Beck won Album of the Year for his album Morning Phase. As Beck ascended the stage to accept the award, Kanye West pretended to storm it, in a repeat of the famous Taylor Swift VMAs incident. He backed off at the last minute with a quick grin.
West actually got less than a foot away from Beck at the mic stage. He turned and left Beck on stage, waiting for the others awarded for Morning Phase to come up on stage with him, giving what was a hopelessly distracted speech.
How this reflects the VMA moment
West didn't have to stand in front of the mic and say "Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time," as he said when Swift's video for "You Belong With Me" defeated Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" video.
Beyoncé, who was nominated for her self-titled album, was considered one of the favorites for the Album of the Year award. And if it wasn't given to her, most expected it to go to Sam Smith. Few, if any, prognosticators were picking Beck.
The irony here is that Morning Phase is a good album, genuinely well-written and produced. And Beck is someone who has long been due for a big Grammy. His first Album of the Year nomination came back in 1997 for Odelay, where he lost to Celine Dion's Falling into You.
But Morning Phase isn't Beck's best, and Beyoncé has become an iconic expression of its artist, who rules the pop music world at the moment.
A history of weird Grammy choices
Then again, the Grammys have a long history of making bizarre choices in their biggest categories.
In 2008, Herbie Hancock beat out Kanye West's Graduation and Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, two albums that were critically praised sensations that have become cultural touchstones. And just as Hancock's album is mostly remembered now for beating those other two albums, Morning Phase will be written off as the album that beat Beyoncé. Even Sam Smith's album felt more of the moment than Beck's.
Sadly, the Grammys remain wedded to music that feels years out of date, rewarding artists years later for work they made long ago. That cut against Beck back in 1997, when he deserved to win. And it cut in his favor right now.
At the end of the night, Kanye West and Taylor Swift seemed to have made up for their former rift. Maybe there will be a picture just like this one of Ye and Beck in 2020.