One thing anyone barely ever remembers about award shows is who presented them? As far as music awards shows go, there are very few memorable instances of a good award presentation-Biggie’s sarcastic “What up, Cali?” at the Soul Train Awards just a few days before his murder. J. Lo in the dress (is there a minimum fabric requirement before someone can call a garment a dress?), and Howard Stern as Fartman presenting at the MTV awards are just a few memorable instances.
On the 1996 Grammy telecast, viewers were witness to one of the oddest pairings ever, a grouping that will never be duplicated (it would be kinda hard seeing as one of the presenters was killed later that year). Fresh out of prison, Tupac Shakur made his only Grammy appearance, presenting an award to Hootie & the Blowfish with the help of the members of Kiss. ‘Pac, Gene Simmons and Darius Rucker on the same stage. Doesn’t get much odder than that, folks. As a bonus, you get a few seconds of the crowd’s stupefied reaction to TLC’s performance (according to Grammy lore, one of the few lip-synched performances in the show’s fifty-plus year history).
As for the award itself-the list of nominees was pretty “eh…”. All-4-One is as faceless as it gets, despite the fact that the guys could harmonize. “Waterfalls” is a great song but not what I would list as a “Best Vocal Performance” any day of the week. The Rembrandts? Great band, but the theme from “Friends” makes me cringe, and this is said as someone who a) didn’t have a television set from 1996-2000 and b) has watched maybe five episodes of “Friends” in his entire lifetime. I would have probably given the award to The Eagles (“Love Will Keep Us Alive” is a beautiful song), but I’m not mad at Hootie. Darius is a pretty bad-ass vocalist even though his singing style is very easy to make fun of.
…and someone could’ve sent those dudes to a stylist. This *was* the Grammys.