Do You Remember These 13 New York GRAMMY Moments?
Start spreading the news: Music's Biggest Night is set to return to New York City for the 60th GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, marking the first time the telecast will air from New York's Madison Square Garden in 15 years.
It will be the 11th time the GRAMMYs will be broadcast from New York, and the third time in history the show will emanate from the prestigious arena, following the 39th GRAMMY Awards (1997) and 45th GRAMMY Awards (2003).
As The Recording Academy prepares for the amazing moments in store for its milestone 60th telecast, look back at these 13 unforgettable GRAMMY memories from past shows in the Big Apple.
Felt Forum, March 14, 1972
Carole King's crowning GRAMMY night
It was a night of historic firsts. The 14th GRAMMY Awards marked the first time the GRAMMYs broadcast from New York, with the Felt Forum doing the honors. (Today, the Felt Forum is now The Theater at Madison Square Garden.) The show also marked the first time a woman won multiple awards in the General Field categories. Carole King, a Brill Building alumnus, took home Record Of The Year for "It's Too Late," Song Of The Year for "You've Got A Friend" and Album Of The Year for Tapestry.
Uris Theater, March 1, 1975
Stevie Wonder fulfills Album Of The Year repeat
In 1975 the GRAMMYs returned to New York at the Uris Theater (now the Gershwin Theatre) for an all-star telecast that included Roberta Flack, the Spinners, Aretha Franklin, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. But it was Stevie Wonder who made headlines, winning five awards. More notably, he became the first artist to win Album Of The Year in consecutive years, taking the prize for Fulfillingness' First Finale following Innervisions' win the prior year.
David Bowie makes his lone GRAMMY appearance
It's not often that a presenter can steal the show at the GRAMMYs, but if anyone could it would be David Bowie. The Thin White Duke was on hand to present the award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female, which ultimately went to Aretha Franklin. "I am honored to have been selected to perform this particular task," the dapper Bowie said. "My personal award is having the opportunity to salute ce premiere femme noir." In her acceptance, Franklin responded, "Wow, this is so good I could kiss David Bowie."
Radio City Music Hall, Feb. 25, 1981
Christopher Cross sails away with a GRAMMY record
With his breezy pop-rock sound, Christopher Cross took flight with his 1979 self-titled debut solo album and hits such as "Ride Like The Wind," "Never Be The Same" and the lilting "Sailing," which took home Song and Record Of The Year honors at the 23rd GRAMMYs. The unassuming Texan became the first artist to sweep all four General Field GRAMMY categories, also winning Best New Artist and Album Of The Year. "It's definitely a dream come true," Cross said in his final acceptance for Record Of The Year. And it's a GRAMMY feat that has not yet been duplicated.
Radio City Music Hall, March 2, 1988
Michael Jackson's amazing GRAMMY performance debut
Though a veteran in terms of GRAMMY wins, Michael Jackson had yet to perform on the GRAMMY stage until the 30th GRAMMYs in 1988. The seasoned performer mesmerized the Radio City Music Hall audience and the millions tuning in with a medley of "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Man In The Mirror," two No. 1 hits from his chart-topping album Bad. It would be the King of Pop's lone GRAMMY performance, adding to the legend of what some consider the most iconic performance in GRAMMY history.
Run DMC become the first rap act to perform on the GRAMMYs
Run DMC loom large in GRAMMY history. The Kings from Queens were the first rap act to score a GRAMMY nomination, earning a nod for 1986 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for Raising Hell. The trio also became the first rap act to perform on Music's Biggest Night, turning in a hard rendition of "Tougher Than Leather" at the 30th GRAMMY Awards. Their performance spawned a lineage of signature GRAMMY rap moments, including M.C. Hammer, Eminem and Elton John, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, A Tribe Called Quest and Anderson .Paak, and Chance The Rapper. Run DMC would later become the first rap act to receive a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Radio City Music Hall, March 1, 1994
NYC love for Whitney Houston
The New Jersey-born Whitney Houston was riding another crest of popularity following the release of The Bodyguard, the hit film in which she starred that spawned the biggest-selling soundtrack of all time. Opening the show on a high note, Houston hypnotized the audience with a magical performance of "I Will Always Love You." The star also netted three awards, including her first two career General Field category GRAMMYs: Record Of The Year for "I Will Always ..." and Album Of The Year for the soundtrack.
The Chairman becomes a GRAMMY Legend
Already a Lifetime Achievement Award and Trustees Award recipient, in 1994 Frank Sinatra added a GRAMMY Legend Award to his mantle. With a touching introduction from Bono, the pride of Hoboken, N.J., was visibly moved as the audience welcomed him with a standing ovation. "Thank you very much. That's the best welcome I ever had," the Chairman said. The poignant moment was not without controversy, however, as television cameras cut off the broadcast during Ol' Blue Eyes' remarks. "This is live television and I'm sure Mr. Sinatra will get even by cutting this show off in another hour," joked host Garry Shandling.
Madison Square Garden, Feb. 26, 1997
Teenage LeAnn Rimes makes GRAMMY history
While most '90s teens were listening to Oasis or watching Clueless, LeAnn Rimes had grander career aspirations. The country starlet won her first career award for Best New Artist at the ripe young age of 14, making her the youngest person to ever win a GRAMMY. The 39th show was also notable for being the first time the GRAMMYs were broadcast from an arena, with Madison Square Garden fittingly doing the honors.
Radio City Music Hall, Feb. 25, 1998
Bob Dylan gets soy bombed
The GRAMMYs' 40th birthday party got wild with one of the most bizarre live performance moments ever. Bob Dylan was turning in a rootsy rendition of "Love Sick" when background dancer Michael Portnoy — who took off his shirt to reveal the words "Soy Bomb" scrawled across his chest — went off-script and proceeded to dance along in a spastic manner. Undeterred, Dylan finished his song without further casualty. Later, the folk legend took home Album Of The Year for Time Out Of Mind. His son, Jakob, won a GRAMMY with his band the Wallflowers, making it a truly unforgettable family evening.
Shawn Colvin's speech is Wu-Tanged
Years before Kanye West, Wu-Tang Clan's Ol' Dirty Bastard arguably created the template for how to interrupt a speech at the 40th GRAMMY Awards. As Shawn Colvin began her acceptance for Song Of The Year for "Sunny Came Home," Ol' Dirty Bastard rushed the stage to steal the mic. "I went and bought me an outfit today that cost me a lot of money," he said. "Because I figured that Wu-Tang was going to win. I don't know how you all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu-Tang is for the children." Apparently, so was John Denver, who ended up taking Best Musical Album For Children that year.
Madison Square Garden, Feb. 23, 2003
Simon & Garfunkel break their silence
The legendary New York-based duo, whose history with the city included a momentous concert in Central Park in 1981, broke their acrimonious silence by performing a stunning acoustic version of their first hit, "The Sounds Of Silence," (GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, 2004). The heartfelt reunion — which segued into a massively successful tour — was spawned by the pair's presentation of The Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Boss helps NYC rise back up
The 45th GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden not only marked the show's first return to New York in five years, it was the first since Sept. 11, 2001. Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey's favorite son, performed a rollicking rendition of "The Rising," a song bottling the resiliency of the city and its residents. Springsteen also led the show finale, a Joe Strummer tribute featuring Steven Van Zandt, Elvis Costello and Dave Grohl. Fittingly, the Boss' presence punctuated this emotional musical homecoming, which was arguably the city's first major positive event since the terrorist attacks.