We're still blown away by these unforgettable GRAMMY moments!
By Nate Millado
Last month, we speculated if the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards® could end up being a Ladies' Night. Turns out, that the feeling was right, considering that Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa scored among the most nominations heading into the 2021 ceremony—and each walked away with wins. Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, and many more female artists also picked up gramophones on March 14.
Women in music have gifted the GRAMMYs with some of the most memorable performances of all time! Watch rounds up a few of our all-time faves.
Lizzo — "Cuz I Love You/Truth Hurts" (2020)
"Welcome to the GRAMMYs, b—!" Lizzo delivered a one-two punch when she kicked off the 62nd annual ceremony. The genre-bending powerhouse donned a shimmering, crystallized gown for an impassioned rendition of "Cuz I Love You," backed by a full orchestra. Lizzo switched gears (and outfits) for her ebullient chart-topper "Truth Hurts" and even busted out her social media–famous flute. Now that's how you open a show!
Lady Gaga — "Born This Way" (2011)
Lady Gaga hatched another unpredictable crowd-pleaser at The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, when she emerged from an egg-like cocoon to perform her high-energy self-acceptance anthem, "Born This Way."
P!nk — "Glitter in the Air" (2010)
P!nk brought the DRAMA and death-defying acrobatics to the 52nd GRAMMYs. She bared all with raw vocals and a revealing bodysuit, then drenched the A-list crowd with rain-soaked twirls. Ten years later, her jaw-dropping performance of "Glitter in the Air" remains one of the most buzzed-about GRAMMY moments.
Billie Eilish — "when the party's over" (2020)
This understated performance of "when the party's over" cemented Billie Eilish as last year's GRAMMYs darling. Accompanied by brother Finneas, Billie delivered delicate vocals for her GRAMMY stage debut. The history-making 18-year-old swept Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year, becoming the youngest artist to do so!
Kesha — "Praying" (2018)
Kesha's performance of her single "Praying," joined on stage by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Julia Michaels and Bebe Rexha and the Resistance Revival Chorus at the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards broadcast.
Photo Credit: John P. Filo/CBS.
Sexual assault survivor Kesha threw her support behind the #MeToo movement, with a little help from her friends. Introducing the powerfully electric performance of "Praying," Janelle Monáe said, "We come in peace, but we mean business." Clad in suffragette white, Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Andra Day and Julia Michaels joined an emotional Kesha onstage for an inspirational singalong.
Ariana Grande — "Imagine/7 Rings/Thank U, Next" (2020)
The pony-tailed powerhouse performed a medley of her hits — and even snuck in "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music—at The 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. Thank U, Ariana Grande!
Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean — "Hips Don't Lie" (2007)
Shakira absolutely slayed the Super Bowl stage last year with J-Lo — but her truth-telling hips have been wowing audiences for decades, including at The 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards with a Bollywood-inspired performance of "Hips Don't Lie."
Mariah Carey — "We Belong Together/Fly Like A Bird" (2006)
Mariah Carey first hit the GRAMMY stage three decades ago, boasting a multi-octave range (and whistle tones) when she belted out "Vision of Love." The Elusive Chanteuse walked away with two 1990 gramophones — for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance — but had to wait another16 years before winning her next three, for her comeback album, The Emancipation of Mimi. Following her record-breaking hit "We Belong Together," Mimi took us to church — backed by a gospel choir — with "Fly Like a Bird."
Adele — "Fastlove" (2017)
Adele performs during The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards, broadcast live on CBS from Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.
Ever the perfectionist, Adele stopped herself seconds into her George Michael tribute at The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards. "Can we please start it again? I'm sorry, I can't mess this up for him," she instructed her band, before singing a flawless rendition of the late great's "Fastlove."
But the British songstress' rollercoaster evening ended in triumph, as Adele swept Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Hello"plus Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for 25.
Beyoncé — "Love Drought/Sandcastles" (2017)
Carrying twins (!!), Beyoncé delivered another stunning performance. She once again led the field at the 59th edition of the kudos fest (with nine nods), and the GRAMMY Golden Girl dressed the part, wearing a gold floor-length gown with a golden halo headpiece. The world collectively gasped as a very-pregnant Bey leaned waaaaaaay back on a precarious chair at the edge of a table.
Christina Aguilera — "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (2007)
"It's a man's world, but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl!" Christina Aguilera was the GRAMMYs' Best New Artist in 1999 — and nearly a decade later, Xtina demonstrated why she beat the likes of Macy Gray, Kid Rock and fellow former Mouseketeer Britney Spears with a career-defining performance of the James Brown classic.
Madonna — "Hung Up" (2006)
Tina Turner featuring Beyoncé — "Proud Mary" (2008)
At The 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards, Tina Turner invited Beyoncé to join her for an energetic performance of "Proud Mary," the legend's first concert performance in seven years. It's not the only time Bey has held her own opposite an icon: she memorably brought down the house with Prince at the 2004 GRAMMYs.
Taylor Swift — "Mean" (2012)
Taylor Swift has won 11 gramophones — including two for Album of the Year — so it's hard to believe there was ever a time on the GRAMMY stage that the singer-songwriter was stunned by a Standing O. But that's exactly what happened at The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards, following her rousing rendition of "Mean," where she delivered the tweaked line, "Someday I'll be singing this at the GRAMMYs."
Jennifer Hudson — "I Will Always Love You" (2012)
When the late, great Whitney Houston died a day before the 55th awards in 2012, the GRAMMYs scrambled for a last-minute tribute befitting the fallen icon. Enter Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, who sang a moving rendition of Whitney's biggest hit, "I Will Always Love You." Watch J-Hud's full performance at the GRAMMY website!
Alicia Keys — "Songs I Wish I Wrote" (2019)
Fifteen-time GRAMMY winner Alicia Keys hosted the 61st edition and welcomed the audience to Club Keys, "where the music is cool and timeless." Only someone as talented as Alicia would play dueling pianos (against herself!).
She then launched into a medley of those timeless songs she wishes she'd written, including Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly," Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" and Drake's "In My Feelings," before closing with her own hit with Jay-Z, "Empire State of Mind." Alicia left such an indelible impression that the Recording Academy asked her to return as host the next year!