This Sunday is the 61st annual Grammys, otherwise known as
white privilege in action “Music’s biggest night.” That’s a nice tagline, but this year especially, I’m not sure it’s true. That’s because some of the biggest stars in music won’t even be there. Umm, come again? While confirmed performers for the 61st annual Grammys include Cardi B, Travis Scott, and Shawn Mendes, the roster falls short of what you might expect. First of all, many of our favorite artists aren’t performing (and we’ll get to who in a minute). What’s worse, some of the most popular artists of the year got snubbed in the major categories, so they’re not even wasting their time to show up at all. Honestly, relatable. Others have different excuses, but either way, the Grammys will be a little lacking in star power this year. Here’s who you won’t be seeing on the Grammys red carpet this year.
Earlier this week, Ariana Grande made big news when she pulled out of the performance roster for the 61st annual Grammys. She wanted to perform “7 rings,” but the producers said she could only do it in a medley with another song of their choosing. Ari wasn’t happy about this, so she decided to not do the show. This is really not great for the Grammys, especially considering they’ve been using Ariana’s face on billboards to advertise the show. Awkwardddd. Honestly, Ariana Grande is the biggest star in the world right now, so they should have just let her do literally whatever she wants. You really can’t discuss music in 2018 without spending at least 5 minutes on “thank u, next”.
Despite “Shallow” being nominated for four Grammy awards, Bradley Cooper won’t be in attendance. Instead, he’ll be in London at the British Academy Film Awards, or BAFTAs, which are basically the British version of the Oscars. This makes sense, because A Star Is Born is nominated for seven awards, and Bradley is up for both Best Actor and Best Director. It seems like a pretty big scheduling f*ckup that both of these award shows are on the same night, but I guess there’s usually not much overlap in the nominees. Shockingly, Lady Gaga is separating herself from Bradley Cooper for a night, as she will be performing at the Grammys. There can be 100 people in a room, but what happens when the one person who believes in you isn’t one of them?
Apparently the BAFTAs are this year’s hottest excuse for missing the Grammys this year, because Taylor Swift is going to be across the pond too. After missing out on nominations in the major Grammy categories this year, even though it feels like Reputation came out three years ago, Taylor decided to go to the BAFTAs with her man Joe Alwyn instead. This is actually kind of a big deal, considering how hard the Grammys have kissed Taylor’s ass in the past. Also, she and Joe have rarely appeared in public before, so she’s sending a message that things are serious between them. I won’t pretend I’m sad about her absence, but I am sad that I won’t get another chance to roast Reputation. Alexa, play “Look What You Made Me Do”.
Cardi B is nominated for five awards at this year’s Grammys, but her biggest rival, Nicki Minaj, didn’t manage to get a single one. That’s gotta hurt. Nicki might not be at the top of her game right now, but she did release a new album in August, so this snub had to feel like a slap in the face. Or, more accurately, a shoe to the head. Nicki and Cardi seem to have cooled their feud in the last couple months, but if Cardi walks away a big winner on Sunday night, I have a feeling that Nicki Minaj will have a hard time resisting the urge to tweet. Hold onto your Louboutins, because this could get interesting.
So far this year, we haven’t heard anything about whether Drake is going to the Grammys. Based on his seven nominations, you’d think he’d be first on the list, but he actually hasn’t attended the Grammys since 2013. He’s skipped out on four years when he was nominated for multiple awards, including two years ago, when “Hotline Bling” won two awards. In the past, he’s been openly critical about the Grammys’ treatment of rap artists, including not showing the hip-hop categories on the TV broadcast, so his absence makes sense. Drake could decide at the last minute to show up this weekend, but I wouldn’t put money on it. I feel like 2019 is not the year anybody is giving up on the issues they care about.
With no nominations in major categories this year, other stars likely to skip this year’s Grammys include Beyoncé and Jay-Z and Kanye West. Honestly, why would Kanye even want to go if he wouldn’t get the chance to mess with Taylor Swift? And Beyoncé’s joint album with Jay-Z only got nominated in two minor categories, so it’s probably not even worth them getting a babysitter. Hopefully the Grammys will still be an exciting show, but it’s not looking great. Cardi B and Lady Gaga, please don’t let us down. If nothing else, at least Kylie Jenner might be there to cheer on Travis Scott? Wow, this is bleak.
