February 28, 1984 – Herbie Hancock made history at the 1984 Grammy Awards when he stepped on stage to perform “Rockit,” the first mainstream single to feature scratching. Armed with a keytar, the legendary jazz musician performed the Grammy-nominated track with Stevie Wonder, Thomas Dolby and Howard Jones.
But what made this performance extra special was Grand Mixer D.X.T. who provided live scratching, introducing over 44 million people to the art of turntablism. According to Chuck D’s Today In Rap & Hip Hop History book, it was the highest rating in the show’s history.
Hancock ultimately took home the gilded trophy in the Best R&B/Instrumental Performance category for “Rockit.” The jazz-infused Hip Hop track became an anthem for breakdancers worldwide.
The Chicago native went on to win an Oscar at the 1987 Academy Awards in the Original Music Score category for his work on 1986’s Round Midnight as well as 13 more Grammy Awards He nabbed his last Grammy in 2011 in the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for Imagine.
Revisit Hancock’s 1984 Grammy performance above.