a hip hop artist @ 21.
(I said this earlier, but if you want to know if 21 is substantial, Stevie has 25)
But Ye has been ranting against the Grammy’s pretty much since Graduation. He ain’t for the play off music either. 2008.
Anyway, Kanye has said he’ll boycott the Grammys unless they “fix the voting” for him to finally get a shot at ROTY. Stay tuned on that.
But if he is there…we know he’ll vigilantly protect the honor of the award. 2015
And here’s how that scene looked from the other side.
You see Kanye go by at about :08
Tyty: Oh sh*t…
Bey: No, Kanye, no…
Let’s do some more Best New Artist moments. Like I said, other churches have Easter Speeches, #MusicSermon has Grammy acceptance speeches.
John Legend 2006 (and Mama Stephens has me in TEARS)
And #yall were BRUTAL when this child won Best New Artist. “Who is that?!?!”
Esperanza Spalding 2011
And a not quite new artist…
We’ve talked before about how incredible it is that Auntie Tina’s solo career didn’t break until1985 when she was 41.
Tina took home Record of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in 1985. At 41.
She was presented with Record of the Year by Diana Ross (who surprisingly doesn’t have ANY competitive Grammys, but is being celebrated with a career retrospective tonight).
Also at the 1985 Grammys…The year of Purple Rain.
Best R&B Song (for “I Feel For You”, actually, not for Purple Rain), Best Score, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group “Baby I’m a Star.”
When I was a kid, Prince barely did public tv appearances and almost never spoke in public or gave interviews, so seeing him on tv or out and about just chillin’ at the BET Awards and even the Grammy’s later on bugged me out.
Even seeing Prince presenting was like.. Yo, Prince is just…talking…like a normal person…and still throwing some sh*t in the mix. Presenting Album of the Year in 2015. #LikeBooksandBlackLives
Young Bruno and the band in rehearsals for “Let’s Go Crazy” preparing for the Prince tribute in 2017 (puts Pete Hernandez vs Everybody shirt on).
Let’s talk about Mary J. This is “No More Drama” in 2002.
Mary won her first Grammy for “You’re All I Need” with Meth, but she’s also won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance twice. (The Academy has since done away with the gender categories.) She’s also copped best R&B Album twice, Best R&B Song and some others. Here in 2007.
“Be Without You” performance, also 2007.
Shakira & Wyclef “Hips Don’t Lie” 2007
Ya’ll younger hive members know Shakira taught Bey her moves for “Baby Boy”, right?
Oh, wait! We haven’t talked about Beyoncè yet! My bad…
“Dangerously in Love” 2004. I love this performance, still. It’s such a perfect first big Grammy look.
Accepting Best Contemporary R&B Album 2004
“If I Were a Boy” 2010
“Baby I’m a Star” (mixed with “Purple Rain” and “Crazy in Love”) 2004. Imagine…your first year performing on the Grammy’s (as a solo artist, anyway), and you’re performing with Prince.
And the performance that got Auntie Re riled up…With Tina Turner doing “Proud Mary” in 2008
We’re rounding for home. And it’s decidedly hard to decide what clips are worthy of inclusion, but we have to stop somewhere.
A clip of her winning her first Grammy, Best Rap/Sung Collab for “Umbrella,” was in Kanye’s win clip above. This is backstage after.
“Love the Way You Lie” 2011
I think this performance helps you realize how much her voice has strengthened/matured over time.
With Sting, Bruno and Ziggy Marley “Could You Be Love” 2013
And with Mikky Ekko, “Stay” 2013
We saw Janet presenting to Michael earlier.
Janet’s first outing on her own,. “What Have You Done for Me Lately” 1987. (Shout out to Paula Abdul on choreo.)
Surprisingly, Janet only has 5 career Grammy’s to date! That feels like theft. (Cues Mariah clip again.)
And here’s a super-90’s Grammy moment with Color Me Band & Boyz II Men presenting Best Rap Performance in 1992.
Babyface performing winner for Best Male R&B Performance “When Can I See You Again” 1995.
I was in school in ‘94 fighting with my boyfriend (I don’t even remember what I’d done, but he was petty) and playing this song on repeat like a sucka.
With Eric Clapton, “Change the World” 1997’s Record of the Year I always forget that I love this song until I hear it (it’s great for singing along).
And to close: In 1998, Luciano Pavarotti was scheduled to sing his signature “Nessun Dorma”, but bowed out due to a throat issue. Auntie Re had just performed it for MusiCares (Grammy’s annual preawards event) a couple of nights prior, so she stepped in, and put some soul on it.