This year, the 60th Grammys brought on a whirlwind of discussion ranging from great performances to impactful political statements. Held in New York City at Madison Square Garden for the first time in over 15 years, the show brought about quite a lot of discourse.
In his second time hosting the Grammys, James Corden led in a tasteful and comedic manner. This included various skits, like a New York version of his show, “Carpool Karaoke,” where Corden, and legendary artists Sting and Shaggy, sung on a subway and poked fun at the stereotypical agressive New York lifestyle.
However, the skit most people online have been raving about, according to the Washington Post, is when Corden mocked President Trump. This proceeded with artists John Legend, Snoop Dogg and Cardi B reading excerpts from Michael Wolfe’s “Fire and Fury.” What really got to audiences, though, was the surprise cameo appearance from Hillary Clinton.
Along with celebrities trolling Trump, there were also a lot of powerful pleas and performances within the show itself.
To begin, Kendrick Lamar opened up the Grammys strong as he came on stage with dancers in military uniforms, waving American flags. He was then joined by U2’s Bono and The Edge, who are both featured on Lamar’s album, “DAMN.” His iconic performance primarily focused on racism in America, including remarks about this topic from well-known comedian Dave Chappelle.
Another poignant performance was when country music stars Eric Church, Maren Morris and the Brothers Osborne came together to give an emotional tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas Shooting by covering Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven.” The massacre had taken place at a country music festival last year in October, claiming 58 innocent lives.
Gary Clark Jr. and Jon Batiste also gave a salute to the late rock pioneers Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, while Chris Stapleton and Emmylou Harris paid tribute to all the artists lost in the last year with the song “Wild Flowers” by the late Tom Petty.
After the tribute by Stapleton and Harris, a picture of the late Chester Bennington, frontman of Linkin Park who committed suicide last year, transitioned the show into the next emotional performance by Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid with their the hit song “1-800-273-8255.” Logic then ended with remarks in regards to suicide and other topics like women’s rights and racism.
Another noteworthy performance occured after a powerful introduction for the “Time’s Up” movement by Janelle Monae, transitioning to pop sensation Kesha. Kesha then gave a moving and tear-jerking performance of her critically acclaimed song “Praying” with help from other female artists, such as Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Andra Day and Julia Michaels.
Camila Cabello made another important introduction as she talked of her immigrant roots and the United States’s long history of welcoming immigrants into the country. This would then lead into U2’s performance of “Get Out of Your Own Way” on the Hudson River with the Statue of Liberty in the background.
Other outstanding performances came from: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, who delivered a remix version of the hit “Despacito,” Elton John and Miley Cyrus singing “Tiny Dancer,” and Childish Gambino, Lady Gaga, P!nk, SZA, Little Big Town, Sting, and Cardi B & Bruno Mars’ rocking performance of “Finesse.” Patti LuPone and Ben Platt would also give salute to Broadway legends Andrew Lloyd Webber and the late Leonard Bernstein for all the work they’ve achieved in show business.
As for the awards themselves, this year, Bruno Mars swept the Grammys with his wins for Best Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Following close behind him with quite a few wins was Kendrick Lamar with Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album of the year.
Other wins included Chris Stapleton for Best Country Album, Alessia Cara for Best New Artist, Ed Sheeran for Best Pop Solo Performance and Dave Chappelle winning Best Comedy Album.
The 60th Grammys managed to deliver a message that one can fight back against unfairness in the world with the use of music as a weapon to destroy negative and hateful injustices within our society.
However, although they managed to deliver this message, there was still quite a bit of controversy surrounding it.
Even though there was a great deal of support for women that night, as celebrities wore white roses to stand with movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up, many believe that the Grammys did not entirely serve women justice. That being said, only one of the eight awards presented went to a woman. Along with the lack of awards received by women, the only female nominee for Best Album, Lorde, didn’t even get the chance to perform that night like the other nominees in her category. In another article by the Washington Post, it states that many also believe Kesha, SZA, Lorde, and other female artists deserved better recognition than they received.
Either way, the 60th Grammys brought forth a myriad of controversial topics that are being discussed by people everywhere, who are all wondering where this leaves the music industry for the future.