The 53rd Grammy Awards are upon us, and music's biggest, most prestigious awards show will feature a number of killer performances, appearances and potential acceptance speeches from the likes of Eminem, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green, Muse, Arcade Fire, B.o.B, Justin Bieber, Lady Antebellum, Jay-Z and scores of others. In order to appreciate what's to come, every day the MTV Newsroom Blog will deliver a classic moment in the history of the Grammy Awards. Today's installment: Beyoncé has a truly gigantic night with hardware and Prince.
The Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences hands out over 100 little sculptures of Victrolas at each show, which means that there are a massive collection of winners every year. But there are often artists who separate themselves from the pack and make each Grammy Awards into a signature night for themselves. Amy Winehouse cleaned up in 2008, Alicia Keys owned the 2002 show and Beyoncé took control of Grammy night in 2004.
The latter's night in 2004 was the most interesting. By the time the final award was handed out, Beyoncé had won herself five awards, making her only the fourth female artist in history to win five in a single night. She joined the likes of Keys, Norah Jones and Lauryn Hill in that category (and Winehouse and Alison Krauss subsequently joined that roster), and perhaps most remarkably, she didn't win any of the major awards (Record of the Year, Song of the Year or Album of the Year).
And while her success with the awards was a pretty big deal, she grabbed the biggest headlines with her performance. During the show, Prince took the stage first to perform a bit of his classic hit "Purple Rain" as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the movie and album of the same name. But just after he finished the first chorus, another voice joined him. Beyoncé emerged from backstage to sing the second verse of the song with him. From there, the performance just kept escalating: Prince ripped into a guitar solo and the pair shared harmonies before tearing into bits of "Baby I'm a Star," Beyoncé's "Crazy In Love" and "Let's Go Crazy." It was a remarkable crossover between the past and present of futuristic R&B.
It was a great night all told for Beyoncé, but she somehow managed to top herself: In 2010, Beyoncé won six awards, making her the female performer with the most victories in a single night.