If you watched last night’s GRAMMY Awards, two things are clear: (in case you didn’t hear) Whitney Houston is no longer with us, and Adele cleaned house. And also, there were some (and by some, I mean 382) performances in there. Oh and this image to the left? Nothing but freaking hilarious.
If you happened to catch me on Twitter (@mattwilliams27) throughout the telecast, you’d know that much of the night was worthy of a good ribbing. Most notably was Chris Brown’s useless, God-awful performance, Taylor Swift ironically coming up flat on a note during the line in her performance of Mean: “…grumbling on about how I can’t sing,” a couple collaborations that sort of fell short, and a MIA Kanye West, despite his leading in the nominations.
On the other hand, certain elements will not soon be forgotten. I don’t typically comment on fashion, but if anyone saw Rihanna on the red carpet, they were probably picking their jaw up off the ground. And although I was sick of Whitney Houston references by the time LL Cool J took the stage, the simple, understated, and beautifully powerful tribute to her by Jennifer Hudson brought the house down.
As did the highly anticipated return of Adele, who gave her first performance after undergoing vocal chord surgery. She absolutely nailed it, and received a well-deserved standing ovation. Oh yeah, and she went six-for-six on awards, including the big three: Song and Record of the Year for Rolling in the Deep, and album of the year for “21.” Bon Iver took home Best New Artist, which surprised many people, mainly because… no one knew who they (or he?) were.
The night also featured a fun, but touching tribute to Glen Campbell, featuring the Rhinestone Cowboy himself as well as The Band Perry and Blake Shelton. Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson performed their hit Don’t You Wanna Stay, and although Aldean’s mic cut out at the very end, they sounded fantastic.
The big story in the country realm last night was The Civil Wars, who took home Best Country Duo/Group Performance for Barton Hollow and Best Folk Album. They also performed a segment of Barton Hollow while introducing Taylor Swift. Taylor, by the way, took home two honors, including Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song for Mean. Lady Antebellum came up with a (in my opinion) highly-contested win for Best Country Album for “Own The Night” over Swift’s “Speak Now,” Aldean’s “My Kinda Party,” “Chief” by Eric Church (who I wanted to see take it), “Red River Blue” by Blake Shelton, and “Here For A Good Time” by George Strait.
So all-in-all… meh. Whitney will be missed, but the timing of her death overshadowed the entire show. Adele was well deserving of her awards and her standing ovations. And I think we proved that the most talented individuals don’t need dancers, pyrotechnics, auto tune, theatrics or lip-syncing (although Katy Perry’s performance was enjoyable, and an obvious “in your face” to Russell Brand). Real talent needs a microphone and a stage, and sometimes a guitar. And for that, Nashville, we thank you.