Top Ten Not So Great Grammy Moments

By Brent Chittenden

I’m not an awards show person. The only reason I’ve watched the Oscars was due to a head injury that happened to be on the same day and that’s what was on in the waiting room (the bright side of this trip was that I got a cat scan so I have seen what my brain looks like). The same goes for the Grammys. Haven’t watched in years, mainly due it being fairly boring.

But every once and a while, there are some notable… issues with the telecast. And that’s what we are going to celebrate today. Those people who won for categories they shouldn’t have, people saying really dumb things at the podium, those weird events that we remember but don’t have a lot to do with music. This is our Top Ten Not So Great Grammy Moments!

10) Justin Timberlake’s Apology

This occurred after Justin and Janet’s “Nipplegate” Super Bowl controversy, what makes this crappy is the need to do this at the Grammys as opposed to just a written statement. IT WAS A BOOB, AMERICA, GET OVER IT!

9) Eninem and Elton John

I know, I’m in the minority but I think this sucks. I’m not a huge fan of Eninem’s but I do like Stan and feel that it’s probably one of his best produced tracks and the samples from Dido give it a bit more umph than Sir Elton did. This was all done to make GLADD happy, which I can respect in some ways but felt it compromised the piece in a kind of half hearted apology.

8) Eric Clapton wins Best Rock Song for Layla…UnPlugged

Make no mistake, I love Eric Clapton, I loved the UnPlugged album but I think an UnPlugged song should be automatically declined for best rock song, but maybe that’s just me.

7) 50 Cent, Gracious Loser

Apparently 50 Cent thought he was going to / should have won the Best New Artist Award in 04 but come on, that was just rude.

6) Lady Gaga and The Egg

I don’t get it. Bjork wore a swan to the Oscars, gets made fun of the rest of her life, but Gaga did this and not a peep beyond “She dresses like that on purpose”?

5) Christopher Cross Wins over The Wall?

The above clip is the sound that beat out Pink Floyd’s The Wall in 1981 in a few areas.

4) Soy Bomb


It’s 1998, you’re Bob Dylan and you’re performing and half way through the song, some half naked dude interupts by dancing wildly with “Soy Bomb” written on his chest. And why has he done this? “Soy… represents dense nutritional life. Bomb is, obviously, an explosive destructive force. So, soy bomb is what I think art should be: dense, transformational, explosive life”. Okay… sure…

3) Ol Dirty Bastard Bought A Nice Suit

He’s got a little bit of a point… if I bought a nice expensive suit, I might have interrupted the award for song of the year, especially when it’s a forgettable pop song. On a side note, apparently 1998 was the year to interrupt.

2) Jethro Tull Wins for best Metal Performance?

In 1989, The Grammys were pretty out of touch but in their quest to improve they added a Best Hard Rock/ Heavy Metal performance category. Sure it was a weird motley of acts nominated. AC/DC made sense, Iggy Pop and Jane’s Addiction are a little odd but this was the time period before “alternative” so I guess it’s the only category they fit in at the time but in the case of “One of these things is not at all like the others”, Jethro Tull were in there as were the odds on favourites, Metallica. Wonder how much the guy in Vegas made who bet on Jethro Tull.

1) Milli Vanilli Best New Artist

… whoops…

What other Grammy moments should be on this list? And I don’t just mean people you thought should hav one, give me some really bad ones that I missed. I await your replies in the comment section.




Brent Chittenden

Brent Chittenden is a freelance writer with a gift for the geek. Currently a writer with A Journal Of Musical Things and a podcaster with True North Nerds, he's also written for Comic Book Daily, Explore Music and a dozen other places. Currently, he is the co-host of the True North Nerds podcast. You can find out more at

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Not So Great Grammy Moments

  • February 8, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Another great list Alan, but I'd like to include the whole Nicki Minaj exorcism abomination from the 2012 Grammys. Right from her red carpet entrance through to the performance…
    Seriously… WTF?!?

    Heres a link, it's not great but I don't think it really needs to be… just a waste of bandwith.

  • February 9, 2013 at 1:56 am

    I am listening to that Christopher Cross song right now and just laughing my ass off. It's so bad. Just so very very bad. Inconceivably mawkish and sincere. People listened to this shit. So many people!! Christopher Cross was embarrassingly massive. Well, until people started making music videos and we put a face to the name.

    Oh well, time tends to do justice to good music and the Grammys have always been of a bit of a joke. Look at the winners of best alternative act. Invariably goes to bands an album after it should have done.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.