This year’s 53rd Annual Grammy Awards was fairly plain; the most enjoyment I got out of it was the live-tweeting that occurred throughout the show. The snark and shade the flowed in my timeline was AWESOME!
That said, there were some enjoyable moments for me, within the plainness of the show. For example,the Aretha Franklin tribute was a great way to begin the show. I was concerned, however, when I read that Christina Aguilera would be apart of the lineup. Coming off of her National Anthem flub, I think many were wondering if she would slip up again. Honestly, I couldn’t have cared less about her remix of the anthem, but she would have been completely thrown from my list of favorite singers if she messed up in the tribute to The Queen of Soul. Thank goodness that wasn’t the case. Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, and Yolanda Adams did a beautiful job paying homage. The other two chicks, however, were kind of dull. I had no idea who they were…I had to Google them. Once the tribute was over, Aretha appeared on one of the screens and to let everyone know she is doing well and is thankful for all the well wishes and prayers. It was somewhat jarring to see her because she’s lost a substantial amount of weight; I hope that this is due to a change in diet and activity, not some serious health problems.
A not so great moment occurred when Miranda Lambert got on stage; my goodness! She sang a sad sounding song called “The House That Built Me“. Ugh…if that’s how the house that built you made you feel, Miranda, I’m so glad I didn’t grow up in such a house. Thank goodness for Muse.
It was great to see Muse not only win the award for Best Rock Album, but I was happy to see them perform. Of course, the song “Uprising” is an old one and I would have liked to see them perform a different song from their album The Resistance, but I refused to complain about it. Why? Because that song was the perfect high energy song to follow that drab and depressing song performed by Lambert.
Another great moment was brought on by Bruno Mars, B.o.B., and Janelle Monae. Starting off with “Nothin’ On You“, Mars sounded perfect singing with the violins in this stripped down version. B.o.B. channeled Mr. Peanut; with the monocle, all he needed was the cane and top hat! That said, I really like him and while I didn’t entirely enjoy The Adventures of Bobby Ray, I like this particular song. Moving from “Nothin'” on to Mars’ “Grenade”, I have to point out that he had some difficulty hitting the notes in that song; not sure if it was nerves or what, but it is somewhat worth overlooking if you see the big picture. Of course, Monae brought it home with her performance of “Cold War”. I love this chick’s voice! And her energy throughout the performance (ex. body-surfing the crowd) was wonderful; she’s definitely one I want to see in concert. And as she performed, B.o.B. played a guitar (one of the reasons I decided to buy his CD), while Mars was on the drums (I didn’t know he knew how to play…he gets serious points for that). All in all, this group is a triumvirate of musical talent and if more artists like them got the spotlight more often, music would be heading in a great direction.
And there’s no way I could leave Cee Lo Green off my list of favorite moments. He is SUCH awesomeness! The OUTRAGEOUS costume worn by Cee Lo, which was likened to a combination of NBC peacock and the motorcycle-riding monkeys in The Wiz was a clear winner for the best stage costume. In addition, “performance” given by The Muppets, that sang and played backup, was too cute. All of it was vibrant, crazy awesomeness! Then Gwyneth Paltrow comes out in a black cat suit and starts singing along?! I was surprised by this for two reasons; one, I didn’t know she could sing and two, she could sing better than a few of the chicks that are now on the radio. Go figure *shrug*
I’ve never been a Justin Bieber fan, I’m not young enough to appreciate him and I don’t have any kids to beg me to buy his music or see him in concert. I was barely a fan of Usher and with all his foolishness as of late, I couldn’t care less if I ever saw him on TV again. I said all that to say this: Was anyone else looking at their television funny when Usher gave his speech about how he met Bieber? He originally saw the kid in a parking lot and told him that “if it was meant to be, they would meet again”? Huh? That whole thing is low-key odd and ripe with jokes. Needless to say, I was less than impressed with Bieber’s “Never Say Never” performance, Mortal Kombat fighters and all. And if Usher performs “O.M.G.” one more time…I mean dang! I could have sworn he had other singles out from “Raymond Vs Raymond”?!
