Madison Square Garden was the venue for music’s biggest night, the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by Late Late Show host James Corden this Sunday night. Many of the music industries’ most talented artists and influential people filled the Garden, along with thousands of fans who supported their favorite artists.
The night was full of unforgettable moments, starting off with Kendrick Lamar’s performance, where he choreographed a massacre with dancers falling to the ground at the sound of gunshots. Lamar tackled issues of racism and police brutality on blacks once again like he did on last year’s biggest awards show for music. Lamar was assisted by U2 members Bono and the Edge, as he performed “XXX,” as well as comedian Dave Chappelle who gave audience and viewers much-needed breaks from K. Dot’s electrifying performance.
Even before Lamar took the stage, he was already awarded three Grammys in the untelevised premiere ceremony, winning the best rap performance, best rap song and best music video for “Humble.” Many expected the Compton rapper to take the coveted album of the year for his “Damn” album.
However, to the surprise of many, Bruno Mars not only took album of the year, but he earned two more for record and song of the year. This was not a surprise because Mars did not deserve the Grammy, as we all know the great artist he is. Mars is often referred to as the modern day Michael Jackson. In 2017, hip-hop was the most consumed genre for the first time, leaving many to believe that logically a hip-hop album should win album of the year.
Another category that fans along with artists, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, SZA, Alessia Cara and Julia Michaels were awaiting the winner of was the best new artist award. Chance the Rapper, who took home the Grammy last year, highlights new artists who have dominated the charts and this year’s Grammys had the fiercest competition with talent. While everyone thought it would be between Khalid and SZA, who broke into the music industry in 2017, it was Alessia Cara who earned music’s highest honor. The shock came due to many questioning her eligibility for the category because of her debut album “Know-It-All” having been released in November 2015.
Top Dawg Entertainment artist and fan favorite, SZA, came into the Grammys with five nominations, the most throughout the evening, but ended up losing in every single category. Both were shockers due to SZA’s great year where she dropped her debut album “Ctrl” and Jay Z who dropped “4:44.” Roc Nation owner Jay Z, who came into the Grammys with eight nominations, had also been snubbed.
The Grammys have been known for its controversial decision over winners with last year’s Grammys being hashtagged #GrammysSoWhite, but its performances never seem to fail us. K. Dot raised the bar high opening the show, and performances from Rihanna, DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller, Cardi B, Childish Gambino, SZA, Kesha, Lady Gaga, P!nk, Sam Smith, Elton John and Miley Cyrus, and many others set the bar high throughout the night.
Perhaps one of the most notable and awaited performances was Kesha’s, who was accompanied by Andra Day, Bebe Rexha, Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels and the Resistance Revival Chorus as she sang her hit song “Praying,” which makes reference to the verbal, emotional and sexual abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her ex-producer Dr. Luke.
The star-studded performance was in support of the #MeToo movement as all women wore white and ended with Kesha crying as her fellow vocalists consoled her. Janelle Monae introduced the performance with a symbolic speech in reference to the Time’s Up movement that started at the Golden Globes, answering the questions of those who questioned whether the Grammys would dodge the issue. Joined with Lamar’s opening performance, Kesha gave one of the strongest performances of the night.
In another shocker of the night, hit Spanish-language song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber came into the Grammys with three nominations in the best pop duo/group performance category, record of the year and song of the year categories and lost in each. To the disbelief of many, “Despacito” ended the night Grammy-less. At least viewers got to see Fonsi and Yankee perform, without Justin Bieber in sight.
The Grammys has always been a big stage for artists to use their voices to inspire change, including ex-Fifth Harmony member and Cuban-native Camila Cabello. Cabello used her platform to speak up for the Dreamers, who have been treated unfairly by President Donald Trump’s administration.
This year’s Grammy Awards had a little bit of everything: controversy, great performances and moments of empowerment to issues that affect our country. Though many may have left Madison Square Garden unhappy with the results, no one can say it was not memorable.