Memorable Awards Show Moments


They may have flashy cars, expensive mansions and all the success you could dream of, but – as these awards show moments demonstrate – unplanned disruptions still happen for the rich and famous. Read on to learn more about the awards show moments, which have gone down in pop culture history.

Awards Show Moment: Ricky Gervais Hosts the Golden Globes

Date: 5th January 2020

Ricky Gervais began his Golden Globes hosting duties by proudly stating that it would be his last time at the helm. It was a no holds barred script which saw him consistently belittling the audience’s galaxy of stars. He took aim at the hypocrisy of Hollywood, the shallow nature of the industry and even legendary Director Martin Scorsese’s height. Low blow, Ricky… low blow!


Awards Show Moment: Marlon Brando declines his Oscar

Date: 27th March 1973

Only the second actor to do so, Marlon Brando declined his Oscar at the 1973 ceremony. He won the award for his starring role in Godfather, which revived his career. A keen activist, Brando refused his Oscar in protest at the movie industry’s treatment of Native Americans sending actress Sacheen Littlefeather in his place. James Bond actor Roger Moore attempted to hand her the award, but she brushed it away before reading a prepared statement on Brando’s behalf. Littlefeather was booed by the audience.


Awards Show Moment: Incorrect Best Picture Announcement

Date: 27th February 2017

In one of the most notorious modern awards show blunders, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty mistakenly announced La La Land as the 2017 Best Picture award winner. The error remained undiscovered until the team behind the film were about to make their speech. Via television, the theatre audience and social media people looked on in horror as the cast and crew reacted on-stage.


Awards Show Moment: Jarvis Cocker Moons Michael Jackson

Date: 19th February 1996

One of the most infamous moments in the history of the BRIT awards saw the Pulp frontman stage invade Michael Jackson’s performance. The King of Pop’s set seemingly presenting him as a saviour style character. Jarvis decided to take matters into his own hands by storming the stage, bending over and performing a flamboyant wafting gesture before proudly demonstrating his zip up top. He was detained for two hours in his dressing room by the police before being interviewed at a local station. Conducting an interview for TFI Friday, Chris Evans asked him what the police asked him. With trademark dry wit, he replied “Where’d you get your zip-up top?”


Awards Show Moment: Wardrobe Malfunction

Date: 1st February 2004

There are not many awards show moments which coin phrases, but Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s Superbowl halftime show is one of them. Towards the end of their Superbowl halftime performance, Timberlake pulled away an item of Jackson’s clothing briefly revealing her nipple. According to producers, the network and NFL, they knew absolutely nothing about it. There are of course rumours that the moment was very much planned. It’s still discussed because Jackson’s career suffered in the immediate aftermath whilst Timberlake emerged largely unscathed.


Awards Show Moment: Kanye & Taylor at the VMAs

Date: 13th September 2009

This night Taylor Swift was set to transform before our very eyes from country singer-songwriter to the new darling of pop. She made the very clear statement of arriving onto the red carpet in a Cinderella inspired ornate horse drawn carriage. Beyoncé was nominated in both the video by a female artist and video of the year categories, whilst Taylor was just nominated for the former. She won the award but as she was about to start her speech she was interrupted by Kanye, who had been nursing a bottle of Hennessy the whole evening. Apparently disgruntled at the win, he took to the microphone to voice his opinion that Beyoncé should have won. After much backstage crying from both herself and Taylor, Beyoncé graciously invited Taylor to make her acceptance speech during her video of the year acceptance window.


Awards Show Moment: That Jennifer Lopez Dress

Date: 23rd February 2000

These days we see daring red carpet looks here, there and everywhere! It can often seem that what artists are wearing is more important than who wins. The reason for this may well date back to February 2000 when Jennifer Lopez wore a particularly daring Versace down to the Grammys. Google found itself inundated with people searching for it following the ceremony. In response it founded Google Image Search to allow users quick access to particular photos.


Awards Show Moment: Eminem & Elton Duet

Date: 21st February 2001

The release of Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP in 2000 was met with criticism from the LGBT community over some of its lyrical content. In response the rapper joined forces with prominent LGBT campaigner and musical legend Elton John. Together the pair performed Stan at the 2001 Grammy awards. Elton John revealed to Graham Norton recently that he has remained good friends.


Awards Show Moment: Shock Tactics from The KLF

Date: 12th February 1992

Experimental Electronic outfit The KLF tied in the best group category with Simply Red. Asked to perform their rave mega-hit ‘3am Eternal’, they agreed but obnoxiously teamed up with Metalheads Extreme Noise Terror for the occasion. The KLF’s Bill Drummond got in touch with the band via John Peel. The original plan was to record a new version of ‘3am Eternal’ for a Top of the Pops Christmas special, but the final product was rejected by the BBC. To save wasting all the effort they managed to arrange performing it at the BRITs instead. The sound quality for broadcast was awful, so from the viewing public’s perspective it was a bit of a confusing mess!


Written by Laura Thomas

Social Media and Marketing Executive at Vocalzone. The Simpsons, The Wicker Man (original!), real crime shows, metal, punk and the new punk (grime)