To say the 1988 Grammy Awards aren’t a piece of music history would be a huge understatement because holy shit…they most certainly are.
Not only did U2’s world-changing The Joshua Tree set win Album of the Year, but Ms. Jody Watley snatched it all for Best New Artist and our oh, so dearly departed Ms. Whitney Houston’s opening performance of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” only solidified her big win for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance that night.
However, the true show stopping moment of the now three decade old evening (!!) occurred when the big, Bad maestro himself, Mr. Michael Jackson, took the stage to serve us with all kinds of life thanks to a career defining medley including “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel” and the record’s classic title track.
While the rousing ten minute (!!) set became another exceptionally solidified reason as to why MJ will forever be the King of Pop, much to everyone’s surprise, Bad was completely shut out of every major category it was nominated in, which was rather shocking as it was this record where Jackson became–and is still is–the only male artist in Billboard chart history (Katy Perry claimed the diva crown with 2010’s Teenage Dream) to land five consecutive number one singles from one album.
While we’ll never know why MJ only took home the Grammy for Best Engineered Non-Classical Album (say what?) that night, what we do know is that it really doesn’t matter because it’s performances like this one–and pretty much every other one he gave us–are the reason why everyone who takes that Grammy stage doesn’t hold a candle (although some have come close…but no) to what MJ bought on that legendary night thirty years ago as it will forever be in a magically BAD class of its own.
Cover photo courtesy of YouTube