Images: Giphy (2)
To call the Grammys an award show is generous. It’s an hour of performances from some artists you love, some you hate, and then a couple of ungodly mash-ups of the two, distributed throughout two and a half hours of commercials and a cumulative five minutes of award presentations. Returning to New York for the first time in 15 years, the 60th Annual Grammy Awards were everything we’ve come to expect from the Recording Academy’s biggest night: star-studded, long-winded, and (save a few absolute standout moments) generally lacking in any kind of message. In all honesty, it was a bit of a letdown.
Remember two weeks ago at the Golden Globes when you couldn’t go five minutes without a woman standing up and declaring that Time’s Up? Remember that time that Oprah started a goddamn revolution on live national television? The Grammy’s didn’t have that, maybe because women weren’t given the opportunity to make a statement. Even Lorde, the only female nominee for Album of the Year, was shut out from performing. Because, you know, we needed multiple showings from Bono and Sting. They really encapsulated music in 2017.
James Corden hosted the Grammy’s for the second year in a row, and it’s like someone got the memo that the last thing the world wants to hear right now are the opinions of white men, because his involvement was minimal. His introduction of “the most diverse group of nominees in Grammy history and the least diverse host” really served to highlight that point.
Of his various segments throughout the night (a well-meaning but flat Subway Carpool Karaoke, a cute guest appearance by his parents, a one-sided bit with Jay-Z about Ney York) one stood head and shoulders above the rest. The auditions for the audio recording of Fire and Fury would have been a memorable skit no matter what (Cardi 2020 anyone?), but no one was adequately prepared for the moment that our Lord and Savior Hillary Clinton made an appearance to drag the President to filth.
Listening to her read about Trump’s paranoia and love for McDonalds revitalized my cold, dead soul. Our wigs: snatched. Our crops: flourishing. Donald Trump’s blood pressure: skyrocketing.
Of the nine awards presented on air tonight, few went to the nominees that I thought should have won. Does my opinion matter all that much? Obviously Not really. But the collective opinion of Twitter does, and we happened to be in the same school of thought on this.
Best Rap/Sung Performance: “Loyalty” – Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna
I thought Rihanna being on stage this early in the night could only a good sign, a harbinger of things to come. I was wrong.
Best New Artist: Alessia Cara
Okay, I have a lot of feelings about the Best New Artist category as a whole. Namely, that none of the artists actually nominated (with maybe the exception of Khalid) are actually new. As Charlamagne repeated on a constant loop on The Breakfast Club this morning, Alessia Cara’s debut album came out in 2015. Anyone who even remotely pays attention to R&B (so like, nobody who works at the Grammys apparently) would be aware that SZA (who should have won) has been on the map since 2015, when she was already selling out 1,000-capacity venues. It’s like they choose the Best New Artist by polling the white grandpas at the Recording Academy to see who they’ve heard of, and the first person to get name recognition wins the Grammy. The one good thing about Alessia Cara taking home the award is that she’s literally the only female artist who won a performance award last night, which is cute for an award show that was supposedly about empowering women.
Best Pop Solo Performance: “Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran
Wouldn’t it have just been so cool if that, in the year and award season dominated by the conversation around sexual assault and the treatment of women, a song about a woman confronting her longtime sexual abuser took home a Grammy over the song that a man sings about the literal shape of a woman’s body? Wow. Could have been a timely message or something. Ed didn’t even show up to accept it because he fucking knew.
Best Rap Album: DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
It doesn’t seem like there was a lot of competition here if we’re being honest. Jay Z probably could have stood a chance if 4:44 existed anywhere other than Tidal. Then again, you know no one is going to let him win anything for an album written entirely about that time he cheated on Beyoncé. People don’t forget, Jay.
Best Comedy Album: The Age of Spin & Deep in The Heart Of Texas – Dave Chappelle
The Grammys decided to broadcast the Best Comedy Album award presentation this year and literally no one understands why. Not even the comedians. Please cut to a baffled Jerry Seinfeld one more time because his reactions to this show are all of us trying to figure out why he’s there, sitting front row.