And from that point on, there wasn’t much else I enjoyed from the show. Bob Dylan performed with two groups I had never heard of (Mumford and Sons & Avett Brothers), but I intend on searching YouTube to hear some more music from the two groups. I thought each group was interesting on their own, but once Bob Dylan got up there to perform with the two, I was lost. Mind you, I have nothing against Bob Dylan, but how is it that we still don’t know WHAT Dylan is saying?! All I could decipher from him mush mouth performance was something about not wanting to work on a farm no more. Was that what he was saying?
Katy Perry, another person whose rise to stardom I don’t understand, gave a familiar performance. I could have sworn I saw Pink do the same thing, and better, with acrobatics and everything, last year?
I watched Rihanna (both performances) and she remained consistent. Take that however you want. I think she should stick to being a fashionista but y’all keep buying her music, so…*shrug* I was unimpressed with the Eminem/Rihanna/Dr. Dre performance; it’s only saving grace was that Skylar Grey chick. She has a great voice, but I’ve never heard of her. Dr. Dre is still all swol’ up and commanding all the powers of Greyskull.
I’m also wondering if anyone else found it ironic that a group called Lady Antebellum sang the Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes song “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”. I know that their song “I Need You Now” is a hit, but I refuse. I just cannot support a group that seems to honor an ugly time period in American history *shrug* And if that is not their intent, they might want to go back to the drawing board and decide on a different name.
Imagine my surprise when the award for Best New Artist didn’t go to Drake or Justin Bieber and then imagine my cheers when Esperanza Spalding walked away with that particular win! Musicianship FTW!!! Now, of course people were upset; and by people, I mean Bieber fans. Apparently they showed their butts over his loss to Spalding; many fans got downright UGLY over it. I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a moment, so bear with me. If we were to look at this on the surface, ONLY at the surface, the Bieber fans are upset because a person they had never heard of, won the award. If that’s the case, I suggest folks look at the way MANY Beyonce fans reacted when Taylor Swift won an award over Bey. The complaint was similar: “WHO IS TAYLOR SWIFT?!” “How’d SHE beat BEYONCE?!” You all remember that, right? Heck, I was one of the ones asking those questions, but just because I didn’t know who she was, it didn’t mean that Swift came out of nowhere. And because of my reaction, I can somewhat understand the frustration felt by the Bieber fans.
We can look at the venom that has been directed at Spalding from the moment her name was called and we can say there may be some racial prejudice, even some racism and that’s what keeps me from being completely understanding of the Bieber-heads. Well, that and the fact that I listened to Esperanza’s CD (after I saw her tribute to Prince) and I think she’s awesome. I also want to discuss the snobs that make a big deal out of someone not knowing of a particular artist from the beginning. Not five minutes after she walked of stage with her award, folks started the “She’s not a new artist” and “I was listening to her ‘X’ years ago”…blah, blah, blah. I swear, no matter how trivial, people HAVE to be seen as the first person to do, or know, something. Instead of looking at her win as an acknowledgment from the Grammy voters or seeing it as an “It’s about time” win, these people have to make it about themselves. My advice? Get over it and be happy that she won.
For the list of winners, you can go to the Grammy website…
And that, my dear readers, is the end of my Grammy Recap. Did I miss anything? What were your favorite moments from the show? Perhaps your favorite moments are different from mine…
Oh. Two more things.
That is all.
- Grammy Highlights, Lowlights, and a Gaga/Madonna Mashup!? (blogher.com)
- Poll: Which Grammy Performance Was Best? (cbsnews.com)
- Best, and worst, Grammy performances (today.msnbc.msn.com)
- Let’s Talk About Last Night’s Grammy Awards… (chicagonow.com)
- Best & Worst Grammy Performances: Lady Gaga! Katy Perry! Justin Bieber! Eminem! That Dylan Guy! (eonline.com)