10 Music Award Ceremony Disasters

Putting on a music awards show is a massive undertaking. First, you’ve got the stage. Second, you’ve got dancers, presenters, and performers. Then, you have the recipients. Not only do you have to make sure that everyone is doing their job properly or behaving themselves, but you have to do it all on live TV.


More often than not, everything will go relatively well; a presenter will mess up their lines or an artist will talk too long and get played off the stage, but that’s not the end of the world. Every once in a while, though, someone stops playing by the rules and you get an award show disaster. And surprise, surprise, it’s usually the musicians that are behaving badly. Here are 10 of the worst music award show disasters both old and new.

Kanye West - 2009 MTV Video Awards

You couldn’t have gotten through 2009 without hearing some reference to this award show mishap. Shortly after winning the Best Female Video award for her song You Belong With Me, Swift was interrupted by an adamant Kanye West who insisted he’d let Taylor finish, but that Beyonce had made one of the “best videos of all time.” This was by no means West’s first experience in award crashing, but probably his most spectacular. West had to do serious damage control after the show, using every platform in the book to get past this one.

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Ol’ Dirty Bastard - 1998 Grammy Awards

They don’t call the man Ol’ Dirty Bastard for nothing. Way back in 1998 when Shawn Colvin won the Song of the Year at the Grammys for her hit Sunny Came Home, ODB stormed the stage chastising the crowd for not picking him to win, informing the crowd that Wu Tang’s music was “for the children.” Ol’ Dirty was quickly ushered off the stage and a confused Colvin, scratching her head, award in hand, tried to continue with her acceptance speech.

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Black Eyed Peas - 2010 NRJ Awards

“And the award for best international group goes to….the Black Eyed Peas!….um…hello?….Bueller?”  When choreographer Kamel Ouali announced the Black Eyed Peas as the best international group  during France’s NRJ award ceremony, he was met with excitement, applause, and then silence.  The Peas never took the stage, because the Peas didn’t win.  Ouali had read the wrong name!  The following is his awkward explanation as to why he failed to announce the actual winners, Tokio Hotel from Germany.  For those of you who can’t speak French, you can sum up Ouali’s speech with “oops!”

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Soy Bomb - 1998 Grammy Awards

Declared by many to be the most successful award crashing ever, Bob Dylan will never forget the night he got hit with the Soy Bomb. Michael Portnoy a.k.a Soy Bomb burst into the middle of Dylan’s performance of Love Sick and performed a 40 second interpretive dance next to a very confused Dylan. When asked later why they allowed Soy Bomb to stay on stage, the Grammy security officials said that they had thought Portnoy was part of the act. In the end, Grammy officials opted not to press charges against Soy Bomb.

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Miley Cyrus - 2009 Teen Choice Awards

Technically nothing went wrong during Miley Cyrus’ performance of Party in the USA during the 2009 Teen Choice Awards. You would never know it from all of the controversy that followed her “infamous pole dance.” In truth, it was more like a pole bop than a pole dance, but try telling that to millions of outraged parents who flooded the internet with comments like “Is it okay for a 16-year-old to dress like this?” Better ask the award people who choreographed her dance and dressed her. Oops.

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Britney Spears - 2007 MTV Video Awards

It was supposed to be her grand comeback. Britney’s 2007 MTV Video performance was such a disaster that even news station MSNBC picked up on it. Originally Britney’s rendition of Gimme More was supposed to be a Chris Angel inspired number. Turns out she couldn’t learn it. You have to wonder if she managed to learn this one either. After the number finished Spears broke into tears back stage and awards host Sarah Silverman proceeded to crucify her onstage. This one left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

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Andrew Dice Clay - 1992 - MTV Awards

We’ve all seen some pretty disgraceful behavior on MTV awards shows. Andrew Dice Clay, however, is the only person to be permanently banned from appearing for the rest of eternity on an MTV award show for what he did. This is a classic case of you get what you pay for. Clay’s act has been controversial from the get go. He’s been accused of being homophobic, sexist and misogynistic. But someone at MTV decided it would be a good idea to let him host anyways. This is one award disaster the organizer brought on themselves.

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Rage Against the Machine - 2000 MTV Video Awards

The band’s called Rage Against the Machine, so are you surprised when one of their members starts causing problems at a major award show? While Fred Durst was thanking U.S. citizens for giving his band Limp Bizkit, which he dubbed “one of the world’s most hated rock bands,” a Best Rock Video award, Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford scaled part of the set, taunting the band below. At one point Durst says that Commerford should be getting the award because he’s “so rock and roll.” Tim probably agreed. After the show went to commercials Commerford was taken from the stage. He and his body guard spent the night in jail.

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Bret Michaels - 2009 Tony Awards

In interviews before the show Michaels, the Poison front-man, couldn’t stop talking about how excited he was to be performing at the Tony Awards. He was definitely singing a different tune at the end of the night. At the end of his act on stage, Bret clotheslined himself on a giant prop while trying to get off stage. Michaels’ nose was fractured and he required three stitches in his lip. The Tony spokespeople claim that Michaels missed his mark, pretty much implying that it was all his fault. The Poison singer says that the production people hadn’t given him enough time to safely get off stage. The rest of his band seemed to make it alright…

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Honorable Mention

Bruno and Eminem - 2009 MTV Movie Awards

It’s questionable if you could call this one an awards show disaster since everyone’s pretty sure it was all a hoax. But at the time it seemed like an accident of gargantuan proportions. There were wardrobe “malfunctions,” harsh words and a rapper had another man’s testicles in his face on national TV. It seems like MTV is so used to things going horribly wrong during their awards, they’ve started staging these accidents themselves.

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7 Comments

Posted by Bonnie 29. January 2010 at 3:06 pm :

I never saw the Bob Dylan / Soy Bomb dance before now.. preety funny … Bob Dylan is great

Posted by Josh_P 29. January 2010 at 3:41 pm :

LOL Soy Bomb is the best! Hilarious!

Posted by Bransby 9. February 2010 at 2:34 pm :

Worth looking over to the UK too.Jarvis Cocker once invaded the stage in the middle of Michael Jackson’s performance, bared his tummy and wiggled his bottom in front of the camera. Another classis was the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party when the host Philip Schofield was rugby-tackled to the floor in mid sentence on live telly by Fruitbat of the legendary Carter USM.

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