Best Country Album: From A Room: Volume 1 – Chris Stapleton
I know nothing about country music but based off everything that happened tonight, this Chris Stapleton guy is a big deal. Congrats dude. I won’t think about you for even a second until this same time next year. Have a nice 2018.
Everything Else: Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars was the big winner of the night, taking home six total Grammys, among them Song of the Year (“That’s What I Like”), Record of the Year (“24K Magic”), and Album of the Year (24K Magic). It’s crazy, because Childish Gambino was in those same categories, sitting in that same room, and breathing the same air as Bruno, but it’s fine.
Let’s talk about AOTY for a second. The Grammys always culminates with the Album of the Year, and like many years before, I both could not fathom Kendrick Lamar’s album not winning (replace with Beyoncé in 2017 and 2013), and I was simultaneously positive that the Grammys would do some mayonnaise shit like give Lorde Album of the Year. I’m sorry, but I don’t even think Lorde listened to Melodrama.
However, the Recording Academy sort of surprised us by giving Album of the Year to Bruno Mars and 24K Magic. I say “sort of” surprised because a hip-hop album hasn’t won this award since 2004—it went to Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below—but I suppose the Recording Academy could have made a worse choice, like for instance giving the award to Reputation despite the fact that it wasn’t even submitted this year. (I really would not have put it past them. Tell me I’m wrong.)
The wildest part? During his acceptance speech for Record of the Year, Bruno Mars gave a shout-out to his band that was watching at home. Excuse me? This man just swept the fucking Grammys and he couldn’t swing an invite for his band? Ice cold.
Julio, do not get the stretch. Let Bruno and his awards Uber their asses home.
We started the show off with Kendrick Lamar, who gave us a military-themed police brutality performance of “XXX” and “DNA” off his nominated album, DAMN. Because it’s the Grammys, naturally Kendrick couldn’t perform alone, so he was joined by Dave Chapelle and Bono, who likely heard something politically charged was happening and just rushed the stage without invitation.
The performance, which would momentarily pause and cut to Dave Chappelle who would say things like “the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America,” ended with every single one of Kendrick’s black male backup dancers falling to the sound of a gunshot. The night is off to a subtle and fantastic start.
Lady Gaga gave us the mash-up of “Joanne” and “Million Reasons” that I didn’t know I needed but will listen to every single night before I go to bed for the rest of my life. Her performance was toned down by Lady Gaga standards, which means that she sat at a piano covered in gigantic angel wings and ended her performance draped across it.
Sam Smith performed “Pray” and while it was lovely I couldn’t help but sit and wonder where the hell his adorable 13 Reasons Why boyfriend was and why we were getting no audience shots of him.
Let’s take a second to talk about the performance that we have literally all been waiting for:
“Despacito.” Don’t come at me and tell me this song was overplayed. It was quite literally the only good thing to come out of 2017 and the fact that it didn’t walk away with a single Grammy is my supervillain origin story. Justice for “Despacito.”
Hot take: Daddy Yankee is the Puerto Rican Vinny Guadagnino. Tell me I’m wrong.
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) January 29, 2018
Next up, we were treated to a performance from the only man who could follow “Despacito” and not make me angry: Childish Gambino.
We’re going to pause this Grammy coverage just to establish really quick that Donald Glover is the single most underrated part of an already underrated movie: Magic Mike XXL. This has nothing to do with anything that happened last night but somebody had to say it, and it for some reason I’ve been given a platform to do so.
The only thing that could possibly make this performance of “Terrified” better? The arrival of KD McCrary, aka Young Simba in the new live action Lion King. You know who plays old Simba? Donald Glover. There’s just two Simbas up on stage make America weep and it’s FINE. We’re FINE.
A Pink performance not featuring aerial silks?? Sounds fake.
What’s crazy is that Pink and I are wearing near identical outfits as I write this, except I’m on my couch covered in takeout crumbs and she’s performing at the Grammys. Also when she opens her mouth, magic and angels fly out and when I open mine, it sounds like a cat is drowning. Otherwise we have much in common.
If you started losing steam by this point, you were not alone. The Grammys are not a sprint, and also not even really a marathon. I’d compare them more to an Iron Man, because at one point you’re convinced you’ll drop dead. In this case, it’s less because of physical activity and more because you have never been exposed to this much Sting in your entire life.
