27th Annual GRAMMY Awards (1984)

In the middle of the 27th Annual GRAMMY Awards show, the legendary conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein wonderfully captured the best of the GRAMMY spirit during his acceptance of a Lifetime Achievement Award. “I am very happy tonight for music,” he said. “And I’ll be even happier and maybe even ecstatic if tonight can be a step toward the ultimate marriage of all kinds of music, because they are all one.” As Bernstein noted, echoing a famous quote from Duke Ellington. “There is only good and there is bad.”

This would be an exceptionally good night for Tina Turner, one of the more heartening comeback stories of the ’80s. Rising to heights she had never achieved during the course of her career as the front woman of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, Turner became a global superstar in her own right with the success of her Private Dancer album in 1984. On GRAMMY night, that comeback appeared more like a coronation, or perhaps a re-coronation, of one of music’s most royal figures. Turner’s smash “What’s Love Got To Do With It” scored awards for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. Turner also won the GRAMMY for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female, for “Better Be Good To Me.”

Hosted by John Denver, the show opened with Huey Lewis & The News performing an a cappella version of Curtis Mayfield’s “It’s Alright” and then a rendition of their own smash “The Heart Of Rock And Roll,” which elevated pulse rates when dancers joined the band on stage.

The first award of the evening — for Best New Artist, presented by Ray Davies of the Kinks and performance artist Laurie Anderson — went to Cyndi Lauper, who was joined onstage for her acceptance by Hulk Hogan who was wearing a white short-sleeved tux shirt, black leather pants and a black bow tie. During her speech, Lauper, in her wonderful New York accent, expressed heartfelt thanks to the World Wrestling Federation and Capt. Lou Albano, making this a relatively rare moment of GRAMMY and WWF synergy.

Another truly ’80s moment was the nod to electronic music that found the GRAMMYs teaming up Thomas Dolby, Herbie Hancock, Howard Jones and Stevie Wonder for a medley that included Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science” and Hancock’s “Rockit.”

In addition to her awards, Turner also gave what was clearly one of the standout performances of the night. “She’s been described as the woman God made to show other women how to dance in high heeled shoes,” John Denver said by way of an introduction. Turner sounded and looked wonderful singing “What’s Love Got To Do With It” in a shiny red dress and ten foot hair, and the standing ovation afterward was truly thunderous. “I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for such a long time,” Turner said in accepting her first award of the night, before paraphrasing from the godfather of soul. “I feel really good.”

Yet one other act gave Turner a run for her money during the 27th Annual GRAMMY show. Introduced by Recording Academy President Michael Melvoin as “someone who’s taken the music world by storm,” Prince — a winner for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special, both for Purple Rain, and Best R&B Song for writing Chaka Khan’s “I Feel For You” — took the stage to offer a breathless and spectacular version of “Baby, I’m A Star” that saw the Artist Then Still Known As Prince exiting shirtless through the crowd. Clearly a proud father, Melvoin took a moment beforehand to note, “It gives me extra added pleasure to introduce him because my daughter Wendy is a member of [Prince’s band] the Revolution.”

After a commercial break, John Denver noted that in honor of Prince, he was wearing a purple cummerbund “hoping someone mistakes me for him. It didn’t work.”

But as brightly as Turner and Prince’s stars were shining this night, opera singer Placido Domingo, himself a double winner on the evening, pointed out the GRAMMYs’ ability to transcend trends by spotlighting less obvious stars. “The big winner today,” said Domingo in accepting the Best Opera Recording award, “is opera, because the award [is being presented] on television.” 

Record Of The Year
What's Love Got To Do With It

Tina Turner, artist. Terry Britten, producer.

Album Of The Year
Can't Slow Down

Lionel Richie, artist. James Anthony Carmichael & Lionel Richie, producers.

Song Of The Year
What's Love Got To Do With It

Graham Lyle & Terry Britten, songwriters.

Best New Artist
Cyndi Lauper
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female
What's Love Got To Do With It

Tina Turner, artist.

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male
Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)

Phil Collins, artist.

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Jump (For My Love)

Pointer Sisters (Anita Pointer, June Pointer-Whitmore, Ruth Pointer), artist.

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
Ghostbusters (Instrumental)

Ray Parker Jr., artist.

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female
Better Be Good To Me

Tina Turner, artist.

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male
Bruce Springsteen
Dancing In The Dark
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Prince, GRAMMY winner
Purple Rain - Music From The Motion Picture

Prince And The Revolution (Mark Brown, Lisa Coleman, Matt Fink, Wendy Melvoin, Prince, Bobby Z.), artist.

Best Rock Instrumental Performance

Yes (Jon Anderson, Tony Kaye, Trevor Rabin, Chris Squire, Alan White), artist.

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
I Feel For You

Chaka Khan, artist.

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)

Billy Ocean, artist.

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Yah Mo B There

James Ingram & Michael McDonald, artists.

Best R&B Instrumental Performance
Herbie Hancock
Sound System

Herbie Hancock, artist.

Best Rhythm & Blues Song
Prince, GRAMMY winner
I Feel For You

Prince, songwriter.

Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental
Pat Metheny, GRAMMY winner
First Circle

Pat Metheny Group (Pedro Aznar, Lyle Mays, Pat Metheny, Steve Rodby, Paul Wertico), artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Female
Emmylou Harris
In My Dreams

Emmylou Harris, artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Male
That's The Way Love Goes

Merle Haggard, artist.

