LOS ANGELES—On Sunday, February 10 the Recording Academy celebrated a remarkable year in music as the 55th Annual Grammy Awards which were held at theStaplesCenterinLos Angeles. There was no clear act that was a frontrunner this year compared to Adele’s reign last year as Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons and Fun. all came into the ceremony with six nominations apiece including Album of the Year. Grammy darling Adele presented Album of the Year Mumford & Sons for to “Babel,” who kept their speech short and sweet.
The night’s big winner was none other than The Black Keys who walked away with three awards. Rapper Jay-Z also took home three trophies. Followed close behind was Fun. with two awards including Song of the Year for “We Are Young.” It was an award that indeed belonged to the group, for their massive hit. FrankOceanalso walked away with two awards including Best Urban Contemporary Album for “Channel Orange” who received a standing ovation from the crowd.
It’s hard to fathom out of all the categories only 11 awards were handed out during the telecast. Perhaps the Grammys should focus more on giving out awards versus the musical performances so much. Katy Perry had the pleasure of presenting the award for Best New Artist to Fun. That was a nail-bitter as many were expectingFrankOceanto take the award, but the group was a heavy favorite if Ocean didn’t take the prize.
Music legend Prince presented the award for Record of the Year to Goyte feat. Kimbra for “Somebody That I Used To Know.” The speech was a bit odd, but honest and proves that even the underdog has a chance of winning big. This was one of the toughest categories of the night as all the nominees could have easily taken home the prize.
Country darling Taylor Swift opened the ceremony performing her summer anthem “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” The performance kicked off with a circus expose full of red and white. It was quite funny to watch the theatrics from Swift; perhaps she took a note from Lady Gaga. It was a great way to kick off the night.
Rapper/Actor LL Cool J hosted the ceremony for the second year, but some would say he really didn’t host the event. I would say the Grammy Awards is that one show that does not require an actual host in my opinion. He gave shout outs to famed artists who attended the event including Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Goyte and Adele to name a few. His speech was meant to be inspirational and a big motivator to everyone.
Presenting the first award of the night was Jennifer Lopez who turned heads in her impeccable attire which was one of the best dressed of the night. Best Pop Solo Performance was awarded to Adele “Set Fire to the Rain” who was a bit surprised with the win. Fun. hit the stage performing a somber rendition of their hit “Carry On,” as the number continued the momentum and intensity increased. Complete with rain drops from the sky, these guys prove they are willing to go all out to deliver a memorable performance for the crowd to talk about for days.
Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley performed “Over You” and “Home.” Miguel performed his hit “Adorn” with assistance from Wiz Khalifa. He has some powerhouse pipes on him that are very reminiscent of music legend Prince. The duo presented Best Country Solo Performance to Carrie Underwood “Blown Away;” very humble and heartfelt speech from one of “American Idol’s” biggest stars.
Beyonce and Ellen DeGeneres welcomed pop icon Justin Timberlake back to the music stage after being gone for so long. He performed his new hit “Suit & Tie.” It’s a song that still hasn’t grown on me, but if I hear it a few more times it might become stuck in my head. Rapper Jay-Z then joined Timberlake on stage as he then transitioned into the ballad “Pusher Love Girl;” he still has all the moves that he’s had since the start of his career. Best Rock Performance was awarded to The Black Keys “Lonely Boy.”
The songs “Daylight” and “Girl on Fire” were performed by Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys. Keys once again proved that no one performs like she does on the Grammy stage complete with drums. Best Pop Vocal Album was awarded to a stunned Kelly Clarkson “Stronger.” So happy for Kelly who has had a huge year! She thanked all of her former competitors in the category. It was a heartfelt speech that did not at all seem rehearsed.
Rihanna hit the stage performing a ballad unlike anything we’ve ever seen from the songstress pouring out her emotions on the stage. The award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration went to Jay-Z feat.FrankOceanand the Dream “No Church In The Wild.”
Kelly Clarkson wowed the audience as she performed a tribute to lifetime achievement legend Carole King. She then transitioned to performing Aretha Franklin’s hit “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman.” Hands down the best vocals of the night! That is how you rock the Grammy stage. It’s a performance that will be talked about for days as she received a standing ovation from the crowd. She later presented the award for Best Country Album to Zac Brown Band “Uncaged.” It looked like Kelly was hoping to deliver the award to friend Miranda Lambert.
Bruno Mars helped pay tribute to reggae legend Bob Marley and was later joined on stage by Sting. The duo were later joined onstage by Rihanna and Ziggy & Danny Marley. It was indeed a performance that had everyone in the crowd jamming along. Carrie Underwood took the stage as she belted out her hit “Blown Away.” Underwood is another “Idol” alum with vocal chops that would mesmerize many. After Underwood’s performance many were speculating that the ceremony would begin wrapping up, but not so fast as more musical acts had yet to hit the stage.
The talentedFrankOceantook the stage to perform his hit “Forest Gump.” A somber piece, full of intensity, his music is unlike anything that has ever graced the Grammy stage. I must admit I was absolutely thrilled to see a multitude of musical acts take home prizes this year compared to having just one artist sweep Album, Song and Record of the Year which tends to happen time and time again. Perhaps new rules should be implemented that if you’re nominated for Song of the Year, that same song cannot be nominated for Record of the Year. It would really diversify the competitive field and keep things fresh at the ceremony. Some big acts are coming out in 2013, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce to name a few. So who do you think will get Grammy love come next year?
By LaDale Anderson