In 1983, Jennifer won a Grammy Award Best Female Performance in Rhythm & Blues for “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls. She was encouraged by fans to record a pop version of the song after it made her a star on Broadway. In 1982 she released the single and it soared to the top of the Billboard Charts. Jennifer beat fierce competition in Donna Summer, Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin. She accepted her Grammy from Grace Jones and Rick James with innocence and gratitude. Jennifer thanked God, her fans and wished her brother a happy birthday.
In 1987 Anita won her first Grammy Award for Best R&B Female for “Rapture” at the 29th Grammy Awards. She released “Rapture” in 1986 and it became her best selling album. “Rapture” sold nearly 8 million copies throughout the world. When her name is announced she celebrates to the stage and could be heard praising, “Oh my Grammy! Oh my Grammy!” Anita does not leave out anyone in the family. She thanked her producers and her niece and nephew for her success. Anita won a Grammy for Best R&B song for “Sweet Love” the same night.
In 2006 at the 48th Annual Grammy Award Show, Kelly took home her first Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Since You Been Gone.” “Since You Been Gone” was her 2nd single and it raced to the top of the charts in the US. The single became No. 2 in the U.S. “Since You Been Gone” was the most successful hit from her “Breakaway” Album. Kelly shrieked on the stage with her Grammy clenched tightly in her fist. In between shrills she manages to thank her date and her fans for the award.
Helen made a controversial speech at the Grammy Award Show in 1972. She accepted the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her hit, “I Am Woman”. “I Am Woman” endured a slow crawl to the number one charts. The song was revived by Reddy’s female listeners and eventually made Reddy the first Australian performer to land a number one hit in the U.S. In celebration of the female anthem Helen accepted her Grammy and thanked God stating, “She makes everything possible.” Her statement shocked the crowd and flooded the television station with angry letters from viewers.
Jody released her self-titled album in March 1987. The album reached #10 on The Top 200 Billboard Album Chart. At the 30th Grammy Awards, the announcement of Jody’s name caught her by surprise backstage when her name was eventually announced by Little Richard for Best New Artist. Jody searched for words while trying to fight back tears. Watley tried to catch her breath as she thanked everybody for believing in her and supporting her when everyone else didn’t. The Grammy would be first and last during her career. The same evening she was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
Patti Labelle and Lisa Fischer
In 1992 at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards, a tie was announced between two great performers for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Patti searched for Lisa at the microphone and reached out to her when Lisa approached the podium. Patti and Lisa embraced each other on stage. The two artists graciously shared the light together in a joint acceptance. Lisa handed the mic over to Patti and she thanked Lisa for contributing on her album. Patti reached up for the ceiling when she mentioned her deceased family and held her golden Grammy above her head telling her loved ones, “I got that.”
Christina shred her Mickey Mouse Club days with the release of her self-titled debut album in 1999. In 2000 at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, Christina was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, but her success came when her name was announced for Best New Artist. A shocked Christina hesitated in her seat when her name was announced beating out popular new favorites like Macy Gray and Britney Spears. Christina did not prepare an acceptance speech. She feared she would not win because she only had one single released before the cutoff for the Grammy Award Show.
Despite controversy and scandal that surrounded Winehouse in 2008, she was awarded 5 Grammys at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. It was Amy’s reaction when her name was announced by the legendary Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole for Record of the Year for “Rehab”. Amy was stunned by the announcement. The crowd can be heard chanting, “Amy! Amy! Amy!” She ran to her band and they embraced in a group hug. Amy began her speech with a priceless, “Uhh…” and is soon filled with excitement with her arm wrapped around her mother.
Yoko accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, John Lennon just 15 months after she witnessed his murder at the hands of fan. The late John Lennon received the award for his accomplishments as a musician, singer, songwriter and an activist of nonviolence. Hundreds of spectators rose to their feet as Richard Gere handed the award over to Yoko. Yoko spoke about John being recognized by the industry he helped expand. Yoko asked everyone to, “Take the opportunity to pray for the safety and health of the planet because John Lennon would have liked that.”
Prince Michael and Paris Jackson
In 2010 Prince Michael and Paris Jackson made a rare appearance when they accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of their late father, Michael Jackson. Seven months after his death, Michael Jackson’s children were supported by their cousins as they spoke strongly about their father. Prince Michael spoke confidently about his father and the message his father tried to convey in regards to the planet and humanity. Prince Michael thanked the fans, reminding them Michael was passionate about their commitment to him and their never-ending support. Paris Jackson closed her speech with an emotional, “We love you daddy.”
In 2009 Jennifer accepted the Grammy for Best R&B Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. Her self-titled debut album “Jennifer Hudson” was released in September 2008. The release of the album was overshadowed by the murder of her mother, brother and nephew in October. Jennifer stayed out of the public eye until she spoke for the first time when Whitney Houston announced her name. A standing ovation supported Jennifer to the mic and Whitney embraced Jennifer when she handed over the award. Jennifer thanked her fans, God and her family in heaven while the crowd remained on their feet.