Luckily, Bruno Mars (but more importantly Cardi B.) came out to inject some much-needed energy into the room with their first live performance of “Finesse.” Idea for next year: just have Cardi perform everyone’s songs. Watch those ratings soar.
DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller’s performance of “Wild Thoughts” was momentous because it gave the world something that we very much needed but definitely don’t deserve: dancing Rihanna. Not even DJ Khaled’s near-constant and completely unwarranted monologue throughout the song could ruin her.
Maren Morris, Eric Church and the Brothers Osborne perform Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” as a tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas Shooting. You know, that mass shooting that happened at a country concert a couple months ago that Republicans conveniently just forgot about. It was the only country portion of the night I could tolerate. Yeah, I’m talking about you, Little Big Town.
While we’re on the topic, let’s fucking talk about Little Big Town. This looks less like a band and more like two couples from Tennessee who met at swinger’s party one night and then decided to start singing songs written by Taylor Swift. I have no idea where these people came from because in my memory they both never existed and simultaneously have been performing at the Grammy’s for as long as I can remember. It’s like they get trotted out once a year to remind us all that they exist before heading back into whatever back room the Recording Academy stores them in.
Moving on to the single most important thing to happen all night: Kesha.
After an emotional introduction by Janelle Monae, the first person all night to actually address anything Time’s Up-related, Kesha took the stage alongside Cyndi Lauper, Camilla Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Julia Michaels, and Andra Day to perform “Praying,” the song in which she addresses the years of (alleged) abuse she suffered at the hands of actual piece of living garbage, Dr. Luke.
There’s not a lot to say here other than I am still experiencing full body chills, hours after the performance ended. She looked so good. She sounded so good. I was so outrageously proud of her despite having literally nothing to do with this performance or any personal connection to Kesha IRL.
Getting up on stage and speaking your truth to your peers, colleagues, idols, and the American public is one thing. Getting up on stage and publically addressing your abuser to a room full of people who STILL WORK WITH HIM is another level of brave. At the very least Kesha deserves our respect, and more than that, she deserved to win in every category “Praying” was nominated.
After guest starring in Kesha’s ovation-worthy performance of “Praying” (don’t worry, we’ll get there) Camilla Cabello, a Cuban-Mexican immigrant, comes out with a message about the Dreamers before introducing U2, who performed “Get Out of Your Own Way” on the Hudson River, in front of the statue of liberty. Even Donald Trump, a man lacking any sense of nuance, should be able to pick up on the message here.
Elton John stars in a tribute to himself alongside Miley Cyrus, a natural pairing that nobody questioned. Let it be said that Miley looks so good. Turns out all you need to get your life together is to have constant access to sex with Liam Hemsworth, who knew? Though I will say the longing looks she kept throwing Elton’s way made me uncomfortable. Like, she couldn’t twerk on Elton John so I guess she had to settle for biting her lip and looking at him with bedroom eyes while he played the piano, completely unfazed.
Beyoncé and Elton John are two of only three people who can get away with wearing sunglasses indoors at the Grammys. The third is obviously Rihanna, who can do literally anything she likes.
After hearing that they were a little out of touch with the times, the Recording Academy thought it was a good idea to throw some Broadway performances into an already staggeringly long broadcast. I would say this failed except that Ben Platt is an absolute gem and I would literally watch Patti Lupone read a grocery list, so I guess it worked. Remember when Ben was just the nerdy magic guy in Pitch Perfect? Wow. What a glow up.
SZA’s performance of “Broken Clocks” erred on the side of subdued, probably because she just sat through three hours of being snubbed for every award she was nominated for. I wouldn’t really be in the mood to perform either.
The night ended with Alessia Cara, Khalid, and Logic taking the stage, which annoyed me until Logic went off script and started talking about equality and giving a much deserved shout-out to the “shithole countries” out there.
If you made it to the end of the broadcast you deserve an award, like reading this recap that was almost as long as the actual show. Pro-tip for next year Grammys: more Rihanna and Cardi B, less old, white rock stars who haven’t released a new song in 20 years. Thanks.
