Sunday’s 61st Annual Grammy Awards, held on the Staples Heart in Downtown Los Angeles, appeared susceptible to being outlined extra by who didn’t present up than by the precise attendees, performers and winners. And there have been actually some conspicuous absences that made this one of many extra forgettable Grammy ceremonies in latest reminiscence. However fortunately, a handful of sensible performances, principally by ladies like Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monáe and particularly Girl Gaga, saved the day. Jennifer Lopez? Um, not a lot.
HIGH: Girl Gaga is a rock star reborn
On an evening when all the Rock class awards had been offered off the air, Pantera’s Vinnie
Paul was neglected of the In Memoriam section, and even Black Sabbath’s Lifetime Achievement Award warranted nothing greater than a passing point out, it appeared like the one rock ‘n’ roll second of the whole telecast can be Publish Malone’s mashup efficiency with the Crimson Scorching Chili Peppers. However depart it to Girl Gaga to essentially rock the Grammys.
Joined by her “Shallow” co-writers Mark Ronson and Soiled Fairly Issues indie-rocker Anthony Rossamundo for a Hedwig-like tour de power, Gaga took the pyro-showered Staples Heart stage in a silver-sequined unitard, clubfoot platform boots, rhinestoned eyelids and bleachy bedhead. She delivered a fully fierce, fearless efficiency that rocked each bit as onerous as her 2017 Grammy duet with Metallica and was as over-the-top and glamtastic as her polarizing Bowie tribute from the 2016 Grammys. This was a really totally different “Shallow” from the one viewers knew from A Star Is Born. Gone was the scrubbed-faced, timid Ally Maine. This was 100 p.c Gaga.
Giving her first speech of the night time, accepting the Finest Pop Duo/Group Efficiency for “Shallow,” Gaga made a unique kind of influence, saying, “I simply need to say I’m so proud to be part of a film that addresses psychological well being points. They’re so vital. And quite a lot of artists cope with that, and we’ve obtained to handle one another. So in the event you see any person that’s hurting, don’t look away. And in case you are hurting, despite the fact that it may be onerous, attempt to discover that bravery inside your self to dive deep and go inform any person, and take them up in your head with you.”
LOW: Jennifer Lopez sings Motown is a letdown
There’s no denying that J.Lo is a dynamic performer, however contemplating that, nicely, Diana Ross was within the constructing — and that Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich is taping a “Motown 60” particular this Tuesday with black music luminaries like Ross, Stevie Surprise, Martha Reeves, Thelma Houston, Boyz II Males, Lamont Dozier, Brian and Eddie Holland, and Valerie Simpson, Ehrlich’s determination to have Lopez lead Sunday’s Motown medley made zero sense. Her tacky, Vegas-y spectacle did little to appease protesters who thought she’d been miscast.
They actually obtained JLo lip syncing Motown’s best songs like there’s not 1000 black ladies with R&B vocals prepared for this second #GRAMMMYs
— Sylvia Obell (@SylviaObell) February 11, 2019
HIGH: Dolly Parton’s tribute is pure “gold”
This all-star homage was decidedly extra profitable. Solely 2019 MusiCares Individual of the 12 months and nationwide treasure Dolly Parton may outshine her goddaughter Miley Cyrus, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Little Massive City and even an excessively dramatic Katy Perry — with out breaking a sweat or knocking a single platinum hair misplaced. Everybody within the viewers from Beck to Ok-pop boy band BTS was singing alongside to a spirited Dolly/Miley “Jolene” duet and a surprising near-a cappella trio model of Neil Younger’s “After the Gold Rush” with Miley and Maren. Nevertheless it was the large group finale of the still-relevant feminist anthem “9 to five” that basically had the beloved showbiz icon working the stage as solely she will be able to.
