So, ummmmmm…. The 1996 Grammy Awards was kinda major, huh? Did you see it? It was on just last thursday… 17 years ago (**cue me looking to the sky…. FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK**) Lest we forget a time in America when Ellen was still just peaking out of the closet door, Mariah was only allowed to show 1/4 inch of midriff every 12 weeks, Alanis Morissette was the original Katy Perry, and Tupac and Left Eye still walked among us.
**”Something about her makes me think she’s… a lesbian. I am so sure of it, mark my words. That haircut. She never wears a dress… OR makeup… I like her, but you know, I know…. Gay.”-My mother, circa 1996.
“Duh.”-Me, age 12.**
No lie, I’m still singing “What if God was one of us?—and booty slap and booty slap—” in my head all the time, to this day. It’s just fucking funny to me. (In fact, it’s why we are on this flashback journey to begin with…)
Landing this gig was big for Ellen, and for the LGBT community. The positive response she received after hosting this event (as well as the following year’s) factored into a feeling of acceptance from the public and the entertainment industry which helped nudge her out of the closet. A HUGE declaration from a primetime sitcom star at the time. —-One which almost killed her career. (**Spoiler alert: It all worked out in the end.**) Shout out to my girl D-Gen. Thanks for taking that risk for us, boo. Moving on….
Kids… I know this is hard to believe, but this was what a pop star was in 1996….
Alanis was HUGE. She was the sort of the bizarro equivalent of Katy Perry in her day… and you can blame or thank Glen Ballard for both.
I know it’s also hard to picture a world where Mariah was considered both humble and demure, but long ago there was just such a time. —–This was the tail end, though.—– In fact I’m pretty sure she’s waving goodbye to Tommy Mottola in the photo above. He should have never let her wear such a whorish and revealing gown. That torso tasted freedom and never looked back.
Here’s Mariah and the One D of their time, Boyz II Men, performing a simple little summer jam with a couple of their homies. No big. Kinda average.
Finally, for gag’s sake, here’s TLC performing their SMASH HIT “Waterfalls.” Notice Left-Eye rapping live. Notice T-Boz and Chili lip syncing. Tension, tension, tension…. wait for it….. DRAMA! Lisa walks off. Cut to Salt-n-Peppa’s gossipy face performances in the crowd. EVERYTHING!
OH WAIT NO!!! ONE MORE!!!!! There is NO lip syncing HERE:
Rest In Peace, Nippy. Rest in Peace 1996.