15 Feb 2017

2017 Grammy Awards: Music, Politics, Fashion And Weird As Usual


The 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday were filled with musical moments, big winners and lots of glitz and glamour.

Adele swept the 59th annual Grammy Awards with her album “25,” an enormous hit around the world, in a night that shut out Beyoncé from the major awards and also featured reverent tributes and, at times, pointed political commentary.

The ceremony at Los Angeles’ Staples Center included a few hiccups and awkward moments, too.

Beyoncé, who’s pregnant with twins, graced the Grammy stage to sing “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles,” while husband Jay Z and their 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, looked on from the audience.

“Do you remember being born?” Beyonce said at the start of the performance, which sparked a flurry of excitement from fellow celebrities across social media.

A batch of stars joined Corden for what looked like an impromptu version of his “Carpool Karaoke” bit.

The night included political statements, some more overt than others. Katy Perry performed her new single “Chained to the Rhythm” in a white pantsuit and a sparkling armband that said “Persist,” an apparent reference to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Her number concluded in front of a projection of the United States Constitution.

But by far the fiercest was by the veteran hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, whose members accused “President Agent Orange” of “perpetuating evil” throughout the country, before dancers broke through a prop wall behind them and women in Islamic garb took the stage. At the end of the segment, the group and its company raised their right fists in the air in the black power salute, while the rapper Q-Tip repeatedly shouted, “Resist!”

Jennifer Lopez, before awarding the best new artist prize, quoted Toni Morrison: “This is precisely the time when artists go to work,” she said. “There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear.”

Jennifer Lopez, Neil Diamond, John Legend and even Blue Ivy joined in for a version of Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”

The legendary singer, who died in January 2016 from cancer, won all five awards for which he was nominated, including Best Rock Song for “Blackstar,” which was announced during the telecast at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Bowie’s co-winners, pictured above, accepted the pre-telecast awards on his behalf.

The night was filled with tributes to stars departed and to landmarks of pop music’s past. Besides Adele’s homage to George Michael, the show also included a purple-hued tribute to Prince with the Time, the longtime Minneapolis funk group that often performed with Prince, and with Bruno Mars, who impersonated Prince from his makeup and performance style to the shape of his guitar.

Adele, the British singer stopped smack dab in the middle of her George Michael tribute, dropping the F-bomb because she wasn’t happy with the way the performance was going.

“I can’t mess this up for him,” Adele said, referring to the late singer.

She later apologized for swearing on live television while accepting the Song of the Year honor for “Hello.”

Metallica And Lady Gaga Rocked Amid Mic Issues:The rockers and pop star hit the Grammys stage for a joint performance, but experienced a few hiccups when Metallica singer James Hetfield’s mic malfunctioned.

But he took it in stride, joining Gaga on her mic once he realized his voice couldn’t be heard.

Adele swooped up the last two awards handed out Sunday night: Record of the Year and Album of the Year. During her acceptance speech, she couldn’t help but express her love for Beyoncé, also nominated in both categories.

“I adore you. You move my soul everyday ... I adore you and I want you to be my mommy,” Adele said.

Sigh. Don’t we all.

(HP, NYT)

 

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