What the Grammys looked like in 2001
Rock, hip hop, and belly shirts
The scene at the 43rd annual Grammy Awards in 2001 included everyone from boy bands to Brad Paisley, Toni Braxton, Bono, and even the Blue Man Group. (And being the early 2000s, belly shirts.) But it wasn’t just b-boys and Baha Men who went home with golden trophies that night. Scroll through this gallery to get a steely surprise on who won Album of the Year, and be sure to take in the fashion — or lack thereof — at the 2001 Grammys.
NSYNC’s second Grammy outing saw the noted suit enthusiasts nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals and Record of the Year for their single “Bye Bye Bye,” and Best Pop Vocal Album for No Strings Attached.
Christina Aguilera was up for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her 2000 single "What a Girl Wants" a year after she won Best New Artist, but her hair was already looking ahead to the look she would sport during her "Dirrty" era in 2002.
Anthony Kiedis and Scott Weiland
Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots had just wrapped nearly 15 months together with their respective bands on the Californication Tour when they walked the Grammys red carpet in 2001. STP earned a Best Hard Rock Performance nomination for their single "Down," while RHCP was up for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal for “Californication."
De La Soul
Upon arriving at the 43rd annual Grammy Awards, the former 1997 Best New Artist nominees were superstars thanks to their extraordinary 1995 album Tragic Kingdom. No Doubt was still experimenting with different sounds and going strong with their follow-up release, Return of Saturn, which earned a Best Rock Album nom in 2001.
Sheryl Crow and Fiona Apple
Fresh off their first season on ABC’s Making the Band, O-Town hit up Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammys gala in Beverly Hills. Where is O-Town and Making the Band now? O-Town mixed it up with Bachelor star Colton Underwood in 2019 and Diddy was set to bring back the show until the COVID-19 global pandemic delayed production.
Moby and the Blue Man Group
Is that the Blue Man Group with Moby? Yes, it was 2001 and you could not escape the Blue Man Group, nor Moby. Jill Scott would join both on stage for a rendition of Moby’s “Natural Blues” during the show in support of his nomination for Best Dance Recording.
Carson Daly and Tara Reid
Carson Daly and Tara Reid were a power couple to be reckoned with that cold winter night outside Staples Center in Los Angeles, but by summer of 2001 the Total Request Live host and the American Pie star had called it quits.
While Eminem might have gone into the 43rd annual Grammy Awards as one of music’s most nominated artists, he was also the most controversial due to the misogynistic and homophobic lyrics throughout The Marshall Mathers LP, and the violent depictions in songs like “Stan” and “Kill You.” When the Recording Academy booked Em and Elton John to perform together during the awards show, reaction was swift. Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) executive director Joan M. Garry said in a statement, “Eminem should not have another platform for his hateful lyrics." GLAAD’s news media director at the time Cathy Renna (pictured) told EW.com, “We were all flabbergasted that [John] would do this” in response to British rocker’s involvement. The day of the Grammys, representatives from GLAAD, the National Organization of Women, and the Matthew Shepard Foundation were among the groups who protested the performance.
Bow Wow and Madonna
Bow Wow (he was still Lil in 2001) and Madonna opened up the live show at Staples Center with Madge’s hit single “Music” after springing forth from a blinged-out limo inspired by her video with Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen). The album Music was up for five Grammys that evening, including Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Designer Kevin Reagan won the Grammy for Best Recording Package for his work on the project, the lone Grammy win for the album.
Related: Madonna's 60 best singles, ranked
Dolly Parton and Brad Paisley
A year after Jennifer Lopez made Grammy red carpet history in a sheer, green Versace dress that is still referenced today, Toni Braxton went to celebrity designer Richard Tyler for this little number. The 1994 Best New Artist winner took home the Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2001, and was also nominated for Best R&B Album for The Heat.
“We are so excited. I can't believe we're winning a Grammy," gushed Beyoncé when Destiny's Child picked up their first of two awards that night for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals and Best R&B Song for “Say My Name.” The band would pick up Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group again in 2002 for “Survivor,” with Bey adding 21 more Grammys to her collection, including one with husband Jay-Z, over the next 20 years. Bandmate Kelly Rowland earned another Grammy win alongside Nelly in 2002.
