In a night full of “moments,” music’s biggest night of the year touted some out-of-this-world performances (and relatively unsurprising wins).
Taylor Swift opened the show with a glitter-bomb touting performance of “Out of the Woods” (literally – Adele was covered in sparkles in the front row) before host LL Cool J introduced a Grammy’s “moment” montage including Adele, Lady Gaga and Broadway juggernaut “Hamilton.” (Meaning it wasn’t just me touting those three all night. So there.)
Best Rap Album went to Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly,” a huge album among both critics and fans alike, while Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller” took home the trophy for Best County Album. Alabama Shakes later won the Best Rock Performance and Meghan Trainor was arguably the only big surprise of the night, besting Tori Kelly and Sam Hunt for Best New Artist.
Perfect pairs were the theme of the night. Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt teamed up for a dual duet mash-up of their hits “Take Your Time” and “Heartbeat,” while Andra Day and Ellie Goulding joined forces for a mesh of their tracks “Rise Up” and “Love Me Like You Do” – let’s all get on that Kickstarter to get Andra to record the latter song, okay? Trust me. Later, James Bay and Tori Kelly (both up for Best New Artist) combined their voices in a stunning combination of his “Let It Go” and her “Hollow.” These Grammy “moments” were definitely ones to keep the night going.
The Weeknd performed a medley of hits, including a great piano-ballad version of current hit “In The Night,” while Little Big Town took to the stage to perform an orchestrated version of their hit “Girl Crush.” Later, the trio of Justin Bieber/Skrillex/Diplo took to the stage with “Love Yourself” and “Where Are U Now?”
Music tributes were also a trend of the night, as is a staple every Grammys night. A magnificent homage to Lionel Richie included John Legend and Demi Lovato, both NAILING covers of “Easy Like Sunday Morning” and “Hello,” as well as Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor, Tyrese, and Lionel himself. Side note: My mom and I totally had a dance party watching this fantastic medley. This automatically became a highlight of the night.
Pentatonix and Stevie Wonder paid an a cappella tribute to Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire and The Eagles featuring Jackson Browne honored the late Glenn Frey. Both resulted in standing ovations honoring two fallen musical legends who still have an effect on artists today. Later on, Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark, Jr. paid tribute to blues legend B.B. King in a soulful, heart-wrenching performance.
Broadway smash “Hamilton” made their own Grammy moment by performing the musical’s opening number live from the Richard Rodgers Theater in NYC – talk about an electric feel. #Gram4Ham was alive and kickin’, y’all. So much so that I included two tweet reactions. Sorry not sorry.
Later, when the show won for Best Musical Theatre Album, creator Lin-Manuel Miranda rapped his acceptance speech from the lip of the Richard Rodgers stage – and it was quite literally the best way it could have gone down.
Speaking of electricity, Kendrick Lamar’s unbelievable performance spanned multiple stages and was truly unforgettable – a narrative and dream sequence all in one, multiple camera angles and all. You’ll want to replay this one, folks.
The only act that could possibly follow up those two would be Adele, who took to the stage to perform “All I Ask.” Technical issues aside, it took me a little bit to return to Earth after that number. Talk about an unstoppable talent.
Thought we were done with the big performances after that? WRONG. Lady Gaga literally became Ziggy Stardust in a monumental tribute to David Bowie. (Note: I had to text my best friend immediately after to make sure that he was, in fact, still breathing. She embodied Bowie, heart and soul.)
The Hollywood Vampires (comprised of Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp) made their TV debut in a dark, flame-encased set that included a cover of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” (honoring the late Lemmy Kilmister.)
The biggest awards of the night went to Ed Sheehan and “Thinking Out Loud” for Song of the Year and Taylor Swift’s “1989” for Album of the Year. Beyonce presented the last award of the night, Record of the Year, to Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars and Co. and “Uptown Funk.”
Pitbull and Robin Thicke closed the show with a number of celebrity cameos, but let’s be honest, by that time we were all ready to turn in.
What did you think of the Grammys? Post your comments and stay tuned for the next Trophy Hunting coverage for the Oscars later in the month.