Music’s biggest night—the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards aired on CBS on Sunday, February 10, 2013. Taylor Swift opened the night with a carnival/circus/Alice in Wonderland themed performance, whose background was so distracting at times, that I forgot who was performing—but the visuals were nonetheless amazing.
The host for the night, LL Cool J (for those who don’t know, the “LL” stands for “lip-licking”) spoke on what the GRAMMY Awards and music overall has meant to him, saying, “Music was, is, and will always be my first love.” He went on to encourage others to “strive for excellence” and to “dream, dream, dream.” Well done sir.
I’m not sure why Miguel and Wiz Khalifa were selected to introduce the award for Best Country Solo performance (could they be any further from country?), but their performance was simple and enjoyable. Miguel showed us just why he’s a five-time nominee (and winner of the GRAMMY for Best R&B Song- ‘Adorn’). Kelly Clarkson, who received the award for Best Pop Vocal album, confirmed Miguel’s talent by proclaiming, “Miguel, I don’t know who the hell you are, but we need to sing together.” How’s that for a compliment?
As if Justin Timberlake’s return to music wasn’t made official enough with the release of his single, ‘Suit and Tie’, he solidified his return to the music world by performing two singles from his upcoming album “The 20/20 Experience” on the GRAMMY stage. He didn’t take this “comeback” lightly, as he showed us what we’ve been missing with a stellar performance, backed up by The Tennessee Kids. An added nuance (for those viewers watching from home) included cameras switching to a black-and-white filter for his performance of ‘Suit and Tie’.
Just when we thought Alicia Keys didn’t go anywhere without a piano nearby (remember the piano on the football field during her “big game” performance of The National Anthem?), she surprised us by playing—wait for it—the drums as she performed ‘Girl on Fire’ with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine.
The Black Keys performance with Preservation Hall Jazz Band was…interesting. The keyboardist stole the show during that performance, and not necessarily because of his skills on the keyboard.
There were quite a few tributes during the GRAMMY Awards. Kelly Clarkson’s tribute to Lifetime Achievement Honorees Patti Page and Carole King was beautifully sung. The Bob Marley tribute featuring Bruno Mars, Sting (who looked great by the way), Rihanna and Damien and Ziggy Marley was possibly the most thrilling performance of the night.
Was it just me or did Jack White drop the F-bomb during his performance? Because I could’ve sworn he sung a lyric that sounded something like “…to hold me and @#$% me”. Am I the only one who heard that?
With six nominations, excitement was swirling around Frank Ocean’s GRAMMY debut performance. However, the only exciting thing about his performance of ‘Forrest Gump’ was the incorporation of video footage that made it appear as though he was running from the waist down. Even so, he’s commended for performing a song including the lyric, “…running on my mind, boy”—perhaps the 2012 revelation of his sexuality was a set up for this?
The night also saw performances from Ed Sheeran, Elton John, fun., The Lumineers, Hunter Hayes, Carrie Underwood and Juanes. LL Cool J rounded out the show with a finale performance with Chuck D, Tom Morello, Z-Trip and Travis Barker. Everyone was probably blind by the end of the performance because it appears they used every single light they had in the finale.
And of course, the awards for the night:
Best Pop Solo-Adele, ‘Set Fire to the Rain’
Best Country Solo-Carrie Underwood
Song of the Year-fun., ‘We are Young’
Best Urban Contemporary Album-Frank Ocean
Best Rock Performance-The Black Keys, ‘Lonely Boy’
Best Pop Vocal Album-Kelly Clarkson, ‘Stronger’
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration-Jay-Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean & The Dream, ‘No Church in the Wild’
Best Country Album-Zac Brown Band, ‘Uncaged’
Best New Artist-fun.
Record of the Year-Gotye & Kimbra, ‘Somebody I Used to Know’
Album of the Year-Mumford and Sons, ‘Babel’
For a full list of all winners, visit: www.grammy.com/nominees.
Although the night was devoted to music, what’s an award show without fashion?
My favorite fashion moments of the night (in no particular order):
1. J. Lo, Kelly Rowland and Alicia Keys (apparently the theme for the night was black and revealing—and these ladies pulled it off nicely)
2. Miranda Lambert’s bedazzled nails and dress
3. Rihanna (VERY simple, but it was nice to see her in something simple as opposed to the ensembles and makeup that we’re accustomed to her wearing, which sometimes leave us wondering, “Is she okay?”)
5. Carrie Underwood’s visual effects, which reflected on her dress (although the dress itself wasn’t that appealing)
Questionable Fashion moments of the night (in no particular order):
1. Wiz Khalifa during his performance (did he get even MORE tattoos?)
2. The Dream (as confirmed by Jay-Z’s comment, “I’d like to thank the swap meet for his hat.”)
3. The guy playing the keyboard during The Black Keys performance—enough said
4. Frank Ocean (was he going to play a game of basketball after the show or did he just forget to take off his athletic headband?)
The commercials were just as exciting as the awards, with endorsement ads from Pink, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Hunter Hayes, Janelle Monáe and a throwback vs. updated Herbal Essence commercial featuring The Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger.
All in all, the show was entertaining, but I’m glad I witnessed it in my sweats from the comfort of my couch, so that after the conclusion of the three and a half hour show, I could crawl into bed and keep the party going in my dreams.
What was/were your favorite moment(s) from the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards? Leave your comments below!