The Full List Of Grammy Award Winners
Record of the Year: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Album of the Year: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Song of the Year: ”That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
Best New Artist: Alessia Cara
Best Pop Solo Performance: “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Tony Bennett Celebrates 90, (Various Artists) Dae Bennett, Producer
Best Pop Vocal Album: (Divide) by Ed Sheeran
Best Dance Recording: “Tonite” by LCD Soundsystem
Best Dance/Electronic Album: 3-D The Catalogue by Kraftwerk
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Prototype by Jeff Lorber Fusion
Best Rock Performance: “You Want It Darker” by Leonard Cohen
Best Metal Performance: “Sultan’s Curse” by Mastodon
Best Rock Song: “Run” by Foo Fighters
Best Rock Album: A Deeper Understanding by The War On Drugs
Best Alternative Music Album: Sleep Well Beast by The National
Best R&B Performance: “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars
Best Traditional R&B Performance: “Redbone” by Childish Gambino
Best R&B Song: “That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Starboy by The Weeknd
Best R&B Album: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Best Rap Performance: “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar
Best Rap/Sung Performance: “LOYALTY.” by Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna
Best Rap Song: “HUMBLE.” — Duckworth, Asheton Hogan & M. Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
Best Rap Album: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
Best Country Solo Performance: “Either Way” by Chris Stapleton
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: “Better Man” by Little Big Town
Best Country Song: “Broken Halos” by Mike Henderson & Chris Stapleton, songwriters (Chris Stapleton)
Best Country Album: From a Room: Volume 1 by Chris Stapleton
Best New Age Album: Dancing On Water by Peter Kater
Best Improvised Jazz Solo: “Miles Beyond” by John McLaughlin, soloist
Best Jazz Vocal Album: Dreams and Daggers by Cécile McLorin Salvant
Best Jazz Instrumental Album: Rebirth by Billy Childs
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Bringin’ It by Christian McBride Big Band
Best Latin Jazz Album: Jazz Tango by Pablo Ziegler Trio
Best Gospel Performance/Song: “Never Have To Be Alone” by CeCe Winans
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: “What A Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship
Best Gospel Album: Let Them Fall in Love by CeCe Winans
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Chain Breaker by Zach Williams
Best Roots Gospel Album: Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope by Reba McEntire
Best Latin Pop Album: El Dorado by Shakira
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album: Residente by Residente
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano): Arriero Somos Versiones Acústicas by Aida Cuevas
Best Tropical Latin Album: Salsa Big Band by Rubén Blades Con Roberto Delgado & Orquesta
Best American Roots Performance: “Killer Diller Blues” by Alabama Shakes
Best American Roots Song: “If We Were Vampires” by Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
Best Americana Album: The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
Best Bluegrass Album: Laws Of Gravity by The Infamous Stringdusters tied with All The Rage – In Concert Volume One by Rhonda Vincent And The Rage
Best Traditional Blues Album: Blue & Lonesome by The Rolling Stones
Best Contemporary Blues Album: TajMo by Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’
Best Folk Album: Mental Illness by Aimee Mann
Best Regional Roots Music Album: Kalenda by Lost Bayou Ramblers
Best Reggae Album: Stony Hill, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
Best World Music Album: Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Best Children’s Album: Feel What U Feel by Lisa Loeb
Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling): The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Best Comedy Album: The Age Of Spin & Deep In The Heart Of Texas by Dave Chappelle
Best Musical Theater Album: Dear Evan Hansen — Ben Platt, principal soloist; Alex Lacamoire, Stacey Mindich, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, producers; Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, composers/lyricists (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media: La La Land by Various Artists
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media: La La Land by Justin Hurwitz, composer
Best Song Written For Visual Media: “How Far I’ll Go” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Auli’i Cravalho)
Best Instrumental Composition: “Three Revolutions” — Arturo O’Farrill, composer (Arturo O’Farrill & Chucho Valdés)
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella: “Escapades For Alto Saxophone And Orchestra From Catch Me If You Can” — John Williams, arranger
Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals: “Putin” — Randy Newman, arranger
Best Recording Package: El Orisha De La Rosa by Claudio Roncoli & Cactus Taller, art directors (Magín Díaz) tied with Pure Comedy (Deluxe Edition) by Sasha Barr, Ed Steed & Josh Tillman, art directors (Father John Misty)
Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package: The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition — Lawrence Azerrad, Timothy Daly & David Pescovitz
Best Album Notes: Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings — Lynell George, album notes writer (Otis Redding)
Best Historical Album: Leonard Bernstein – The Composer — Robert Russ, compilation producer; Martin Kistner & Andreas K. Meyer, mastering engineers
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical: 24K Magic — Serban Ghenea, John Hanes & Charles Moniz, engineers; Tom Coyne, mastering engineer (Bruno Mars)
Producer Of the Year, Non-Classical: Greg Kurstin
Best Remixed Recording: “You Move (Latroit Remix)” — Dennis White, remixer (Depeche Mode)
Best Surround Sound Album: Early Americans — Jim Anderson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer; Jim Anderson & Jane Ira Bloom, surround producers (Jane Ira Bloom)
Best Engineered Album, Classical: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio — Mark Donahue, engineer (Manfred Honeck & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)
Producer of the Year, Classical: David Frost
Best Orchestral Performance: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio — Manfred Honeck, conductor (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)
Best Opera Recording: Berg: Wozzeck — Hans Graf, conductor; Anne Schwanewilms & Roman Trekel; Hans Graf, producer (Houston Symphony; Chorus Of Students And Alumni, Shepherd School Of Music, Rice University & Houston Grand Opera Children’s Chorus)
Best Choral Performance: Bryars: The Fifth Century — Donald Nally, conductor (PRISM Quartet; The Crossing)
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: Death & The Maiden — Patricia Kopatchinskaja & The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Best Classical Instrumental Solo: Transcendental — Daniil Trifonov
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: Crazy Girl Crazy – Music By Gershwin, Berg & Berio — Barbara Hannigan (Orchestra Ludwig)
Best Classical Compendium: Higdon: All Things Majestic, Viola Concerto & Oboe Concerto — Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer
Best Contemporary Classical Composition: Higdon: Viola Concerto — Jennifer Higdon, composer (Roberto Díaz, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony)
Best Music Video: “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar
Best Music Film: The Defiant Ones by (Various Artists)
The Grammys is like the crazy, alcoholic aunt of award shows, and every year the fashion seems to get more fucking insane as celebrities continue to lose their goddamn minds. In case you didn’t get a chance to judge a bunch of millionaires on their poor taste in clothing, I’m going to go ahead and do it for you. You’re welcome.
Rihanna’s wardrobe is a fucking mystery, man. Sometimes she wears clothes she literally ripped off a homeless person and other times she is a goddamn icon. There is no in between. This year Rihanna decided to have Halloween just fuckin’ vomit on her and it kind of looks, idk, good?
Tori Kelly is the nice girl next door who sings about Jesus and Africa and all the little birdies and the monkeys, right? Whatever. She looks like a tree, but like, a sexy tree. Normally anyone who wears ruffles is immediately put on my hit list, but ya did good kid.
I remember my first hair extension. Demi looks like she cut up a hammock and just wrapped it around her body. Bold strategy, Cotton.
Yeah, fuck it. I put her on here. I was sick of the classy shit she was doing anyways. Sure, her jacket looks like a sea anemone and her bottom half screams daddy issues, but the hair and glasses are giving me life.
Who wore it better?
Her makeup look is “very hungover, borderlining on dead.” Someone should tell Lea your makeup isn’t supposed to match your career.
HALSEY: Tell me why she looks like a young Hugh Hefner? You couldn’t fucking steal a shirt to go with the mattress you stole from your roommate back in Boulder?
I feel like Camilla looks like the mean girl in any Disney Channel movie who is like, going to be prom queen at the Mormon dance. If this isn’t already a movie, I call copyright right the fuck now.
Cool dress Daya, what’s it made of? Your grandma’s lampshade!
When they say “dress for success,” I don’t think they mean “dress up like the award you hope to win.”
Cee Lo Green
Damn, that’s the biggest Ferrero Rocher chocolate I have ever seen. After this show he’s going to go terrorize a city in a low-grade Marvel film.
Whoever The Fuck Joy Villa Is
Winner of the very prestigious PR Stunt of the Year Award. This is by far Ivanka’s best dress in her collection. You can get it for $3.00 at your local Marshall’s.
