18 Most Memorable Music Awards Show Upsets (PHOTOS)

18 Most Memorable Music Awards Show Upsets (PHOTOS)

Awards shows are amusing to watch for a slew of reasons. The red carpet fashion extravaganza is fun to watch, the performances are captivating, and the acceptance speeches can oftentimes be quite dramatic. But one of the craziest things about the music industry is that the characters who are nominated for major awards are often the most bold, reacting dramatically if the winners or nominees are not to their liking. In fact in the past 10 years, the Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards have causes a number of memorable upsets. 

These 18 music awards show moments are the most shocking in our recent memory — and we're still not over them. Which one surprised you the most?


Photo via GARY HERSHORN/Reuters/Corbis

  • Shocker: Christina Aguilera Beating Out Britney Spears for Best New Artist


    Photo via Frank Trapper/Sygma/Corbis

    Sure now it seems obvious who has the better pipes, but in 2000, Aguilera was considered second tier. She arrived onto the pop music scene after fellow Mouseketeer Britney Spears, yet she was able to snag the coveted Best New Artist Grammy. Since then she's racked up five Grammys while Spears has just one.

  • Shocker: Taylor Swift's 2009 Win for Best Female Video


    Photo via GARY HERSHORN/Reuters/Corbis

    No awards show moment may be as memorable as when Kanye West took the microphone from Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs to give his infamous "I'mma let you finish" speech. Although Swift beat Beyonce for Best Female Video, Beyonce won Video of the Year later in the show.

  • Shocker: Robert Plant's & Alison Krauss's Win For Best Pop Collaboration


    Image via Phil McCarten/RameyPix/Corbis

    This bluegrass-rock duo beat out Beyoncé and Shakira, Tony Bennett and Christina Aguilera, and Gwen Stefani and Akon for the Best Pop Collaboration Grammy in 2008. With so many powerhouses up for the award, fans were shocked this duo took up the Grammy.

  • Shocker: Amy Winehouse Win for Record of the Year


    Image via Mike Blake/Reuters/Corbis

    When this soulful singer took home the Grammy for Record of the Year in 2008, she beat out mega stars Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé. But it wasn't this newcomer's only win of the night; she also took home Best Female Pop Vocalist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.

    More from The Stir: 18 Film & TV Award Upsets That Shocked Everybody (PHOTOS)


  • Shocker: Macklemore's Win for Best Rap Album


    Photo via LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters/Corbis

    After Macklemore won the Best Rap Album Grammy in 2014, he felt the win was undeserved — so he texted fellow nominee Kendrick Lamar saying he thought he should have won instead.

  • Shocker: Avenged Sevenfold's Win for Best New Artist


    Photo via Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Corbis

    Heavy metal fans were happy when Avenged Sevenfold received the Best New Artist VMA in 2006. However, fans of Rihanna and Panic at the Disco where not too pleased. Given Rihanna's mega stardom in particular, it's no surprise that everyone was so, well, surprised. 

  • Shocker: Gym Class Heroes' Win for Best New Artist


    Photo via Paul Buck/epa/Corbis

    Gym Class Heroes beat two overwhelmingly popular nominees, Carrie Underwood and Amy Winehouse, for Best New Artist at the 2007 VMAs —but they haven't released new music since 2011!

  • Shocker: Herbie Hancock Beating Kanye West for Album of the Year


    Photo via Mike Blake/Reuters/Corbis

    A jazz pianist beating out Kanye West for Album of the Year at the 2008 Grammys was a big deal. The winning Joni Mitchell cover album titled, River: The Joni Letters, features songs sung by Tina Turner and Leonard Cohen.

    More from The Stir: 17 Youngest Acting Award Winners & Nominees Ever (PHOTOS)

  • Shocker: Kings of Leon's Win for Record of the Year


    Photo via LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters/Corbis

    This Nashville-based band's song, "Use Somebody," was a hit in 2010 — so much so that it beat out favorites like Beyoncé's "Halo," Lady Gaga's "Poker Face," and Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me," to win the 2010 Grammy for Record of the Year.

  • Shocker: Esperanza Spalding's Win for Best New Artist


    Photo via LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters/Corbis

    When jazz musician Esperanza Spalding beat out Drake, Florence and the Machine, Justin Bieber, and Mumford and Sons, for Best New Artist in 2011, most Grammy viewers didn't even know who she was.

  • Shocker: Beck's Win for Album of the Year


    Photo via Marion Ruszniewski/The Hell Gate/Corbis

    When Beck beat Beyoncé for Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammys, Kanye West ran onstage once more. It wasn't a joke—and backstage he said that Beyoncé should have won the award. But eventually, he apologized on Twitter for stealing Beck's moment.

  • Shocker: Tokio Hotel's Win for Best New Artist


    Photo via Phil McCarten/Reuters/Corbis

    With Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry all in the 2008 category for Best New Artist at the VMAs, it seems nearly impossible to believe that Tokio Hotel won the award.

    More from The Stir: 20 Singers Whose Solo Careers Soared After They Left The Band (PHOTOS)

  • Shocker: Arcade Fire's Win for Album of the Year


    Photo via MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters/Corbis

    Canadian band Arcade Fire made a hit with its third album, The Suburbs, but viewers were still shocked when it won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2011 over Katy Perry's multi-hit Teenage Dream.

  • Shocker: Bon Iver's Win for Best New Artist


    Photo via Armando Arorizo/ZUMA Press/Corbis

    Bon Iver is known for its soft, folksy music, so one thought he would beat out the majorly hyped Nicki Minaj and Skrillex for Best New Artist at the 2012 Grammys.

  • Shocker: Adele's Win for Best Pop Female Solo Performance


    Photo via MIKE BLAKE/Reuters/Corbis

    It's usually never a surprise when Adele wins an award. But it was pretty shocking when she took home the Best Female Pop Vocalist Grammy in 2013 for "Set Fire to the Rain," since the song had been released over two years before the actual awards ceremony.

  • Shocker: Limp Bizkit's 2000 Win for Best Rock Video


    Photo via Steve Azzara/Sygma/Corbis

    Security had to be called in at the 2000 VMAs when Limp Bizkit won Best Rock Video, prompting Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford to climb onto the stage in protest. He was forcibly removed.

    More from The Stir: 15 Crazy Concert Mishaps & Missteps (PHOTOS)

  • Shocker: Britney Spears' Win for Video of the Year


    Photo via Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Corbis

    After having a highly publicized meltdown the year before, no one expected Britney Spears to win Video of the Year for “Piece of Me" at the 2008 VMAs, beating The Pussycat Dolls, Chris Brown, and The Jonas Brothers.

  • Shocker: Tyler the Creator's Win for Best New Artist


    Photo via MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters/Corbis

    At the 2011 VMAs, Best New Artist winner Tyler the Creator gave a profanity-laden speech, beating Wiz Khalifa, Foster the People, and Big Sean. His win caused a stir, as many people consider his music homophobic.

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