Highlights From The 58th Grammy Awards

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Highlights From The 58th Grammy Awards

Iconic Grammy Logo

Iconic Grammy Logo

Google Common License

Iconic Grammy Logo

Google Common License

Google Common License

Iconic Grammy Logo

This Monday marked the annual occurrence of “the most important night in music”- the Grammy Awards, where the nation watched as artists gathered to celebrate the premiere musical accomplishments of the year. While many were left feeling like they must have gotten their dates confused, and are wondering when music’s actual most important night will take place, the evening did provide multiple star-studded highlights amidst the usual award show routine. Here are a few:

Taylor Swift kicked off the show with a confident and energetic performance of her single “Out of the Woods”, which warmed audiences up for a long night of awards. The 26-year-old, who would go on to win album of the year, used this opportunity to flaunt her new found independence, a stark difference from the heartbroken teenager we used to know. Such independence was demonstrated during her acceptance speech for Album of the Year, as she gave a subtle shout out to her long time rival, Kanye West. Earlier in the day, West had credited himself with Swift’s accomplishments, but he was proudly refuted as simply one of the “people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.”

Taylor’s opening performance:

http://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/Taylor-Swift-Grammys-Performance-2016-Video-40151391

Following the presentation of several of the less-discussed awards, and a disappointing cancellation from Rihanna due to bronchitis, came an equally disappointing performance from Adele. During her emotional ballad, “All I Ask”, viewers were bombarded with off-key tones, and a clanging that resembled the arrhythmic strumming of an out-of-tune guitar. Despite the dismay of audiences who were eager to get a taste of the singer-songwriter who had not been nominated for any Grammys, this technical mishap was no fault of Adele’s. She did her best to maintain the integrity of the performance, and walked away with her head held high, eloquently tweeting, “S#!t happens.”

Adele’s performance:

http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/02/adele-performs-all-i-ask-at-the-2016-grammys-watch/

Among the other notable live acts was Justin Bieber, who paired a quaint serenade of “Love Yourself” with an out-of-the-box full-band jam featuring DJs Skrillex and Diplo on guitar and drums, respectively. Here Bieber used the Grammy stage to further establish himself as a legitimate musician to the audiences he has so desperately been working to win back.

Justin’s performance:

http://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/Justin-Bieber-Grammys-Performance-2016-Video-40152469

 

For all of those fantasizing about obtaining a seat to watch the perpetually sold-out musical, Hamilton, the show’s Broadway cast live-streamed a special number to the Grammy screen. The unconventional presentation of the story of one of America’s great founding fathers has been taking the world by storm, and the performance of opening number “Alexander Hamilton” gave a sneak peak to those not fortunate enough to witness it in person.

Hamilton performance:

http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/hamiltons-grammys-2016-performance-lives-up-to-the-hype-w164462

Just as it seemed the crowd could not be more adequately pleased, Kendrick Lamar took the stage with one of the most memorable Grammy performances to date. Follow the release of his racially-charged masterpiece To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick chose three intricately-arranged songs to deliver a profound message to audiences everywhere. He marched into the spotlight in a prison jumpsuit, shackled at the wrists and ankles, and began preaching a verse from the album’s first single, “The Blacker the Berry”, while bandmates chimed in from behind cell bars. From here the production evolved into a celebratory rendition of the social cry “Alright”, featuring tribal percussion and a massive bonfire backdrop. The rap genius got up close and personal to  close with a never-before-heard track lamenting the unjust deaths of black citizens, and the social state of America today. Although many think Kendrick was robbed of the Album of the Year award, he did come away with five Grammys for the evening, and having had a priceless effect on the minds and hearts of millions of viewers.

Kendrick’s performance:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/15/11004624/grammys-2016-watch-kendrick-lamar-perform-alright-the-blacker-the-berry

With the several deaths of musical icons in recent months, it was no shock that the Grammy stage saw tribute performances to those late artists. While Stevie Wonder’s tribute to The Eagles’ Glenn Frey, and Hollywood Vampires’ ode to Motorhead’s Lemmy were heartfelt, none were able to outshine Lady Gaga’s performance dedicated to David Bowie. Dressed as Bowie from the Aladdin Sane era, the pop star sailed through 10 tunes in six minutes, including excerpts of “Space Oddity”, “Suffragette City”, “Let’s Dance”, and “Heroes”. This on-stage achievement truly needs to be seen to be believed.

Tributes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fGBZhsa4VU

The number of remarkable performances throughout the night hardly left room for the shows true purpose- the awards. While the majority of the recipients were the fairly obvious choices, there were a few surprises that divided audiences across the country. Album of the Year went to Taylor Swift’s 1989, making her the first two-time winner of this award. Many found this a controversial choice, however, since Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly was also in the running. Following their eye-opening demonstration of talent on the Grammy stage, the soul-infused rock group Alabama Shakes took home Best Rock Performance for “Don’t Wanna Fight”. Record of the Year and Song of the Year went to Mark Ronson for “Uptown Funk”, and Ed Sheeran for “Thinking Out Loud”, respectively- fairly safe choices that, given the general trend of Grammy winners, left few surprised.

Here is a list of the recipients for the most notable awards. (A full list can be found at https://www.grammy.com/nominees)

      

Record of the Year

“Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars

Album of the Year

“1989,” Taylor Swift

Song of the Year

“Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran)

New Artist

Meghan Trainor

Rap Album

“To Pimp a Butterfly,” Kendrick Lamar

Musical Theater Album

“Hamilton”

Country Album

“Traveller,” Chris Stapleton

Rock Performance

“Don’t Wanna Fight,” Alabama Shakes

 

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