A look back at the show's most memorable-and outrageous-costumes
Tina Turner, 1985
At the end of every three-hour show on Tina Turner's 1993 What's Love tour, the leg-insured singer had to be dragged offstage, kicking her stilettos behind her. So it comes as no surprise that when the newly-divorced Turner burned up the Grammy stage almost ten years earlier, she howled "What's Love Got To Do With It" in a fire-red mini dress and five-inchers.
Whitney Houston, 1985
Though she sang about being all dressed up with nowhere to go ("I'd rather be home feeling blue," she crooned), Whitney Houston was every bit the Cinderella of the music industry's biggest ball, performing "Saving All My Loving For You"-and accepting her first Grammy award- in tiers of amber organza, poofy enough to offset her oh-so-Eighties hair.
The Ladies of Lady Marmalade, 2002
When Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, Pink, and Missy Elliott teamed up with the original Lady Marmalade, Patti LaBelle, to cover her 1974 same-name hit, they did it in snare-drum-tight lingerie and enough body glitter to light up the fallen Studio 54.
Not only do we give her props for performing on her due date, but M.I.A. eschewed a safe Rosemary's Baby circus-tent silhouette when she took the stage with Kanye, Jay-Z, T.I., and Lil Wanye to perform "Swagga Like Us." Instead, she rocked a one-off Henry Holland mesh mini-dress.
Proving that birds-of-a-feather idiom a bit too true, Rihanna teamed up once again with designer buddy Zac Posen to wear a leather-and-feathers frock as she performed a medley of her dance-floor friendly tracks "Umbrella" and "Please Don't Stop The Music."
Sinead O'Connor, 1989
She didn't rip up any pictures of the Pope-she saved that for a later appearance on Saturday Night Live-but she did get our attention by pairing boyfriend jeans and Doc Martens as she covered Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U."
Katy Perry, 2009
We went bananas for Katy Perry's sequined fruit-loopy look, a surprising choice for the daughter of two Christian pastors. Even in a pinch-hitting pair of flats (she ditched her heels during rehearsal to avoid a tricky exit from the banana that descended from the ceiling), she still radiated Vargas Girl glamour as she powered through her 2008 super-hit "I Kissed A Girl."
Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics, 1983
Androgyny was no small trend in the '80s, but Annie Lennox, dressed as a gender-bending Elvis Presley, turned heads when the Eurythmics performed their eerie pop-synth hit "Sweet Dreams." Even Boy George took note, who, in his autobiography Take It Like A Man, called Lennox the tomboy to his tomgirl.
We all remember that phase-the affected British accent, the feigned disinterest in her own celebrity-but if anyone were to sing the lackadaisical lyrics of "Nothing Really Matters" while wearing a kimono (a gift from Gaultier, bien sûr) and look that iconic, it's the Material Girl, reinvented, again and again.
Chaka Kahn, 1984
Chaka Khan brought us back to the days of disco balls and swinger parties during her sensuous performance of Prince's "I Feel For You." That snakeskin sheath! Those boots! That hair! We're curious if Marc Jacobs did some historical Grammy sourcing before he sent those afro-ed girls down the Vuitton runway last fall.
And our honorary male: Michael Jackson, 1988
After debuting a sparkled glove at the 1987 Grammy ceremony, The King of Pop toned it down for his '88 performance of "The Way You Make Me Feel," and "Man In The Mirror" with a classic Michael look: cropped pants, white socks, and plenty of crotch-grabbing swagger.
Photos: Getty Images and courtesy of Grammy.com
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