The 61st Annual Grammy Awards have officially come and gone. In true Grammy fashion, it was a jam-packed four hours of awards and great performances.
Fifteen-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys hosted the star-studded event. She is the first woman to host since Queen Latifah in 2005 and became one of the five women to ever host the Grammys. Alicia’s opening monologue was filled with positive sentiments, commenting on the love in the room:
“Do you feel that love in the building? This is love, this is life, this is living, this is light and all because of music. Music is so powerful. So you see, we’re gonna have an incredible time tonight, this is just the beginning.”
Alicia surprised everyone when she said:
“So, let’s just be honest. This is a celebration, and y’all didn’t think I was coming out here by myself, did you? Please, can I bring some of my sisters out here tonight?”
And out walked Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Michelle Obama. Each woman, in turn, said something about what music has meant to them. Jada Pinkett Smith’s statement really spoke to me:
“We express our pain, power, and progress through our music, whether we’re creating it or just appreciating it. But here’s what I know: Every voice we hear deserves to be honored and respected.”
The whole entire evening Keys was an emblem of positivity and kept everyone’s spirits high. Keys did not just impress with her hosting skills that night. Towards the middle of the show, the cameras cut to her playing TWO pianos which paid homage to the pianist Hazel Scott. Keys played a melody of iconic songs, both new and old.
Girl power and inclusivity was the theme of the night with thirty-one women winning awards this year. In total women were nominated in thirty-eight different categories. Fifteen of those nominations were in the big four categories: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and best new artist.
Dolly Parton was this year’s MusiCares Person of the Year and received a star-studded tribute. Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, and more graced the stage to give their rendition of Dolly Parton favorites. Dolly Parton herself joined into a duet for most of the tribute, coming on stage towards the end of Perry and Musgraves duet of “Here You Come Again”. Dolly Parton, Miley’s godmother, and Miley Cyrus did a performance of “Jolene”. Parton and Cyrus shared a special moment which was one of the most touching moments of the tribute. All of the performers returned to the stage at the end with Parton to sing “9 to 5.”
Diana Ross celebrated her 75th Birthday and Motown by performing some of her greatest hits, “Best Years of My Life” and “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).” This performance was introduced by Alicia Keys and Diana Ross’ grandson.
The standout performances of the night came from Janelle Monáe and Brandi Carlile. Janelle Monáe delivered an unforgettable performance of her song “Make Me Feel” from the Album of the Year-nominated Dirty Computer. Brandi Carlile gave a jaw-dropping performance of her multi Grammy-nominated song “The Joke.”
In response to Carlile’s performance this twitter thread occurred:
Anna Kendrick tweeted out: “So. I am changed. My jaw is on the floor. Holy Shit. #BrandiCarlile #Grammys”
Brandi Carlile tweeted: “Oh my goodness! Anna Kendrick!!”
Anna Kendrick tweeted: “Dude. You don’t even know. My jaw is still on the floor of the Staples Center. I bow to you”
After the In Memorium, Yolanda Adams, Fantasia, and Andra Day paid tribute to the late Aretha Franklin by singing “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman; ” moving everyone to tears. There will be a more lengthy tribute concert on March 10th.
Here’s the rundown of who actually brought home some of the infamous gold gramophones:
-Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Music Video, and Best Rap/Sung Performance went to Childish Gambino for “This is America.”
-Album of the Year and Best Country Album went to Kacey Musgraves for Golden Hour. Kacey Musgraves also won Best Country Solo Performance for “Butterflies.”
-Dua Lipa won Best New Artist. She also won Best Dance Recording for “Electricity” which featured Diplo and Mark Ronson.
-Lady Gaga took home the awards for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Joanne (where do you think you’re goin’?)” and along with Bradley Cooper won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Shallow.”
-Ariana Grande won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album for Sweetener.
-The Grammy for Best R&B Album went to H.E.R. for her self-titled album. H.E.R. also won Best R&B Performance for “Best Part” featuring Daniel Caesar.
-Beyonce and Jay-Z won Best Urban Contemporary Album for The Carter’s Everything is Love. -Brandi Carlile took home three awards winning Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots song for “The Joke” and Best Americana Album for By The Way, I Forgive You. -Drake won Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan.”
-Cardi B won Best Rap Album for her album Invasion of Privacy and became the first woman to ever win in this category.
-Alexandra Porter, a voice faculty member here at Muhlenberg, is a part of The Crossing which took home the Grammy for Best Choral Performance with McLoskey’s “Zealot Canticles.”