Grammys Rhonda Ross Meme

CBS This Morning/Twitter

Rhonda Ross, bored on the phone, becomes relatable Grammys meme

It me.


Trixie Reyna


Posted on Feb 11, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 7:25 pm CDT

After all the social media buzz about Grammy nominees and snubs, not to mention all the drama that led up to awards night, the 2019 Grammy Awards turned out to be uneventful and stale. And we’re sorry to say we saw this coming, especially after Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Drake all bailed on performing at the show this year.

But there was one good meme.

Both winners and performances failed to stick on social media, and not even Korean boyband BTS—which made history as the first K-pop band to be nominated for a Grammy and to be invited to present an award—was able to save the show. 

However, CBS cameras caught a brief clip of Rhonda Ross on the phone during a performance. The daughter of Motown founder Berry Gordy and legend Diana Rossand mom of Raif-Henok, the cute little boy who won the internet over when he introduced his grandma before her Grammy birthday performancesat beside her father, distracted.

The internet lost no time turning the moment into a meme.

Even GIF generator Giphy was quick to capture the moment.

Rhonda captured everyone’s mood about the Grammys, basically.

“Rhonda Ross is all of us,” @Fly_Sistah tweeted.

People saw themselves in Rhonda, like @TaylourSaid_: “Tag yourself in the Grammys: I’m Rhonda Ross on the phone in the front row mid show.”

Even CBS, which broadcasted the awards show, was quick to use it as a meme to talk about Grammys host Alicia Keys’ performance with another Motown pioneer, Smokey Robinson (what everyone around Rhonda was applauding):

People wondered who Rhonda could be speaking to and about what, so they posted their own theories. One of them is how it could be a reaction to one of the night’s more remarkable performances: that of her own mom, Diana, to mark her 75th birthday… even if her birthday isn’t until March. At one point onstage, Diana exclaimed, “Happy birthday to me!” Twitter user @bttmshelfbitch supposed Rhonda could be saying, “Hold up, she tryin’ to make this all about her again.”

Mostly, people speculated she was trolling the Motown tribute that strangely featured Jennifer Lopez in one of the most contemptuous moments of the Grammys. As the Daily Dot noted on Sunday, “February is Black History Month and … genre pioneers Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Robinson are still very much alive.”

The meme also captures what Nicki Minaj stans could be doing after their idol’s rival Cardi B won best rap album—the first woman to win the award and ahead of Minaj to boot.

User @sayyestochurros thought it best captured the reaction to best new artist winner Dua Lipa’s acceptance speech, in which she took a dig at Recording Academy President Neil Portnow for saying female artists had to “step up” at last year’s ceremony. “I guess this year we really stepped up,” she said.

Besides the Motown tribute, some also found the Rhonda meme to be the perfect “unimpressed” reaction to Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour emerging as album of the year winner:

If you were likewise unimpressed by the Grammys, this meme could be you: “Rhonda Ross on the phone sums up this entire show,” tweets user @7eacebewithyou.

At best, @kay_suigeneris thinks it’s “the best part of the Grammys.”

Meanwhile, some found the Rhonda meme applicable to other life moments, too, like when MTV tweeted, “Calling in help after accidentally liking a pic while 48 weeks deep in the feed.”

If a GIF featuring the phone-using daughter of a Motown legend is the most entertaining part of a music awards show, perhaps the Grammys deserved the spinoff meme. You can view the full list of winners here.


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*First Published: Feb 11, 2019, 7:04 am CST