Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and Alabama Shakes were among the biggest winners at Monday’s (Feb 15th) 58th Annual Grammy Awards broadcast live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
As the most nominated artist with 11 nominations, Lamar took home five awards, including Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly and Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for “Alright.” The Compton rapper fused the latter with “The Blacker The Berry” for a fiery performance that had the internet talking. Both songs have become the unofficial soundtracks of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Among Swift’s three awards of the night was Album of the Year for 1989. Swift is the first woman to win the award twice and was passionate about giving credit to the contributions of women.
“I want to say to all the young women out there…there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments, or your fame,” Swift stated dissing rapper Kanye West’s claims that he made her famous. “But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you will look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there. And that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”
Alabama Shakes also won three awards for Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song and Best Alternative Music Album, all for their acclaimed Sound & Color album.
Other multiple winners included D’Angelo, Diplo, Jason Isbell, Maria Schneider, Ed Sheeran, Skrillex, Chris Stapleton, and The Weeknd.
Many tributes were also featured including surviving members of The Eagles teaming up with Jackson Browne to salute their co-founder and frontman, Glenn Frey, who passed away from cancer at the age of 67 on January 18th. The group performed the Frey and Browne penned, “Take It Easy,” the band’s first hit record with Henley returning to the drum kit.
The Hollywood Vampires — Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Johnny Depp, Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan — made their television debut with their new single, “Bad As I Am,” as they paid tribute to Lemmy Kilmister with Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades.” Kilmister died December 28th, two days after finding out he had an aggressive form of cancer and four days after the legendary singer celebrated his 70th birthday.
Lady Gaga paid tribute to her fallen hero, David Bowie, who passed away from cancer on January 10th at the age of 69. Gaga performed a medley of Bowie’s hits — “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Ziggy Stardust,” “Suffragette City,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Let’s Dance” and “Heroes” — that was aided by Intel technology for an electrifying spectacle that resembled some of Bowie’s most famous looks. She teamed with Chic’s Nile Rodgers who has worked with Bowie.
Earlier in the night, Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix paid tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire’s leader, Maurice White, who died on February 4th. They performed a rousing a cappela rendition of the band’s “That’s The Way Of The World.”
Chris Stapleton, Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt honored B.B. King with his classic, “The Thrill Is Gone,” demonstrating that roots music is the foundation to all genres and that the blues has never gone away.
The award show had a few setbacks that included cancellations and audio issues. Rihanna canceled her performance before the show due to health concerns. The singer was scheduled to perform “Kiss It Better,” and even showed up to rehearsals, before doctors put her on 48 hour vocal rest due to bronchitis.
Nineties hip hop artist Lauryn Hill was announced as a “surprise” performer, and was scheduled to perform with The Weeknd, but bailed before showtime. Her representatives have released a statement claiming the performance wasn’t even confirmed.
“The Grammy’s announced a performance by Ms. Lauryn Hill prematurely and without approval,” Spin reports. “Ms. Hill had concerts all weekend, leaving no time to prepare, and was uncertain she would even be able to make it to LA in time to rehearse for the event. Any performance that could have happened was never confirmed, and should not have been advertised as such. Ms. Hill was invited to do a collaboration with an artist she appreciates. The performance was intended to be a surprise and unfortunately due to its last minute nature, was unable to come to fruition.”
Two other issues that were prominent during the viewing were on the technical side. The first was CBS’s All Access livestream reportedly becoming unavailable during the broadcast, but fixing itself later on. Finally, powerhouse songstress Adele, who is known for her excellent pitch, appeared to sound off key to TV viewers as she claims, “the piano mics fell on the piano strings,” making it sound out of tune.
Lady Gaga tribute to David Bowie
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.