Grammys 2012 Highlights: Reliving The Biggest Moments

Whitney Houston tribute, performances by Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry, Lady Gaga's snub and Adele lead MTV News' list from Sunday's show.

On Sunday night, the 2012 Grammy Awards went off without a hitch, with a bit of everything for everyone: from a tear-jerking tribute for Whitney Houston to several returns to the spotlight to one mind-boggling performance from the one and only Barbie herself, Nicki Minaj.

With a few hours under our belts to reflect on the big show, MTV News is taking a look at several of the biggest moments of the night, including the biggest snubs, the most shocking moment and Adele. MTV News' Christina Garibaldi and Jocelyn Vena as well as MTV Buzzworthy editor Tamar Anitai all sat down after the big show to talk about the standout moments of the night.

Biggest Snubs

Despite being the Grammy darling the past few years, Lady Gaga went home empty-handed, not nabbing any awards for her 2011 Born This Way effort. However, she walked into the show holding her own golden scepter, so at least she had something to clutch.

Other noticeable snubs belonged to two-time nominee Katy Perry, who despite several years' worth of nominations, has yet to take home Grammy gold. Four-time nominee Bruno Mars wore gold when he performed, but he certainly didn't take any home.

Bon Iver pulled an Esperanza Spalding on Nicki Minaj when he grabbed the Best New Artist prize at the show. Barbies everywhere probably pegged Nicki as the likely winner for the award, but it was the atmospheric indie rocker who won instead. "It's really hard to accept this award," Bon Iver's Justin Vernon said humbly when he stepped onstage. "There's so much talent out here on the stage, and there is a lot of talent that's not here tonight."

Shocking Performances

Katy Perry certainly made headlines when she took to the stage to perform her new song, "Part of Me." The scathing breakup track may have served as a thinly veiled kiss-off to Russell Brand as she sang, "You chew me up and spit me up/ You took my life/ You drained me down/ But that was then, and this is now."

But perhaps no performance will be as dissected as Nicki Minaj's church-themed "Roman Holiday" spectacle. Choreographed by Lady Gaga's former right-hand lady, Laurieann Gibson, Minaj performed an exorcism on her rapper alter-ego, Roman, all in a sea of Catholic references that would even leave the Mother Monster blushing.

Whitney Houston Tribute

At the end of the in memoriam part of the show, Jennifer Hudson took the stage to belt out Houston's signature ballad, "I Will Always Love You." Houston, who died the day before the Grammys, was remembered in song by Hudson during the understated and emotional moment that brought the room (and Hudson) to tears.


Sure, a lot of people won awards, and a lot of people performed, but it was the British songstress who was the shiniest star of the night. Having won all six prizes she was up for as well as making her grand return to performing after vocal surgery in November, Adele proved that you can't keep a good talent down for long.

What do you think was the biggest moment at the Grammys? Leave your comment below!