A Recap of the Craziest Things to Ever Happen at the Grammys

With the 2021 Grammys just days away, relive all of the most unforgettable moments to unfold on music's biggest night. All you have to do is keep scrolling for a virtual walk down memory lane.

By Samantha Schnurr Mar 14, 2021 6:00 PMTags
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You never know what to expect at the Grammys

As music's biggest night, we can expect, well, music, but beyond that, the annual event often lends itself to at least a few surprises. In addition to finding out the year's esteemed winners, the Grammys stand apart from the other major award shows of the season as the ceremony is also packed with performances. And, with every year that passes, those performances set a higher bar for what is possible through song. 

Naturally, a boundary-pushing act makes for an unforgettable moment, like Beyoncé's in 2017, in which the expectant star took everyone's breath away with a stunning—and gravity-defying—routine celebrating pregnancy, motherhood and womanhood. 

As well as those one-of-a-kind moments, the show has also been the site of some unconventional arrivals (we're looking at you, Lady Gaga), and, as to be expected, some win-induced controversy. 

Now, with the 2021 Grammys—the first amid the coronavirus pandemic—just days away, there's even more mystery over what will unfold this time around. Still, if the award show's reputation is any indication, we're willing to bet the event will be packed with moments that will have fans talking into the next morning. 

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In the meantime, allow us to jog your memory with a recap of the craziest things to ever happen at the Grammys. After Sunday, the list might have a new addition—but we'll all just have to wait and watch. 

Jennifer Lopez, 2000

No one could ever have guessed the series of events that would follow the reveal of this dress. J. Lo quite literally shocked the world with this now iconic plunging Versace jungle-print gown. People searched it on the Internet so much that Google was inspired to create the Google Images search engine.

Eminem & Elton John, 2001

Peoples' jaws literally dropped when they saw the unlikely duo take the stage to perform together for the Grammy Awards. It's a bit more surprising when you realize that their performance spawned a friendship that has endured over the years. Both have said that they bonded over their shared sobriety.

50 Cent & Evanescence, 2004

After the rock band beat the rapper in the Best New Artist category, 50 Cent took to the stage during the band's speech, which confused the entire audience. He smoothly walked back down to his seat moments later to a round of applause, and was even given a shout-out from the band. It's safe to say he was a bit upset to go home empty-handed that night.

M.I.A., 2009

While it isn't a big deal for a pregnant musician to perform, it's a pretty big deal to rap and sing onstage on your due date. This is exactly what the "Paper Planes" rapper did in 2009, when she took to the stage to perform "Swagga Like Us" with T.I., Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West. Luckily, the baby waited a few days before finally arriving. 

Lady Gaga, 2011

The Star Is Born actress had a truly out-of-this-world experience by arriving at the red carpet in an egg pod. Models in gold ensembles lifted the egg-like vessel through the hordes of people to the stage area, where she crawled out of the pod to perform.

Macklemore & Kendrick Lamar, 2014

When The Heist won for Album of the Year, even Macklemore was surprised. He was so surprised, in fact, that he texted Kendrick Lamar to apologize. "You got robbed. I wanted you to win," the star told his competitor. "You should have. It's weird and it sucks that I robbed you." While it may have been a sincere apology, Drake thought he was being shady.

Beck & Kanye West, 2015

After the rapper interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009, he got a lot of criticism. Perhaps this is why the star changed his mind when he went onstage to take the mic out of Album of the Year winner Beck. Beck welcomed Kanye to speak his mind, but the rapper simply returned to his seat as people looked on in shock.

Beyoncé, 2017

It was a sight to behold when the Lemonade performer ascended the stage in a shimmering gold dress and crown. At the time, she was heavily pregnant with twins Sir and Rumi as she danced and sang to "Sandcastles" and "Love Drought." While all performances by Queen B are amazing, this one is definitely one of her most memorable. 

Adele, 2017

It was a tough choice to vote between Adele and Beyoncé, but the votes were cast and Adele won. "I'm very humbled and I'm very grateful and gracious. But my artist of my life is Beyoncé. And this album to me, the Lemonade album, is just so monumental," the British singer tearfully revealed during her acceptance speech for Album of the Year, which was mostly devoted to praising Bey. 

Adele, 2017

George Michael's death hit close to home for the star, who got choked up during her tribute to the late singer. As she began to sing his song "Fastlove," she swore and asked to start over entirely even though the show was being broadcast live. "I'm sorry for swearing and I'm sorry for starting again," Adele said. "Can we please start it again? I'm sorry, I can't mess this up for him. I'm sorry. I can't. I'm sorry for swearing. I'm really sorry."

Michelle Obama, 2019

When it came time to start the show, host Alicia Keys surprised the audience by bringing a few familiar female faces to the stage, including the former first lady.  

Alicia Keys, 2019

Leave it to the modern queen of the keys to perform a medley of hits as the night's host using not one, but two pianos. 

Demi Lovato, 2020

Nearly two years after surviving a near-fatal overdose, Demi Lovato took the stage at the 2020 Grammys for a powerful performance of "Anyone," marking her first time singing live since being hospitalized. The moment was so emotional that Lovato had to start the song over again. 

Watch E! Live from the Red Carpet: The 2021 Grammy Awards Sunday at 10pm!