Once upon a time there was a major music awards show that gave out a significant amount of awards, mixed in with some performances. Now it’s the other way around. Sunday night on CBS saw one performance after another on the 55th Grammy Awards, starting with Taylor Swift and closing with Grammy host LL Cool J. Giving out awards in the major categories seemed to be an afterthought at best.
Before the telecast an alternate universe of countless awards were given out, so it may explain why the about face. Tampa Bay viewers from Bright House Networks saw the Grammys live on WTSP, channel 10. Like the saying goes “if you can’t beat them, join ‘em.” There were a few significant performances that stood out from the rest. Here are some of the ones worth noting.
Justin Timberlake goes retro with “Suit & Tie”
Here’s Justin Timberlake looking very dashing as if he’d stepped into a time machine back to the days of the big bands, complete with a retro black and white telecast. This was his first Grammy appearance in several years. He performed “Suit & Tie,” along with a cameo from Jay-Z. Timberlake’s other performance, a solo, was “Pusher Love Girl.”
Bob Marley tribute with Bruno Mars, Sting, Rihanna, along with Damian and Ziggy Marley
Bruno Mars opened the star-studded number with “Locked Out of Heaven” followed by Sting joining Mars on “Walking on the Moon.” Damian Marley comes onstage with “Could You Be Loved.” Rihanna (again) and Ziggy Marley sided-up with Damian. This upbeat reggae tribute had the entire audience on their feet.
fun. adds a bit of rain
Whose idea was it to bring a raining effect to the Grammys? It was both fascinating and scary to watch this shower go down on Nate Ruess while performing “Carry On.” Thankfully this happened towards the end of the performance. fun. is always a joy to see live on any televised stage.
Kelly Clarkson’s tribute to Patti Page and Carole King
By far the best performance by a female vocalist was when Clarkson sang “Tennessee Waltz” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” The latter title she had performed to perfection during the inaugural season of “American Idol.” She’s able to sing any genre of music.
Black Keys, Dr. John, and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Without question the best performance of the night paying homage to NOLA’s legendary blues man Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in time for Mardi Gras. The Black Keys performed a funky version of “Lonely Boy.”
Other memorable moments from the award presentation side of the Grammys was Kelly Clarkson winning for Best Pop Vocal Album for “Stronger.” Before managing to get on the podium she was congratulating those in the same category. Afterwards, Kelly said "I'm so sorry, I got stuck to Miranda Lambert!" she further exclaimed "There's a story and a song, for later.” Not only did she have one of the best performances of the night, but one of the best acceptance speeches.
The elusive Prince made a rare appearance with presenting Record of the Year. He was literally a man of very few words, until he saw the winning song title. He exclaimed “Oh, I love this song.” It was for Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” who was deeply touched by Prince’s accolade and winning the prestigious category.