For the Grammy's, Michael had earned four nominations and was scheduled to perform at the Award ceremony. BAD was nominated album of the year, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones were nominated Producer of the Year, and Michael was nominated Best Male Pop Vocal and Best Male R&B Vocal. Bruce Swedien was nominated Best Engineered Recording for Bad. Epic Records Congratulated Michael on his Grammy nominations with another full-page in ad in Billboard.
ISN'T THIS JUST TOO BAD!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR : *BAD*
BEST POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE MALE: **BAD ALBUM
BEST R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE, MALE *BAD* SINGLE
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR QUINCY JONES & MICHAEL JACKSON
BEST ENGINEERED RECORDING BAD ALBUM...
5 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS... NOT BAD!
Major newspapers in reporting their grammy picks generally had Michael winning in three of the four categories. The Los Angeles Times and USA Today had Michael picking up the prizes for the Best R&B Vocal Performance, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, and sharing the Grammy with Quincy Jones for Producer of the Year. Both papers predicted U2's The Joshua Tree as the winner of Album of the Year, but by a very close margin. The Los Angeles Times even predicted a possible upset by Jackson's Bad album and Michael possibly going home with all four Grammy's for which he was nominated.
Michael's performance on the 30th Annual Grammy Awards was his first TV performance since Motown 25 Special five years ago. TV Guide, it its preview of the Grammys stated, "The Grammys are worth watching any year, but especially so this year: tonight's Grammy telecast from Radio City Music Hall is slated to include a live performance by Michael Jackson, his first live TV performance since the 1983's Motown 25..." Grammy producer Perre Cossette, when asked what the night's big moment would be, replied, "It would be very difficult to say anything other than Michael Jackson".
About half way through the Grammy telecast, host Billy Crystal read the rules impersonating Sylvester Stallone. He then introduced two representatives of the independent accounting firm. The audience roared as they recognized the familiar figure. Michael stood, poised very still, with a hat perched on his head, down over hşs eyes. He slowly glided form one position to another as the screen slowly rose revealing Michael wearing short black pants, well above his ankles and a blue shirt with a white t-shirt underneath. The dazzling "The Way You Make Me Feel" choreography borrowed from the song's original video and showcased Michael's new variation of moonwalk, gliding around in a circle. During the performance of "Man in the Mirror" Michael was joined on stage by New Hope Baptist Church Choir. Michael gave an outstanding performance, failing to his knees at several points and giving full emotion to the song's moving lyrics.
Michael was given a standing ovation for his performance that evening but no Grammys. In the biggest surprise, disappointment and shock of the evening, Michael was shut out in all four categories in which he was nominated. The BAD album only won the Grammy for best Engineered Recording. Following his performance, Michael sat out the remaining show seated next to Quincy Jones in the front row of Radio City Music Hall. He had changed into black pants that he wore in the Bad video, a khaki shirt with a black tie and a red blazer with buckles at the shoulder.
A small amount of consolation came from the news in USA Today. The next day, the headline read, "U2 Big Winner but Jackson steals show". The article went on to say, "Despite his shutout, Jackson won over the audience with a performance recalling his 1983 Motown Special stunner". In its music news, MT's reports on the Grammy spotlighted the winners, but they also gave a considerable nod to Michael Jackson: "The evening's highest highs and lowest lows belonged to one man: Michael Jackson. His all stops out performance of Man in the Mirror, complete with full gospel choir was an eye-popping triumph. But the evening's end when the tally was made, Jackson, who had been nominated for four Grammys, had won none... But Jackson's minimal showing statuette sweeptakes hardly diminished his uncontested talents".
Other reviews said, "In a night when rock put on the dog, the evening's top cat of all, without doubt, was Michael Jackson. Not only was his performance a show stopper, it stopped interviews in the press room: 'Let's watch Michael, said the presenter Herbie Hanckok, 'you can talk to me later'. Jet magazine wrote, "Even though he won no awards, Michael Jackson virtually stole the show with his performance. The singer, who had not appeared on television in 3 years mesmerized the audience and TV viewers in "The Way You Make Me Feel" and poured out his heart in song "Man in the Mirror".