The Grammys have always been the more riotous cousin of the Oscars, with the great and good of the music scene unfailingly causing a stir.
We’ve seen Adele swear her socks off on stage before accidentally breaking her award; Lady Gaga turn up in an egg and Nicki Minaj bring ‘the Pope’ as her plus one.
But the annual ceremony has also served as the unfortunate backdrop to some truly heartbreaking occasions.
From Whitney Houston’s death just hours before the show to Rihanna’s last minute withdrawal after being violently beaten by then boyfriend Chris Brown, The Mirror looks back on the tragic moments that have shaken the ceremony to the core…
Chris Brown’s assault on Rihanna
Rihanna pulled out of the 2009 ceremony at the last minute after then-boyfriend Chris Brown was arrested for violently attacking her in the car on the way home from a pre-Grammys party.
Shocking pictures showed the singer’s bruised and battered face, and Chris later admitted punching her amid an argument about a woman he’d once slept with.
In 2017 documentary, Chris Brown: Welcome to my Life, he said Rihanna got upset when they ran into the woman at Clive Davis’ annual bash.
Once back in the car, he claimed Rihanna spotted a text which led her to believe Chris knew the woman in question would be at the party. And according to Chris, an argument ensued that quickly became violent.
“It was just her just being upset. I really hit her,” he recalled.
“I punched her and it busted her lip. And when I saw it I was in shock, I was like, f*** why did I hit her like that?”
He was sentenced to five years probation and given a community service order for the assault that he said left him feeling “like a f***ing monster.”
For Rihanna’s part, she said the rapper was the ‘love of my life’ and told Oprah Winfrey she was more concerned about his welfare than her own after the attack.
She said: “It was embarrassing it was humiliating… I lost my best friend.
“[But] Because as angry as I was – as angry and hurt and betrayed – I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help. And who’s going to help him?
“Nobody’s going to say he needs help, everybody’s going to say he’s a monster, without looking at the source. And I was more concerned about him.”
Whitney Houston’s death
Troubled singer Whitney was found dead in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the Grammys in 2012.
Earlier that week the dishevelled-looking star had called into rehearsals wearing mismatched clothes and behaving ‘erratically’.
Two days later, at 3.30pm on February 11, the Bodyguard star’s assistant found her face down, submerged in the bathtub.
According to the coroner’s report, she had a ‘bloody purge coming from her nose’ and was believed to have fallen into the tub after taking cocaine. Her cause of death was given as drowning, heart disease and cocaine use.
Just hours later, Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party went ahead as scheduled, causing outrage among some celebrities.
Chaka Khan argued that it should have been cancelled out of respect, calling the decision to proceed ‘complete insanity’.
She told CNN: “And knowing Whitney I don’t believe that she would have said ‘the show must go on.’ She’s the kind of woman that would’ve said ‘Stop everything! Un-unh. I’m not going to be there.'”
Pointing out that poor Whitney’s body wasn’t even cold, she continued: “I don’t want to be in a hotel room when there’s someone you admire who’s tragically lost their life four floors up.
“I’m not interested in being in that environment and I think when you grieve someone, you do it privately, you do it with people who understand you. I thought it was so wrong.”
Amy Winehouse’s mistimed comeback
In the throes of drink and drug addiction, Amy left rehab in 2008 to perform at the event, despite her dad Mitch’s best efforts to stop her.
The Londoner won a staggering five out of six gongs she was up for and dedicated them to her jailed husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.
“To my mum and dad. To my Blake, my Blake incarcerated,” the frail star told the cheering crowd.
Her comeback gig was hailed such a success that she was signed up for V Festival that summer.
But after a string of disastrous performances, she relapsed and was diagnosed with lung disease emphysema that June before being hospitalised again in October.
Sadly, Amy died three years later at her home in Camden, London, from alcohol poisoning.
Taylor Swift’s tears
Kanye and his wife Kim Kardashian claimed the singer had given her full approval to a line in his track Famous that said: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that b**** famous.”
Kim even leaked a recording of a phone call between Kanye and Taylor discussing the song, which sparked calls for Taylor to be ‘cancelled’.
But she maintained that she didn’t give permission for Yeezy to call her a ‘b****’ – which was eventually proved when a full recording of the tape was leaked.
And accepting the Grammy for her album 1989, she told the crowd: “I want to say to all the young women out there – there are going to be people along the way who will to try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.”
Clearly emotional, she was also seen crying after singing Out of the Woods to the crowd, and had to be comforted by her good friend Selena Gomez.
Who are you hoping will win big at the Grammy’s tonight? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…