Lookin’ like a kid’s birthday party Barbie. Who are these people?? *gets invite to first Grammy* BALLS, I WANT BALLS ALL OVER ME.
Jacqueline Van Bierk
So clearly the fashion theme of The Grammys this year was “the more irrelevant you are, the more heinous your outfit has to be.” I get that CD’s are obsolete, but you could have done something a little more productive with them than stick them on a dress with a bunch of googly eyes. Somewhere out there, a Michael’s is missing half its scrapbooking aisle.
Another year, another nine nominations for Beyoncé. This year’s Grammys show touched on everything we expected it to: the subtle Trump jokes, the Adele vs. Beyoncé debate, and America’s attempt to think of what else James Corden does aside from Carpool Karaoke. In case you missed the biggest night in music (and the one time a year rappers decide to bring out their religious sides), we’ve recapped the night’s epic moments and the tragically bad ones. Here’s the lineup:
1. Beyoncé Giving No Fucks By Not Memorizing A Speech
Bey’s whole Multi-Cultural / Spiritual/ The Last Supper/ Mother’s Day Came Early themed performance was a bit confusing and very overwhelming, but we can’t judge the queen. She literally read her acceptance speech off of a golden pamphlet and gave no fucks that you’re supposed to memorize a speech. Do you think Queen Bey has time to run lines before the show?
2. The Fake Tweets Line
James Corden had a pretty minimal amount of solid jokes throughout the night, but we have to admit we were a fan of his “fake tweets” line when he started getting hate tweets from randos. We’re usually not that amused by all the political undertones in every punchline, but this one was subtle enough to be clever.
3. Chance The Rapper Winning Everything
TBH we weren’t that into Chance’s whole “in the name of the Lord” theme going on with his acceptance speeches, but we’re pretty happy about his triple win. Aside from the fact that “No Problem” is literally the pregame song of 2017, we were ready for a break from Drake and Rihanna winning every rap and hip hop award. We approve of Chance being artist of the year.
4. Carrie Underwood’s Dress
We honestly weren’t blown away by many of the fashion choices this year, but Carrie Underwood looked unreal in her hot red Elie Madi gown. We’re obsessed with the edgy cutout and bold color, and her makeup and new highlights looked unreal on top of it all. Her performance was alright too.
5. Bruno’s Performance
We’ve gone back and forth on our opinion on Bruno Mars. I mean, on one hand, I could throw my phone out of the car every time “Uptown Funk You Up” comes on the radio, but on the other hand, his songs are ideal for those blurry Ubers on the way to the club when you’re still convinced you’re in for a good night. We were hoping for “24K Magic,” but his “That’s What I Like” performance actually made us forget for a quick second that he’s literally 5’3″.
Related: The Best Moments From Beyoncé’s Grammy Performance To Make You Feel Unworthy
1. Twenty One Pilots Dropping Their Pants
I just wish I were in the room to shut down that idea the second one of them said, “If we ever win a Grammy, we should receive it just like this.” Like, Twenty One Pilots creeped me out already before this situation, so the second they dropped their pants, it just confirmed the creepiness. I mean, I get that their lesson was some “anyone can do this” bullshit, but did we need to see your scrawny hairy legs to get the message?
2. No One Knowing The “Sweet Caroline” Lyrics
That Carpool Karaoke joke actually had potential considering it literally is the one funny thing James Corden does. Why couldn’t anyone sing “Sweet Caroline”? I mean, I get that it’s an old song, but ask any kid at a bar mitzvah and they could belt that shit out from memory, so why couldn’t a bunch of professional singers do it??
3. Adele’s Tribute Fuck-Up
Adele, you’re the queen and you’re dramatic as fuck, but did you really need to restart the whole song that no one wanted to listen to in the first place? I guess it’s kinda respectable that you wanted to get the performance perfect in George Michael’s memory, but like, next time just sing better the first time around. We’ve seen you do it before.
4. James Corden’s Parents Bit
We’re not gonna deny that James Corden had some funny lines throughout the show, but the whole “parents cheating on each other” bit was cringeworthy AF. It was bad enough to see Heidi Klum on your dad’s lap. We didn’t need to suffer through your mom’s bad acting skills with Nick Jonas. This idea probably sounded better on paper.
