The Grammys in Review

Devon Regal, Staff Writer

This past Monday, the 58th annual Grammy Awards rocked the world with show-stopping performances, surprise wins, and stunning outfits. The Staples Center was filled to the brim with talented performers hoping to take home their respective awards.

Pop diva Taylor Swift kicked off the show with a bang as she performed her recent hit “Out of the Woods.” Grammy viewers collectively agreed that Ms. Swift put on quite a show. Predating her performance was a win for Best Pop Vocal Album. Swift also won Best Music Video for “Bad Blood” and, later on in the night, Best Album for 1989. Taylor’s acceptance speech for the highly coveted award was filled with thinly veiled shade towards Kanye West, who claimed he was responsible for her fame in his recent album.

Shortly after the first performance of the night, Kendrick Lamar won Best Rap Album for To Pimp a Butterfly. Later in the night following this big win, Lamar put on an electrifying performance of “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright,” two songs artfully challenging society’s prejudice towards African Americans. “You hate me, don’t you? You hate my people,” Lamar rapped. “Your plan is to terminate my culture.” He finished off the charged performance with a glowing white screen depicting Africa with only the word “Compton” scrawled across it.

Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt gave a less-than-remarkable performance with a mashup of “Take Your Time” and “Heartbeat.” Underwood was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for “Little Toy Guns,” but lost to Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller.” Later on, Little Big Town performed “Girl Crush” in the most memorable country performance of the night.

In the first tribute performance of the night, Meghan Trainor, Luke Bryan, John Legend, Demi Lovato, and Tyrese shared the stage to honor Lionel Richie. Richie looked on proudly from the audience as the group of artists sang his most iconic songs, including “Easy Like Sunday Morning,” “Brick House,” and “Hello” (no, not that “Hello”). After the Richie medley, Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix presented Ed Sheeran with the Grammy award for Song of the Year for the smash hit “Thinking Out Loud.” Rihanna was scheduled to perform following the presentation for Song of the Year, but she was unable to due to illness.

For the first time in Grammy history, a Broadway musical number was performed and the Best Musical Theater Album award was presented, both to Hamilton: a hip-hop production about the founding father on the ten dollar bill. The cast blew away a crowd in New York’s Richard Rodgers Theatre with a streamed performance of the production’s opening number, “Alexander Hamilton.”

Adele sang “All I Ask” in a strangely dull live performance that had fans scratching their heads. Although her voice was still beautiful, the British crooner sounded very off-key as she sang. It was later revealed that the microphone in the piano had fallen into the strings, creating an unusual vibrating sound. The Grammys audience was outraged, but Adele herself took to Twitter and declared that she was going to buy herself food from In-N-Out Burger to feel better.

In the most talked-about performance of the night, Lady Gaga sang a medley of songs by the late David Bowie. The medley included “Changes,” “Fame,” “Fashion,” “Heroes,” “Let’s Dance,” “Rebel, Rebel,” “Space Oddity,” “Suffragette City,” “Under Pressure,” and  “Ziggy Stardust.” Bowie fans were conflicted, and some didn’t believe that Gaga did the Thin White Duke justice. However, most audience members thought that Gaga performed the way Bowie would have.  

Pitbull was the final performer of the night. The Cuban-American singer used the songs “El Taxi” and “Bad Man” in his performance and brought out some special guests to help him. After Pitbull referenced Sofia Vergara in “El Taxi,” the actress emerged and began to dance with him. When “Bad Man” started playing, Robin Thicke, Travis Barker, and Joe Perry came out to sing along with Pitbull.

Overall, the Grammys were loaded with heartfelt tributes, many awards, and awe-inspiring performances. The 58th Annual Grammy Awards will certainly go down in history as one of the most memorable of the decade.