The 58th Grammy Awards, the biggest night in music delivered yet another eventful awards night. The big winners of the night were Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, Taylor Swift, Mark Ronson, Meghan Trainor, and Ed Sheeran.
Kendrick Lamar came to win, and he came to leave a lasting impression. Lamar took home Grammy awards for for Best Rap Performance (“Alright”), Best Rap Song (“Alright”), Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“These Walls”), and Best Rap Album (To Pimp A Butterfly), K. Dot swept all four of the rap categories. Kendrick earned his 5th Grammy from being featured on Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” which won Best Music Video. There were a number of memorable aspects of Kendrick’s performance from the jail cell, handcuffs, riot, to the superimposed image of Compton displayed over an image of Africa.
“This for Hip Hop. This for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This for Illmatic. This for Nas. We will live forever, believe that,”
said Kendrick upon accepting his award for Best Rap Album. Common and John Legend won the award for Best Song Written For Visual Media for “Glory” off the Selma soundtrack. Beyonce made a surprise appearance to present the Record Of The Year award. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars ended up taking the award home for their hit “Uptown Funk”. Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ won Album Of The Year, and Ed Sheeran took home the award for Song Of The Year (“Thinking Out Loud”).
Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt paid tribute to the great B.B. King, and the guitars and string section was in full effect. Raitt definitely brought her unique touch of soul to King’s hits. Two disappointments were the iconic Lauryn Hill’s noticeable absence from what would’ve been her collaborative performance with The Weeknd, and Rihanna calling in sick. A rep for Hill stated that Hill pulled out due to the last minute nature of their collaborative performance. The rep went on to say The Grammy’s announced a performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill prematurely and without approval. Hill was said to have been booked for several shows during the same time period, and there wasn’t enough time for preparation. Rihanna was forced to pull out of the telecast in the twelfth hour because of bronchitis. Rihanna was set to debut a live performance of “Kiss It Better” from her recently released album ‘Anti.’ The Late Late Show host, James Corden, actually revealed that he was supposed to play a 1980s-era talk show host who would introduce Rihanna and then pretend to interview her on a show that would have been called “As It Lays.”
Justin Bieber delivered a less than stellar performance. His performance with Diplo and Skrillex was highly anticipated, but according to most fans, the performance fell short. Stevie Wonder taunted the sighted as he announced the winner for Song Of The Year. He cracked everyone up with a Braille joke shining light on the fact that he believes that everything today should be accessible to disabled individuals. Andra Day and Ellie Goulding also delivered a nice mash-up performance. After rounding up a handful of trophies, The Weeknd performed a medley that included “Can’t Feel My Face” and “In the Night.” The Weeknd won Best R&B Performance (“Earned It”) and Best Urban Contemporary Album (Beauty Behind The Madness). D’Angelo won Best R&B Song (“Really Love”) and Best R&B Album (Black Messiah).
Although the late, great David Bowie’s torch is honestly too big for any single performer to carry, Lady Gaga did just that. Gaga performed a heartfelt 8 minute tribute with the legendary Nile Rodgers backing her on the guitar. Just when fans were shocked to hear a performance from Adele that didn’t match up to her skill and previous performances, the British singer took to her Twitter account to explain what happened during her performance of “All I Ask”. Adele explained that the piano mics fell onto the piano strings, and that’s what the guitar sound was. This is what caused her to sound out of tune. The Grammys also featured performances from Taylor Swift (show opener), Alabama Shakes, and an all-star tribute to Lionel Richie by John Legend, Tyrese, Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, and Luke Bryan. Also entertaining was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acceptance speech. He accepted his award in a slight freestyle rap manner. Now we need an award for best acceptance speech!
Taylor Swift became the first woman to win Album Of The Year twice, and with this win, the singer wasted no time addressing Kanye West’s “famous” lyric. Swift said,
“There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame, but if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you are going you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow did take a moment to speak to press about what went wrong in the night, but more importantly he happily celebrated all that went right.