Showing off killer abs and a golden tan, the raven-haired icon opted for a butterfly-kissed bikini top and sheer ruffled shawl to present the album of the year award (Stevie Wonder took home top honors). The perfect complement to her over-the-top butterfly headpiece? The star’s full, fluttery eye lashes.
Grace Jones (1983)
Before there was Gaga, there was Grace. Looking like a fierce samurai warrior princess, the model-singer commanded the world’s attention in this draped caged ensemble. “I think my hat has made you a bit nervous today,” she purred to Grammy co-presenter Rick James, after bumping his braids onstage.
Michael Jackson (1984)
Celebrated as much for his killer dance moves as his spectacular '80s style (military jackets, peg-legged pants, fedoras), the King of Pop dazzled the world when he turned up in aviators and this megawatt jacket, complete with bedazzled epaulets and spangled socks. Jackson collected a record-breaking eight awards — including album of the year for Thriller — rocking his trademark single white rhinestone-encrusted glove, designed by longtime costumer Michael Bush.
Tina Turner (1985)
Tina Turner’s signature big hair + lots of leg + slinky sequined slip dress made this classic '80s moment a winning combination. She also nabbed three Grammys that evening, including song of the year for her unforgettable hit "What’s Love Got to Do With It." Fresh on the heels of a bitter breakup with husband Ike Turner, the diva’s undeniable glow proved that going solo never looked better.
Annie Lennox (1995)
Proving that the Grammy’s red carpet is, in fact, the happiest place on Earth, Annie Lennox put a cartoonish twist on red carpet-dressing with this Minnie Mouse-as-dominatrix patent leather getup. “Becoming Minnie was my best personal means of deflection from the red carpet mayhem of reporters thrusting microphones in your face asking the proverbial, "Who are you wearing?" explains Lennox. "It was an ironic statement on my part — Minnie Mouse is a female cartoon character, partly innocent and partly Disney corporate. It summed up how I felt about the music industry at the time."
The seminal '90s hip-hop trio captured the CrazySexyCool vibe of the era in these matching white wide-legged pants, flowing jackets and sheer belly-baring crop tops, designed by stylist Julie Mijares. "She’s one of the dopest stylists we’ve ever had," Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins said after picking up two Grammys at the show. Each rapper sported a toned tummy to top off the matchy-matchiness of their coordinated costumes.
Gwen Stefani and Courtney Love (1998)
Major '90s throwback! Grunge's "It" chicks lit up the red carpet when No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani, clad in a sheer merlot top and floor-sweeping dip-dyed skirt, kicked it with Hole's Courtney Love at a Grammy afterparty. Love stepped up her designer A-game in a curve-hugging Versace gown covered in strategically placed sparkle (she was the face of the brand that year). Taking us back to that magical time when "I’m Just s Girl" was playing on the radio, both singers brought life to the era’s eclectic accessories — Gwen rocked burgundy lips, braids and a bindi; Courtney paired couture with a hippie floral crown.
Jennifer Lopez (2000)
This jungle green show-stopper needs no introduction. Lopez’s silk chiffon Versace goes down (way down) as one of the most iconic red-carpet moments ever — for any awards show. In fact, the dress is so famous, it has its own Wikipedia page and is currently on display at the Grammy museum. Looking like it could unravel at any second, the jaw-dropping front plunged inches below her navel, loosely fastened by a citrine-studded broach — and no doubt, plenty of double-sided tape.
Toni Braxton (2001)
Leaving little to the imagination, the then-41-year-old singer went risqué when she rocked a barely-there white halter gown by Richard Tyler to collect her best female R&B vocalist award. The scandalous silhouette featured flashes of skin at every angle, with its deep plunging front, backless behind and high-above-the-thigh side slits. Two shimmering straps and built-in underpinnings held the gauzy gown together.
Destiny’s Child (2001)
Onstage and off-, carefully coordinated costumes in complementary silhouettes were the trio’s signature. So when they took home five identical gramophones in matching emerald, gold-spangled outfits designed by momager Tina Knowles, it left a lasting impression.
