Grammy’s Recap: Here’s What You Missed

As far as award shows go, the Grammy’s is by far the most entertaining to watch. As this year’s 61st Grammy’s ceremony approached, its many negative headlines, tied to the Academy’s former President, Neil Portnow comment that last year’s lack of female winners was the sad result of women needing to “step up,” coupled with artists like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Childish Gambino, and Ariana Grande pulling out from their scheduled performances days before the show, fans were not quite sure what to expect.

The three and a half hour ceremony, hosted at the Staples Center in Los Angeles by Alicia Keys was indeed a night to remember. The show contained many tributes to legends such as Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin, and Diana Ross, who graced the stage to sing a medley of her biggest hits in celebration of her 75th birthday. Although the show had a slow start, top industry artists, including Cardi B, Travis Scott, H.E.R. and Dua Lipa hit the stage with some show stopping performances.

A highlight for many from the night the ceremony’s host, Alicia Keys. Keys, who was the first female to host the award ceremony in 14 years, tackled the job with her signature laid back calmness and ease; her effortless aura, class, and authenticity all brought a great energy into the night.

In her opening remarks, alongside Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith, and special guest, Michelle Obama, Keys said the the night was about celebrating "the greatness in each other."

To pay homage to the many great artists in the room, the 15-time Grammy winning artist showed off her own skills captivating the audience with a dazzling medley. Taking the audience to “Club Keys,” as she called it herself, the star flanked herself between two pianos (at points playing both at the same time) to sing “songs she wish she wrote. The medley included everything from Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" to Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song" to Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”  to Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody." It was an unforgettable performance to say the least.

While the show was not perfect, many A-listers such as Beyonce, Childish Gambino, Taylor Swift, and Ed Sheeran, choosing not to attend the awards, Keys has got the Academy moving in the right direction. Some may say that this year’s ceremony was female-centric and enthusiast to combat last years bad publicity and the current political moment-- but regardless, the shift was necessary. There is still much work to be done in terms of the politics of who gets recognized in the flurry of an ever-changing, fan centric music industry, but in name of optimism, let’s hope that this year's ceremony is the start of the change everyone is hoping to see.