Bono showed off U2’s hardware in the press room. The group won Grammys for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group, Best Song of the Year, and Record of the Year for the album All That You Can't Leave Behind. In a bit of modesty for the normally bombastic at the time rocker, Bono remarked during the show, “It’s a very unique emotion I’m feeling right now. I think it’s called humility. I’m completely not used to it.”
Eminem addressed the furor raised by critics of him and his music when he accepted the Grammy for Best Rap Album. “What should I say first? I guess, first of all, I want to thank everybody who could look past the controversy or whatever and see the album for what it was… and also for what it isn’t.” He also thanked his producer Dr. Dre, who won a Grammy that night for producing The Marshall Mathers LP.
Between endless radio play, being adopted by the New York Mets during their 2000 World Series run, the movie tie-ins, and general catchiness of their Bahamian beats, the Baha Men were everywhere in 2001, including winning the Best Dance Recording Grammy for "Who Let The Dogs Out." The band would later tell EW they felt like the win was vindication for all of their hard work, with lead singer Rik Carey stating, “‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ did a lot for us as a group, and as individuals, and as a country. It was about promoting the Bahamas as well."
The Foo Fighters
In 2001, the Foo Fighters were in many minds still “the other band” Dave Grohl was involved with outside of the long shadow of his previous act Nirvana, even though they were picking up their first Grammys (for Best Short Form Music Video and Best Rock Album). And now? Grohl and the gang seem like sure things for the next Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions in 2021.
Shakira took home the 2001 Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album on the strength of Shakira - MTV Unplugged just a few months after cleaning up at the Latin Grammys. Twenty years ago, EW asked if Shakira was posed to be a crossover star. It’s safe to say decades and a Super Bowl halftime performance later that question has been answered in full.
Rage Against the Machine
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
Elton John and Eminem embrace on stage
The whole night had been building to the moment Recording Academy president Michael Greene brought out Eminem and Elton John, who introduced the pair with, “We can’t edit out the art that makes us uncomfortable. Remember that’s what our parents tried to do to Elvis, the Stones, and the Beatles.” With Elton singing the chorus that had been sampled from Dido’s “Thank You” in the studio release, Eminem performed his hit “Stan” — yes, the origin of calling obsessive fans “stans” — to a standing ovation. Grammy host Jon Stewart told EW after the show, “I thought those two guys really vibed on each other. They seem to have a very respectful relationship. It felt really sincere. ‘I respect you, you respect me.’ And I’m not usually a big fan of sincerity.”
Despite Grammy procrastinators saying Eminem would take home Album of the Year and all the controversy surrounding what seemed to be his pending coronation, the Recording Academy voters proved to be rock traditionalists. And after a breakup, a reunion, and 20 years away from the studio, Walter Becker (left) and Donald Fagen of the venerable Steely Dan took home Grammys for Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Engineered Album – Non-Classical, and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal for their platinum release Two Against Nature. "We've been around a long time," remarked Fagen when accepting the Grammy for his engineering work. "It's nice to get one of these."
Related: Steely Dan: Our 15 favorite songs
Usher, Pink, and Lance Bass
Usher, Pink, and Lance Bass of NSYNC hanging out at the BMG after-party in a "future Grammy-winners " moment. It wouldn’t be until the following year that Pink would take home a Grammy for her collaboration on “Lady Marmalade," and Usher would pick up his first Grammy for "U Remind Me."
Renee Sandstrom, Stacy Ferguson (a.k.a. Fergie), and Stefanie Ridel of Wild Orchid were not going to stay away from the Grammy parties just because work on their third album Fire was dragging on. Wild Orchid was dropped by RCA later that year, and Fergie left the band by fall.
Sherly Crow, Bono, and Shelby Lynne
Bono and B.B. King
Bono and B.B. King reminded everyone at the Universal Music Group after-party to keep the peace (or perhaps Bono was ready to “peace out” — it was the early aughts mode of “goodbye”). King won the Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals with the big band classic, "Is You Is, or Is You Ain't (My Baby)" alongside bluesman and rocker Dr. John earlier in the night.