In 1989, Metallica were one of the most popular heavy metal bands on the planet, and they were the heavy favorites to win the first ever Grammy award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental. During the show, Metallica performed their hit song One, and it was a foregone conclusion they were going to win the award, right?
Wrong! In one of the most infamous moments in Grammy history, Alice Cooper and Lita Ford came to introduce the nominees for the award: Metallica, AC/DC, Iggy Pop, Jane’s Addiction, and Jethro Tull. And the award goes to… Jethro Tull! Needless to say, this was not a popular win for the category to say the least. The following year in 1990, Metallica won a Grammy for One, but the 1989 Grammys will always be remembered as the year a heavy metal flute band won the Grammy award.
Enjoy this look back at Metallica performing One live during the 1989 Grammys as well as a look at the infamous moment when Jethro Tull were announced as the winners. Oh, and just for fun, here’s a look at the Grammy winning “heavy metal” band performing their song Farm on the Freeway live in 1988. Farm on the Freeway was a number seven hit on the Mainstream Rock charts from Jethro Tull’s 1987 album Crest of a Knave, which was actually the album the Grammy was for. No disrespect to Jethro Tull, but this is definitely not a heavy metal song, but if you love the flute, you’re gonna love it!