Lil Kim (2002)
Lil Kim's red leather look was topped off with a Chanel moto helmet.
OK Go (2007)
All eyes were on the eccentric indie band when they showed up in these head-turning red-and-gold brocade suits (originally designed for a video shoot), complete with matching hats and gloves. "They were trying to blend in with the red carpet!" explains stylist Christopher Kreiling, who used upholstery fabric to create these ironically tailored suits. "The choice to remain faceless was an ode to the highly conceptual nature of the band — it was later redone by copycat Lady Gaga."
Spotted at the Grammys just days before giving birth, M.I.A. played up her bump in this daring dotted mesh mini and sheer leggings from House of Holland's spring 2009 collection paired with bright white Reeboks.
Lady Gaga (2010)
"Outta this world" is the name of the fashion game when you’re Lady Gaga. So this glittering celestial gown — spirals of iridescent wrapped rhinestones by Armani Prive — was the perfect choice for the pop star.
Nicki Minaj (2011)
Bride of Frankenstein-inspired hair and a Givenchy couture leopard print dress match Minaj's in-your-face personality.
A see-through Jean Paul Gaultier gown is a quintessential Rihanna move.
Nicki Minaj (2012)
Never one to play it safe, the rapper dialed up the shock value in this scarlet satin Versace cloak trimmed in jet beads. But it wasn’t her golden locks or matching red gloves that played most eye-catching accessory — it was the pope impersonator she brought on her arm.
Taylor Swift (2012)
Music’s golden girl, who took home two statues including best country song, looked like rock royalty in this champagne silk mermaid gown by Zuhair Murad. The star brought sexy back with head-turning back cutouts and a floor-sweeping train, hand-embroidered with intricate gold and rose gold beads. Delicate Neil Lane jewels and Prada heels were the perfect finishing touches.
Looking undeniably fierce, fabulous and feminine, RiRi stole the spotlight in a flame-hued crisscross Azzedine Alaia gown, custom-made for the singer, and matching Manolo Blahniks paired with a bright red power pout (a mix of MAC's Ruby Woo and Lady Danger lipsticks) and countless carats of Neil Lane diamonds — including a serpent bracelet and ring. Though the dress didn’t go daringly low, the decision to go for elegance over opulence landed her on every best-dressed list.
The "Happy" singer’s wide-brimmed Vivienne Westwood topper from last year’s show became a pop culture phenomenon — not only did it spark a sea of comparisons to Smokey the Bear's headgear and the Arby’s logo, it even got its own Twitter account, @PharrellHat. He later sold it to Arby’s for $44,100 on eBay, donating the cash to children’s charity From One Hand to Another. The dimpled chapeau, hand-crafted of felt, was originally a part of the British designer’s 1982-83 Buffalo Girls collection. "It’s from when she was with [The Sex Pistols’] Malcolm McLaren. It’s not vintage — I would’ve been really stylin’ if I had one from the '80s," he told The Hollywood Reporter after the show.
Proving that great style runs in the family, dapper duo Madonna and son David turned up on the red carpet in matching Ralph Lauren tuxedos and tipped fedoras. Never one to be upstaged, the Material Mom rocked some serious bling — a crystal-studded glove and Neil Lane platinum-and-diamond rings on her hands, and a gilded grill (yes, grill!) adorning her teeth.
Lady Gaga (2016)
For her tribute to David Bowie, Lady Gaga rocked a Ziggy Stardust-inspired Marc Jacobs look.
Ciara's super-high slit on her AlexandreVauthier gowns turned heads, to say the least.
Janelle Monae (2016)
Sticking to her self-imposed black-and-white dress code, Janelle Monae wowed in a Jean Paul Gaultier look.
CeeLo Green (2017)
Honestly, we aren't sure, either.
Joy Villa (2017)
Joy Villa certainly made a statement when she arrived in a pro-Trump gown designed by Filipino immigrant Andre Soriano.
Cardi B (2019)
The hip-hop star stole the show in a vintage Thierry Mugler " shell" gown and pearls; she required a team of five to help her out of the car.