As Awards Season continues to roll on, we find ourselves at the Grammy Awards and the 61st edition did not disappoint. With so much to unpack here’s our roundup of all the best moments from music’s biggest night.
Words: Tshiamo Seape
The ceremony, hosted by Alicia Keys, was, unsurprisingly, filled a number iconic performances and unexpected collaborations that, none the less, made for a very exciting evening. Travis Scott brought his signature brand of high intensity, visceral live performance to the stage with his performance of the song “No Bystanders.” Accompanied by some rowdy fans the “Astroworld” rapper and three time nominee on the night showed once again why he is one of the biggest artist in Hip Hop.
Lady Gaga delivered a memeorable performance of hersong “Shallow”, an award winner on the night (Song written for a visual media), and the expected favourite to take home the Academy Award for Best Original Song in a few weeks time. With all the brilliance of a glittering chandelier, Gaga took to the stage in a bejeweled body suit with a microphone to match delivering a flawless vocal performance like only she could.
As Gaga has no doubt achieved icon status, there are some who have carried the moniker for decades. The indomitable Dianna Ross is one such artists. Introduced by her 9 year old grandson, Dianna Ross made tribute to herself in a stirring performance of “The Best Year’s of my Life”. The moment was made even more special as her family sang along from the front row.
As if hosting wasn’t enough, Alicia Keys reminded everyone in attendance and the global audience that she is still one of the most talented artists in the world. Performing from the made up piano bar, “Club Keys”, she immediately had the crowd transfixed as she began playing two pianos at once. Her performance was a medley of covers of songs “she wished she had wrote” and included snippets of: Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly”; Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams (Forget Me)”; Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”; Coldplay’s “Clocks”; King of Leon’s “Use Somebody”; Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” (which was a shock to Mai, who sat flabbergasted in the audience); and Lauryn Hill’s “Doo-Wop (That Thing),” before closing out with her own megahit, “New York.”
The tribute to Aretha Franklin, Dua Lipa and St. Vincent’s onstage collaboration and a moonwalking Janelle Monae were some of the other standout performances on the night.
While the entertainment on the night kept us glued to the screen there were a number of story lines that added a little something extra to the night’s proceedings. Several stars, including Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Drake were very vocal about turning down invitations to perform at Sunday night’s event. The refusal came in protest of what some see as a lack of diversity within the Recording Academy. However, that didn’t stop Childish Gambino from being one of the biggest winners on the night as he walked away Grammys for Song of the Year and Record of the Year (A first for a rap song).
Cardi B was another big winner and history maker at Sunday’s ceremony as she became the first female solo act to take home the Best Rap Album Award for “Invasion of Privacy”. In a breathless acceptance speech, she thanked a long list of collaborators and supporters that has made Cardi B one of the most popular artists in music today.
Take a look at the list of winners below:
Record of the Year
“This Is America” — Childish Gambino
Album of the Year
“Golden Hour” — Kacey Musgraves
Song of the Year
“This Is America” — Donald Glover and Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Childish Gambino)
Best New Artist
Best Pop Solo Performance
“Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?)” — Lady Gaga
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Shallow” — Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Best Pop Vocal Album
“Sweetener” — Ariana Grande
Best Rock Performance
“When Bad Does Good” — Chris Cornell
Best Rock Song
“Masseduction” — Jack Antonoff and Annie Clark, songwriters (St. Vincent)
Best Rock Album
“From the Fires” — Greta Van Fleet
Best Alternative Music Album
“Colors” — Beck
Best R&B Performance
“Best Part” — H.E.R. featuring Daniel Caesar
Best Urban Contemporary Album
“Everything Is Love” — The Carters
Best R&B Album
“H.E.R.” — H.E.R.
Best Rap Performance
“King’s Dead” — Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake and
“Bubblin” — Anderson .Paak
Best Rap Song
“God’s Plan” — Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels and Noah Shebib, songwriters (Drake)
Best Rap Album
“Invasion of Privacy” — Cardi B