Culture, Music

Grammy Awards feature satisfying performances, big wins, flubs

The 59th-annual Grammy Awards is officially in the history books, and the night saw loads of big performances, big victories and even a big flub. Despite the notable absences of major stars like Kanye West, Drake and Frank Ocean, there was plenty that went down at the Staples Center that was worth talking about.

The night kicked off with a killer performance of “Hello” from big winner Adele, followed by a comedic – if not momentarily confusing – opening number from host James Corden, packed with slapstick and rapping. As the awards began to flow, Chance the Rapper quickly established himself as a favorite by claiming the ceremony’s first award for Best New Artist.

Solid performances from the Weeknd with Daft Punk, as well as Keith Urban with Carrie Underwood went off without a hitch, before things got a little bizarre with Twenty One Pilots shedding their pants before accepting their Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their track “Stressed Out.” James Corden followed suit (or lack thereof), introducing Ed Sheeran sans pants.

Cue Beyoncé. The songstress has certainly been back in the spotlight lately after announcing her pregnancy with twins, and her performance was nothing short of, well, grandiose. Wearing golden, Virgin Mary-esque garb, Beyoncé let loose with a medley from “Lemonade” that looked to be as much of a performance as it was an ancient ritual of some sort. Shortly thereafter, “Lemonade” went on to win Best Urban Contemporary Album.

The performances continued, with great sets from Bruno Mars and Katy Perry alike, all while Adele began to rack up her victories. When the time came for tributes, Adele had a snafu during her performance of the late George Michael’s “Fast Love,” in which she stopped the performance mid-song and accidentally dropped in a censored F-bomb, saying “I can’t mess it up for him,” before successfully starting over. Less unusual was Bruno Mars’s Prince tribute, which had the singer in full purple attire.

While Chance the Rapper was among the night’s biggest winners, taking home the statues for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance, nobody could touch Adele. “Hello” swept the Best Pop Solo Performance, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year categories, while “25” landed the night’s biggest honor for Album of the Year. In a heartfelt speech, she thanked a tearful Beyoncé for being an inspiration, while acknowledging her admiration for “Lemonade.”

All in all, this year’s Grammys had a fantastic mix of great performances, big wins and a few funny hiccups. Hopefully 2017 will have plenty of great music to grace next year’s ceremony.

February 15, 2017


Jon Vilardi

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