5. Metallica’s Mic Fiasco
Lady Gaga obviously killed it at the Super Bowl last week, so it didn’t really bother us that she sang with Metallica, but once James Hetfield’s mic was clearly broken, we just wished she was up their solo. We’re not into heavy metal or anything, but we felt kinda bad for him watching him desperately try to share Gaga’s mic. I mean, it’s just sad that Adele got her do-over but he didn’t. Moral of the story? Sucks to be anyone that’s not Adele.
Related: Adele Went Full Cady Heron: Grammys Recap
Before the Grammys even happened on Sunday, most people had done the math and realized the main storyline would be Beyoncé vs. Adele. They were both up for all the big awards, and they’re obviously both huge fucking stars and queens and magical unicorn women.
Both of their performances ended up as some of the most talked about, but for different reasons. While singing a tribute to George Michael, Adele had to stop the song and start over because she was out of tune. She said “fuck,” which we kind of love, but also like, get your shit together. You had one job. Whatever. Beyoncé, on the other hand, made news because she literally looked like some kind of pregnant alien goddess while performing a medley of songs from Lemonade, causing viewers everywhere to wonder for the umpteenth time whether she is, in fact, human.
Both of them won smaller awards in individual genre categories, so neither was going home empty-handed, but Beyoncé came up short at the end of the show when Adele won Album of the Year. Knowing the Beyhive would annihilate her if she did literally anything else but dedicate the award to Beyoncé, she used both acceptance speeches to talk about how amazing Bey is. Adele was crying. Bey was crying. We weren’t crying, you were crying!
Obviously Beyoncé deserved to win. This is not an opinion. This is not a bias. This is an indisputable, non-alternative fact.
Years from now, there will be a few moments that will stand out in history—moments you’ll always remember precisely where you were and what you were doing when they happened. When Michael Jackson died. When Barack Obama won the presidential election. When Beyoncé released Lemonade.
Not content to shock us all with a surprise album, Beyoncé came out of the woodwork and did what no one other artist has ever accomplished: an hour-long visual experience that celebrated and empowered black women, forcing us to acknowledge for the first time that Beyoncé is, in fact, a black woman.
In addition to offering racial commentary and opening up about her struggles following Jay Z’s (reported) infidelity, Beyoncé used Lemonade to pose important questions to the world: What’s worse, being jealous or crazy? Who is Becky with the good hair?
In a situation where most would have shut down and shied away from the public, Beyoncé aired it all out for the world to see. It was healing, rather than vindictive. She did it all while bringing black culture to the forefront of pop culture, exposing it to people who would have otherwise pretended it didn’t exist, only to try to take credit for it a few years down the line. She did all that, and then gave us an hour of startlingly beautiful visuals—and many Halloween costume ideas—on top of it.
The irony of Beyoncé losing to a white woman was not lost on anyone in the audience last night. After last year’s #OscarsSoWhite fiasco and the current racial climate in general, you would hope that the Grammys could have been one of the first award shows to get their shit together and serve as an example for the rest of the industry of what a truly unbiased event could be. But once again, a woman of color was shoved into the background when she deserved to shine. And when that woman is Beyoncé, we will not take that lying down. Nobody puts Bey in a corner, not even the Grammys.
It goes without saying that Adele is wildly talented. None of this is a slight on her or 25, an amazing album in its own right and absolute shoe-in any other year. But everyone in attendance knew Beyoncé should have won that award. Beyoncé knew that Beyoncé should have won. Becky, whoever she is, knew that Beyoncé should have won.
In a moment that easily could have made or broken her career, Adele used her acceptance speech to go full Cady Heron and essentially give her
spring fling crown Grammy to Beyoncé.
You know what they say: when life hands you lemons, make Lemonade and then watch as it gets absolutely snubbed by the Recording Academy. Our thoughts about the entire debacle can be summed up, once again, by Adele.
To Beyoncé, to Adele, and to all the strong women in the music industry and life in general who put up with more shit than they should ever have to:
But no matter who you are, no matter who you wanted to win, just remember that nothing can ever be worse than Taylor Swift winning for 1989 last year.