The biggest night in music happened on Sunday night over in the US and just like most award shows, ran for more than three hours. The 58th Grammy Awards Rapper Kendrick Lamar took home 5 out of his record-breaking 11 nominations after a rousing performance of Alright. But of course, it’s not the Grammys without some controversies, hits and misses.
The performances that could’ve been
Rihanna was slated to perform but cancelled last minute due to bronchitis. Maybe she was scared off by Adele who was also a performer that night, just like how she reportedly postponed the release of her album Anti because of Adele’s 25. Which was a smart move as Anti claimed top spot on the charts.
And then, Lauryn Hill was expected to make a special appearance during The Weeknd’s performance but had to cancel because it was reportedly “last minute”. But a rep for the Grammys reportedly told TV Line that Lauryn Hill turned up for rehearsals but was not on time for the actual performance.
Adele’s unfortunate audio issues
Although her record-breaking album 25 was released too late to be eligible for any Grammy nominations this year, Adele made her return to the Grammy stage since her last album and a vocal surgery. The set-up was simple: her vocals and a piano accompaniment. Which then resulted in a slightly perplexing situation.
Moments after the piano started playing, a second sound (that can be described as a child plucking playfully on a guitar) started to be heard and almost seemed to mirror the piano. The disturbance continued on to a third into the song until it got cut, just in time for Adele’s key change in All I Ask.
“The piano mics fell on to the piano strings, that’s what the guitar sound was. It made it sound out of tune. Shit happens,” explained Adele in a tweet after the show.
It wasn’t the most flawless vocal performance Adele has done but we give her credit for trying to stay in tune throughout the circumstance.
Taylor Swift’s 1989 album won Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Album of the Year
It was quite a big night for Taylor Swift. She opened the Grammys and won two of the highest honours in music. Honestly, calling Taylor Swift’s vocals the best in pop is quite a stretch. Especially when compared to her fellow nominees Kelly Clarkson and Florence Welch (click here and here for proof).
1989 is undoubtedly a more commercial success than the other nominees in both categories with US sales alone surpassing the 5 million mark. But if the Best Pop Vocal Album category truly did focus on vocals, 1989 falls short on stirring and impressive vocals. Catchy and addictive? Yes. Vocally phenomenal? Not quite.
We leave you to decide if 1989 was deserving of the Best Album of the Year title. A quick search on Twitter and Google however, seems to think Kendrick Lamar was robbed. That shady response to Kanye West that Swift made during her speech though, was priceless. We’re still waiting on Kanye’s 24-hour long Twitter rant.
Lady Gaga’s David Bowie tribute
David Bowie influence in music and today’s musicians is undeniable. In a befitting tribute to one of her idols, Lady Gaga (remember her star face makeup when she burst into the scene?) worked with Intel for a 6-minute performance, complete with Bowie-inspired outfit by Marc Jacobs.
Opening with a close-up of her, Lady Gaga’s face was transformed by digital makeup. Bowie’s iconic lightning-shaped guise was slowly drawn across Gaga’s face before it changed in real-time. After that, it was a mini Bowie extravaganza with a moving keyboard, digital effects and nine of Bowie’s hits.
Lionel Richie honoured as Person of the Year
Lionel Richie won his first Album of the Year award 32 years ago for Can’t Slow Down. And in honour of his creative achievements and philanthropic efforts, the Grammys honoured Richie as part of its MusicCares People of the Year award. John Legend was joined by Demi Lovato, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor and Tyrese as they took turns to salute the legend before he joined them for people-pleaser All Night Long.
The Grammys seemed to be taking advantage of social media’s infatuation with Lionel Richie’s perennial hit Hello when Adele’s single of the same name was released months ago. Unfortunately, no such duet happened onstage.
And the award for most awkward appearance goes to…
What has Modern Family star Sofia Vergara got to do with music? Nothing. But that didn’t stop her from closing the award show with Pitbull. The Columbian beauty shimmied and shaked while dressed as a sexy taxi before shedding it off to continue dancing in a gold lame dress to Pitbull’s performance of El Taxi.
It wasn’t the best closing for an award show with much bigger names like Beyoncé (who was only a presenter) and Record of the Year winner Bruno Mars. But you can’t fault the Grammys for not being diverse in its celebration of music. Your move, Oscars.
The repeat telecast of The 58th Grammy Awards will be shown on STAR World tonight at 10pm.