New York City. Radio City Music Hall, March 2, 1988.
Jody Watley – Best New Artist 1987.
That same night, U2 won Album of The Year for Joshua Tree, Somewhere Out There won Song of The Year.
Little Richard made it one of TV’s most iconic moments in Grammy history – in an impromptu rant (a fun but true one) in that he’d never been recognized nor received any awards as The Architect of Rock & Roll. It lasted nearly 5 minutes – while all of the nominees waited in angst to hopefully hear their name.
Michael Jackson performed a rousing ‘The Way You Make Me Feel/Man In The Mirror’ and was the first person to greet me as I exited the stage in tears – he emerged with a big smile, hug and kiss saying “I’m so happy for you.” That made the night even more special..especially since there was a time in my youth I was writing him fan mail!
I shocked everyone – including me – by winning Best New Artist and have said I could have retired that night on that album in terms of a statement debut that no one predicted and to everyone who told me I’d never succeed and would regret leaving Shalamar — That day has never and will never come. I’m full of gratitude and know that regardless of the outcome of the awards ceremony I’d already won by choosing to live the life I wanted – happy no matter the obstacles.
Continuing to do the best work with as much joy and integrity possible in a challenging industry, always fearless, changing and growing as I vowed to do decades ago and to get better with time.. not to be the most popular, just to be the best I can be for me as an artist, writer, producer and human being. That year – I kicked ass, set some style trends and kept it moving on to the next and still doing the damn thing – my way.