LOW: Drake’s speech doesn’t go in accordance with plan
Drake has a longstanding beef with the Grammys, previously accusing the Academy of being racist and even refusing to submit his music for nomination consideration. This 12 months, he reportedly turned down an invite to carry out on the present. So it was huge deal that he truly confirmed as much as decide up his Finest Rap Track award for “God’s Plan” in particular person. However then producers unintentionally minimize to business in the course of Drake’s heartfelt acceptance speech – in all probability making Drake rethink his determination to attend the ceremony within the first place.
HIGH: Chris Cornell’s children settle for his posthumous award with loud love
The late Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman’s 12-year-old son Christopher Cornell Jr. and 14-year-old daughter Toni Cornell — the latter carrying a T-shirt emblazoned with their dad’s likeness — supplied essentially the most transferring second of the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony. “I by no means thought we’d be standing right here with out our dad,” started a visibly nervous Christopher, who starred within the music video for “When Dangerous Does Good,” the elder Cornell’s successful music for Finest Rock Efficiency. “He was identified for a lot of issues: a rock icon, the godfather of grunge, and the creator of a motion. … However a very powerful factor he’s identified to us is for being the best father and our hero.”
HIGH: Diana Ross’s 75th birthday celebration is a household affair
The Motown legend gave the impression to be dwelling her greatest life Sunday, shouting, “Glad birthday to me!” as she sashayed by means of the Staples Heart viewers rocking a billowing robe and billowing tresses. And with reference to household and children, Ross’s lovely and (additionally impeccably coiffed) grandson, Raif-Henok Kendrick, virtually stole the highlight from his grandma along with his charismatic introduction. A star is born, certainly.
HIGH: Brandi Carlile isn’t any joke
This 12 months’s most-nominated feminine artist did fairly nicely, successful in three of her six classes, albeit in three classes that had been offered off the air (Finest Americana Album, Finest American Roots Track, and Finest American Roots Efficiency). However her true successful second was her understate, substance-over-style efficiency of her Report/Track of the 12 months nominee, “The Joke.”
HIGH: Janelle Monáe brings the black woman magic
The Soiled Pc provocateur and Album of the 12 months nominee challenged CBS censors with a Prince-ly, latex-slick “Make Me Really feel” efficiency that climaxed, so to talk, with backup dancers in puffy pink vulva pantaloons and (presumably) simulated masturbation. Let the vagina have a monologue, certainly.
HIGH: Michelle Obama is the Grammys’ first girl
If the Grammys handed out awards for Most Thunderous Applause, Michelle would’ve taken residence high honors Sunday. The previous first girl simply upstaged host Alicia Keys, Jada Pinkett Smith, and even Girl Gaga and Jennifer Lopez throughout a gaggle speech that set the tone for the girl-powered night. In reality, she elicited such deafening shrieks of pleasure from the A-list viewers, she needed to wait an excellent 30 seconds earlier than she may communicate. “We’ve obtained the present to do!” she laughed, attempting to get the roaring viewers to pipe down. Based mostly on this response, it wouldn’t be stunning if she’s requested to host the Grammy Awards ceremony subsequent 12 months.
HIGH: Jimmy Carter wins a 3rd Grammy time period
And talking of White Home icons… Carter received Finest Spoken Phrase Album in 2007 and 2016, and this Sunday, the nation’s oldest dwelling former president picked up one other Grammy for his audio memoir Religion – A Journey for All. The 94-year-old most cancers survivor beat out children Courtney B. Vance, David Sedaris, Questlove, and Tiffany Haddish, and whereas he wasn’t there to just accept in particular person, his victory was nonetheless a spotlight of the Premiere Ceremony.
LOW: The massive present suffers many no-shows
It was comprehensible that President Carter sat out this 12 months’s Grammys. It was extra disappointing that some unrelated Carters, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, weren’t there to just accept their Finest City Up to date Album award for Every thing Is Love, and Infantile Gambino wasn’t there to just accept his Track or Report of The 12 months awards for his political protest music “This Is America.” Moreover, the presentation for Finest Pop Vocal Album obtained moved on the final minute to the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony — in all probability not coincidentally as a result of the winner of that award was no-show Ariana Grande’s Sweetener. Oh nicely. A minimum of Drake confirmed up.
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