Date: February 25, 1998
The Moment: After being nominated for Wu-Tang Forever, Shaolin's finest lost the Best Rap Album Grammy to Puff Daddy & the Family's No Way Out. Wu-Tang didn't lose for Song of the Year—they weren't even nominated for it—but later that night, when Shawn Colvin took the stage to accept the award for her adult contemporary hit, "Sunny Came Home," she didn't just win a Grammy, but a surprise from Wu-Tang Clan member Ol' Dirty Bastard. He took the mic—in front of the award's presenters, Erykah Badu and Wyclef Jean—and on live television, explained to a stunned-silent crowd: "Please calm down, the music and everything. It's nice that I went and bought me an outfit today that costed a lot of money, you know what I mean? 'Cause I figured that Wu-Tang was gonna win. I don't know how you all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu-Tang is for the children. We teach the children. You know what I mean? Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best. Okay? I want you all to know that this is ODB, and I love you all. Peace!"
The Impact: Dirty left the stage to hilariously light, mannered applause, leaving a great watercooler moment, and some decent tabloid fodder in his wake. Wyclef told reporters after that show: "O.D.B. will be remembered as the legend, the man in the red suit." While Dirty apologized to Shawn Colvin in an MTV interview ("I apologize, my darling...I think it was her speech that really attracted me up to the stage at that point in time to do that. So, no disrespect at all. Thank you," even though Colvin hadn't even started her speech yet), when asked by MTV if that was the best place to express that specific viewpoint, Dirty stuck to his guns ("Yes"). The next day, the New York Daily News tried to pathetically imply that the stage-bombing was part of a bigger beef between Bad Boy and Wu-Tang, calling it "the latest salvo in the long-running war of words between his group, Wu-Tang Clan, and Sean (Puff Daddy) Combs."
The Upshot: He gave the world what might be the most hilarious acceptance speech-bombing in award show history, and he gave Wu-Tang the most press the group had received since he rolled up to a welfare office to pick up his check while he still had a top 10 album. The thing is: Wu-Tang really was for the children. This happened during the same week that Dirty also saved a little girl who was trapped under a car. Mind you, this was the same Grammy ceremony that saw Bob Dylan receive a "SOY BOMB." The events combined turned what would've been an otherwise unmemorable awards show into one of the greatest in the awards show canon. Diddy's next album was called Forever, which wasn't a reference to the Wu, but it's a noteworthy coincidence.