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The 60th Grammy Awards: What You Missed

From artists throwing their performances back in time to others taking a stand, the 60th annual Grammy Awards was without a doubt one for the books. If you missed it, or simply want to re-live it, here are some of the most iconic moments of the night.

Kendrick Lamar with an army

The show kicked off with Kendrick Lamar’s performance in front of an American flag with men dressed in soldiers’ uniforms by his side. Lamar performed his collaboration with U2, XXX and was later joined by Bono and the Edge on stage. The performance also featured a cameo of Dave Chappelle at the end. On the screen behind him was a message that read “This is a satire by Kendrick Lamar.” He then went on to perform his hit “DNA” with the soldiers dancing beside him. The performance ended with dancers in red jackets falling to the sound of gunshots.

Puerto Rico represented with “Despacito”

The entire audience was on their feet when Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi took the stage singing their hit “Despacito.” The whole Latin community was represented through these two and their performance, which also included Latin star and former Miss Universe, Zuleyka Rivera, dancing along their side. Although the song did not take home any Grammy award, this performance was a proud moment for Latinos across the country.

Bruno Mars and Cardi B perform in color

Ever since the duo released the remixed version of the hit song “Finesse” earlier this year, word spread of whether the two would take the Grammy stage together — and they certainly did! The performance was full of bright colors and energetic dance moves, nothing short of what we would expect from the pair. The ‘90s themed performance remained true to the music video and was definitely one of the most entertaining performances of the night.

Rihanna, DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller's tribute to the '20s

The throwbacks didn’t stop with Bruno Mars and Cardi B. Rihanna, DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller took the stage to perform “Wild Thoughts” in a roaring tribute to 1920s art deco. The performance was a celebration of the African dispersion across borders and generations, visiting the time period of the Harlem Renaissance. Rihanna added the finishing touch, dancing the “Gwara Gwara,” a dance typical of South Africa. 

Country singers band together for tribute to Las Vegas shooting

Maren Morris, Eric Church and Brothers Osborne gathered on stage to perform a touching tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting massacre and the Manchester bombing. There was not a dry eye in the audience as the artists performed a cover of "If I Saw You in Heaven" by Eric Clapton — a Grammy award-winning song.  Each of the artists had taken the stage during last October’s Route 91 Harvest Festival in Vegas, where at least 58 were killed and hundreds more injured. The names of the victims were displayed in the background during the extremely moving performance.  

Janelle Monáe introducing Kesha

Janelle Monáe, actress and recording artist, took her time on stage to send a message on behalf of women in the industry: “We come in peace, but we mean business.” The award show seemed to overpower discussion of the current issues in the entertainment industry regarding sexual harassment up to this point, but Monáe did not let the opportunity pass up. She delivered her speech while wearing a “Time’s Up” pin. 

Kesha’s performance of “Praying”

Kesha’s powerful performance of “Praying” continued the “Time’s Up” movement that Janelle Monáe explained in its introduction. But Kesha didn’t do it alone. The performance featured a plethora of all-star women including Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha and the Resistance Revival Chorus. These extraordinary women gave an emotional performance, all dressed in white, which was a demonstration of solidarity against the current sexual harassment issues in the entertainment industry.

Camila Cabello’s tribute to Dreamers

Camila Cabello took advantage of her opportunity on the Grammy Awards stage to give an inspiring speech about Dreamers, talking about her own experience growing up as a Cuban-Mexican immigrant.  She brought light to her own struggles being born in Cuba and raised in Mexico before moving to Miami at the age of six. She said, “I’m here on this stage tonight because just like the Dreamers, my parents brought me to this country with nothing in their pockets but hope,” explaining that she, like many, came to this country “chasing the American dream.” This extremely powerful presentation was followed by an amazing performance by U2.

U2's performance under the Statue of Liberty

U2 decided not to perform on the Madison Square Garden Stage, and instead decided to do so from a barge in front of the Statue of Liberty. They performed their hit song “Get Out of Your Own Way," and as the song came to an end, Bono shouted “Blessed are the shithole countries, for they gave us the American Dream.” (It was censored on television.) The remarks were in reference to Donald Trump’s reproachful comments about Haiti, El Salvador and African countries, which he described as being “shithole countries.” The performance was extremely controversial and brought to light a topic that has recently surfaced.

Hillary Clinton’s surprise appearance

With politics remaining a big topic at the Grammys, Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance. In a pre-taped video about who would be taking home next year’s spoken word award, Clinton was joined by host James Corden, as well as John Legend, Cher, Snoop Dogg, Cardi B and DJ Khaled, all auditioning to be the narrator of Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury.” The stars read excerpts from the book, which is about Trump’s White House. The segment resulted in an enthusiastic applause from the crowd. 

From the daring controversial speeches to the heartfelt tributes, the 60th annual Grammy Awards were, without a doubt, a spectacle.

Alexis Howard is a first-year telecommunication student at the University of Florida. Ever since she can remember, she’s had a passion for communication and telling stories. She began her career in broadcast journalism back in high school and continues to pursue this passion at the collegiate level. Aside from being a features writer for Her Campus UFL, she is currently a writer/reporter for WUFT Noticias and is also involved with the Hispanic Student Association as part of their Hispanic-Latinx Student Assembly’s marketing team. She is also part of the office staff for the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Alexis is very passionate about writing, storytelling and bringing light to issues underrepresented in current media.
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