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Mama He's Crazy

Judds (Naomi Judd, Wynonna Judd), artist.

Best Country Instrumental Performance
Wheel Hoss

Ricky Skaggs, artist.

Best Country Song
City Of New Orleans

Steve Goodman, songwriter.

Best Gospel Performance, Female

Amy Grant, artist.

Best Gospel Performance, Male
Michael W. Smith

Michael W. Smith, artist.

Best Gospel Performance By A Duo Or Group
Keep The Flame Burning

Debby Boone & Phil Driscoll, artists.

Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female
Shirley Caesar

Shirley Caesar, artist.

Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male
Always Remember

Andrae Crouch, artist.

Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo Or Group
Shirley Caesar
Sailin' On The Sea Of Your Love

Al Green & Shirley Caesar, artists.

Best Inspirational Performance
Forgive Me

Donna Summer, artist.

Best Latin Pop Performance
Always In My Heart (Siempre En Mi Corazon)

Placido Domingo, artist.

Best Tropical Latin Performance
Palo Pa Rumba

Eddie Palmieri, artist.

Best Mexican-American Performance
Me Gustas Tal Como Eres

Luis Miguel & Sheena Easton, artists.

Best Traditional Blues Recording
Blues Explosion

J.B. Hutto And The New Hawks (Brian Bisesi), John Hammond, Koko Taylor And The Blues Machine (Steve Freund, Willie Hays, Emmet "Maestro" Sanders, Koko Taylor, Bay Williams), Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble (Chris "Whipper" Layton, Tommy Shannon, Stevie Ray Vaughan) & Sugar Blue, artists.

Best Ethnic Or Traditional Folk Recording
Elizabeth Cotten Live!

Elizabeth Cotten, artist.

Best Reggae Recording

Black Uhuru (Sly Dunbar, Puma Jones, Michael Rose, Robbie Shakespeare, Duckie Simpson), artist.

Best Recording For Children
Where The Sidewalk Ends

Shel Silverstein, artist. Ron Haffkine, producer.

Best Comedy Recording
Eat It

"Weird Al" Yankovic, artist.

Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Recording
The Words Of Gandhi

Ben Kingsley, narrator.

Best Instrumental Composition
John Williams
Olympic Fanfare & Theme

John Williams, composer. (TIE)

The Natural

Randy Newman, composer. (TIE)

Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special
Prince, GRAMMY winner
Purple Rain

John L. Nelson, Lisa Coleman, Prince & Wendy Melvoin, composers.

Best Cast Show Album
Sunday In The Park With George

Stephen Sondheim, composer. Stephen Sondheim, lyricist. Thomas Z. Shepard, producer.

Best Video, Short Form
David Bowie
David Bowie

David Bowie, artist.

Best Video Album
Michael Jackson
Making Michael Jackson's Thriller

Michael Jackson, artist.

Best Jazz Vocal Performance
Nothin' But The Blues

Joe Williams, artist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist
Hot House Flowers

Wynton Marsalis, soloist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group
New York Scene

Art Blakey, artist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band
88 Basie Street

Count Basie, artist.

Best Arrangement On An Instrumental
Quincy Jones, GRAMMY winner
Grace (Gymnastics Theme)

Jeremy Lubbock & Quincy Jones, arrangers.

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s)
Hard Habit To Break

David Foster & Jeremy Lubbock, arrangers.

Best Vocal Arrangement For Two Or More Voices

Pointer Sisters (Anita Pointer, June Pointer-Whitmore, Ruth Pointer), arranger.

Best Album Package
She's So Unusual

Janet Perr, art director.

Best Album Notes
Big Band Jazz

Gunther Schuller & Martin Williams, album notes writers.

Best Historical Album
Big Band Jazz

J.R. Taylor, producer.

Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical

Humberto Gatica, engineer.

Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical)
Lionel Richie
James Anthony Carmichael & Lionel Richie
David Foster
Best Classical Album

Neville Marriner, artist. John Strauss, producer.

Best Classical Orchestral Recording
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 In B Flat

Leonard Slatkin, conductor. Jay David Saks, producer.

Best Opera Recording
Bizet: Carmen

Faith Esham, Julia Migenes, Placido Domingo & Ruggero Raimondi, artists. Lorin Maazel, conductor. Michel Glotz, producer.

Best Choral Performance (Other Than Opera)
Brahms: A German Requiem

Margaret Hillis, choir director. James Levine, conductor.

Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist Or Soloists (With Orchestra)
Wynton Marsalis-Edita Gruberova-Handel, Purcell, Etc,

Wynton Marsalis, artist.

Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist Or Soloists (Without Orchestra)
Yo-Yo Ma
Bach: The Unaccompanied Cello Suites

Yo-Yo Ma, artist.

Best Chamber Music Performance
Beethoven: The Late String Quartets

Juilliard String Quartet (Earl Carlyss, Joel Krosnick, Robert Mann, Samuel Rhodes), artist.

Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance
Ravel: Songs Of Maurice Ravel

Heather Harper, Jessye Norman & Jose Van Dam, artists.

Best New Classical Composition
Barber: Antony And Cleopatra

Samuel Barber, composer.

Best Engineered Recording, Classical
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 In B Flat, Op. 100

Paul Goodman, engineer.

Classical Producer Of The Year
Steven Epstein