Photo: Jean-Marc Giboux (Getty Images)
The Grammy Awards are more about moments rather than the shiny gold gramophone trophies given out on music’s biggest night.
Although a Grammy Award win is a well-deserved crowning achievement for music artists, fans don’t really remember what the “Best Solo Pop Song” winner was shortly after the award is given out.
What we do recall are the live Grammy Awards performances which often come on a grand scale, whether it be a coming out party for a breakout star or a superstar team up that comes out of left field. Here are the Top Grammy Awards Performances of All-Time.
Eminem and Elton John, “Stan” (2001)
Eminem threw some rainbow shade at the haters when he enlisted the openly gay “Rocket Man” to join him on-stage for an intimate performance of his hit song off the controversial, The Marshall Mathers LP. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation had labeled the record’s lyrics as hateful and homophobic organizing a protest against the rapper outside of Staples Center on the night of the show. Eminem’s response goes down as one of the most out-of-the-box and poignant performances ever.
Michael Jackson, “The Way You Make Me Feel/Man in the Mirror” (1988)
The King of Pop was at the top of his reign with this magical medley of hits off Bad. MJ shows off his unmatched star power on the mic and on the dance floor with this show-stopping mini-concert that goes down as one of the greatest Grammy moments of all-time.
Kanye West – “Jesus Walks” (2005)
Kanye’s ongoing love-hate relationship with the Grammy’s started with this incendiary performance of his breakout song, “Jesus Walks.” The future Mr. Kim Kardashian stalks around the stage like a mad preacher behind the backing of an animated gospel choir for a powerful performance that served as a coming out party for the most polarizing artist of this generation.
Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams featuring Stevie Wonder, Nile Rodgers (2014)
The French electro-pop robots recruited some musical legends (Stevie Wonder, Chic’s Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams) for their first live performance of the song of 2014. Much like the infectious hit single itself, the all-star dance music-disco mash-up performance never gets old.
Beyoncé & Tina Turner – “Proud Mary” (2008)
This was a classic passing of the torch or in this case crown as the legendary Tina Turner teamed up with the Queen Bey for a stirring duet of the iconic, hip-shaking, foot-stomping song.
Eric Clapton, “Tears in Heaven” (1993)
There hasn’t been a more real performance than Eric Clapton’s tribute song to his 4-year-old son, who tragically died in 1991. At the 1993 Grammy Awards, Clapton put on a moving performance that topped off a career night that resulted in three Grammy wins.