I spent all of last week having overly emotional disagreements with people over whether or not the GRAMMYs are worth watching. All I heard were jaded responses of “Award shows are boring,” and “Grammy winners have all lost their street cred,” and “The only good thing about the GRAMMYs is the partying.”
But how could you NOT watch the Grammys? The awards, the performances, the fashion, what’s not to love? And so, here’s a quick review of the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, in case you were too cool to watch.
It’s interesting to call the GRAMMYs an award show considering very few of the awards are actually announced during the show. Before things kicked off Kanye West won awards for best rap album and best song and best rap/sung collaboration. Kanye also took best rap album for ‘My Dark Twisted Fantasy’, and Bon Iver won his first Grammy for best alternative album.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band started things up with a lively performance. Then the introduction of the sexiest lips to ever host the GRAMMYs, L.L. Cool J. Tastefully, due to the tragic passing of Whitney Houston just a day before the GRAMMYs, L.L. opened the show with a prayer.
The second performance of the night was Bruno Mars. He channeled the great James Brown during a solid gold sixties soul fest for his single “Runaway”. Next, Alicia Keys joined Bonnie Raitt in a tribute performance of “Sunday Kind of Love” to honor Etta James.
Immediately we were back to the stage to see Chris Brown perform “Turn Up The Music” and “Beautiful People”. I was reminded immediately of my fear of heights watching Chris Brown and his dancers spin, dance, jump and flip all over that set.
Kelly Clarkson brought along her bejeweled microphone from last week’s Super Bowl performance to join Jason Aldean in a performance of their hit “Don’t You Wanna Stay”. And thank goodness considering her mic outlasted Aldean’s to complete the song. Jack Black introduced big winners the Foo Fighters who perfomed outside the Staples Center at Nokia Live. Foo Fighters had already won four GRAMMYs, and then soon after won the best rock album award. Dave Grohl gave my favorite acceptance speech of the night, reminding us all that music is about the “human element”. Next, Rihanna sang “We Found Love,” joined Chris Martin for “Princess of China” and then left Chris to join his band Coldplay for “Paradise”.
One of the most fun performances of the night came from The Beach Boys celebrating fifty years together. Maroon 5 and Foster the People joined them on stage. Stevie Wonder graced us to introduce Sir Paul McCartney for his song “My Valentine”.
Chris Brown took best R&B album with a short and sweet thank you speech. And then, before a song from Taylor Swift, an amazing surprise intro from The Civil Wars, who won two GRAMMYs themselves. If you’re sleeping on this duo check them out immediately. Swift performed and received a (deserved?) standing ovation to which she reacted with her signature I’m-so-shocked-you-love-me look.
Katy Perry’s body double performed “E.T.,” followed by Perry’s performance of “Part of Me”. Lady Antebellum won best country album for “Own the Night” and Adele won again for song of the year for “Rolling in the Deep” which she then sang. Her voice was so welcomed after her vocal cord surgery, and the crowd stood to applaud the spectacular return performance.
Blake Shelton took the stage with The Band Perry to honor the Rhinestone Cowboy Glen Campbell, and Tony Bennett sang “It Had To Be You” with Carrie Underwood. Best new artist went to Bon Iver who had turned down the invitation to perform for the GRAMMYs and gave the ultimate shout-out to all of the indie musicians out there.
There wasn’t a dry eye following Jennifer Hudson’s in-memorandum performance of “I Will Always Love You,” and L.L. Cool J joined QuestLove to remember Don Cornelius and introduce David Guetta with Chris Brown and Lil Wayne followed by Foo Fighters with DeadMau5.
So much of me does not want to touch Nicki Minaj’s performance of ‘Roman’s Revenge’ and ‘Roman Holiday’. I’m afraid I will begin a tirade about the Illuminati and that will go on too long and end badly. The ideas were too many (alter ego, exorcism, celebrity sacrifice, sacrilege) and it was all over the place. The screaming, rapping with bad rhythm, and strategic, provoking imagery and situations. I’m not going to put it lightly: it was one of the worst performances I’ve seen on the GRAMMYs. And what’s worse, her career is only going to get bigger because…I’ve said too much. Consensus is you either loved it or hated it. Or had no clue what to think of it.
You can see a full list of winners here. Be sure and check the fashion area of The Hype Girls site for a red carpet rundown. As Dave Grohl would say, “Long live Rock and Roll!”