The 2024 Grammys are this upcoming Sunday, so it felt like a pertinent time to get in our Wayback Machine and visit the 2004 red carpet. I cannot remember any awards show from year to year, so of course I scampered over to Wikipedia to refresh my memory. “Ah, yes,” I murmured. “This was the ‘Crazy in Love’ year. That song is a BANGER. And ‘Lose Yourself’? What a year!” Then I got to this:
Janet Jackson was originally scheduled to perform a tribute to Luther Vandross during the ceremony. However, due to an incident involving Jackson during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show the previous week, where her breast was briefly revealed by Justin Timberlake, Jackson was blacklisted by CBS’s parent company Viacom and her invitation to the ceremony was rescinded. Despite his involvement in the “wardrobe malfunction”, Timberlake was still invited, and used one of his acceptance speeches to apologize for the incident. CBS also broadcast the ceremony on a five-minute tape delay.
Several items: (a) BOO that he still got to come and she did not, this whole thing is still ENRAGING, and (b) this upcoming Super Bowl is therefore the 20th anniversary of this incident, so get ready for a bunch of think pieces, and (c) this looming anniversary kinda explains why JT was on SNL this weekend, presumably trying to remind people why they like him, in advance of (b). Finally, in the interest of fairness, I must note that the album he was promoting 20 years ago, Justified, is objectively a really good one.
And the red carpet? Well, you’ll see. A lot of people look fresh off a glamorous shipwreck.