Since the 2000s the Grammy Awards have collaborated some of the most unlikely and even similar artists together for unbelievable exclusive live performances. Even impossible reunions have occurred in the past. These five unforgettable one-time Grammy moments paired artists from very different genres to a reunion to like-mind musicians and vocalists.
Jay-Z, Linkin Park, and featuring Paul McCartney – “Numb/Encore” & “Yesterday” (2006)
Before LL Cool J became master of ceremonies for future Grammys, he introduced Jay-Z and Linkin Park for their own collaboration recording of “Numb/Encore.” LL Cool J stated this was a unique blend of genres consisting of rap/hip-hop, rock/electronica, and classic pop. He also teased the audience with,” in addition to a little help from a friend.” Paul McCartney later came out singing “Yesterday” to close out the performance with Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park.
Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel – “Sound of Silence” (2003)
The 45th Grammy Awards were held at New York’s Madison Square Gardens in 2003. It also brought together a once-in-a-lifetime televised reunion of Simon & Garfunkel. Dustin Hoffman introduced the pop/folk-singing duo. Hoffman made his film debut in “The Graduate.” That film’s soundtrack featured a number of their hit songs including “Sound of Silence.” Their spectacular unplugged live performance is only accompanied by Paul Simon’s acoustic guitar.
Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, Steve Van Zandt and Elvis Costello – “London Calling” (2003)
2003 was a stellar year for performance collaborations at the 45th Grammy Awards with a tribute to The Clash’s Joe Strummer. The singer/songwriter of “London Calling” passed away only a couple of months earlier. These four legendary rockers from various sub-genres of rock gave a killer performance of The Clash’s rebellious song.
Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil Kim, Mya, Missy Elliot, and Patti Labelle – “Lady Marmalade” (2002)
This is by far one of the best vocal collaborative performances in Grammy history. It’s a rendition of the 1974 hit “Lady Marmalade” by Labelle. The song was in that year’s film soundtrack of “Moulin Rouge.” Bringing together the best powerhouse vocalists at the 2002 Grammys, they each sang a portion of their cover version wearing scantily clothing. Patti Labelle closed out this unforgettable performance by vocal belting above the rest.
Eminem & Elton John – “Stan” (2001)
Whether you like rap music or not this performance was compelling in many ways. Prior to this collaboration, Eminem had offended the gay community with homophobic lyrics from his Grammy nominated album “The Marshall Mathers LP.” GLAAD then staged a protest at the 2001 Grammys, because it was nominated for Album of the Year. Elton John then joined forces with Eminem to counteract the controversy. The result is a masterful performance with John on piano singing the chorus, while Eminem tells the story in a meticulously flowing rhythm of an obsessed fan writing letters to Slim Shady (Eminem’s alter ego). “Stan” is the name of this fan who describes his suicidal thoughts begging to hear from his rap idol. The ending is equally unforgettable, while Eminem and Elton hug afterwards.