The 2015 Grammy Awards will be remembered for a stream of slow jams and ballads, Kanye almost pulling another Kanye (Who is Beck?), and a guy who goes by the name Sam Smith. Here are my favourite moments from the 57th annual ceremony…
Firstly, the pre-show awards! A huge congrats to Carrie Underwood on winning Best Country Solo Performance for “Something in the Water” and to Hayley Williams and Taylor York on winning and for Paramore’s “Ain’t It Fun”.
It’s official: it’s Sam Smith‘s world, and we’re all just living in it as spectators. The sensitive British powerhouse swept up four Grammy awards for Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album (In The Lonely Hour), Song of the Year (“Stay With Me”), and Record of the Year (“Stay With Me”). In The Lonely Hour has been my soundtrack for the past few months, so I was delighted to see Sam crowned the big winner of the night. He gave a shoutout to his ex-man for being the inspiration behind his songs: “Thank you so much for breaking my heart, because you won me four Grammys.” And along with his standout duet with Mary J. Blige on his mega hit “Stay With Me”, this ceremony might as well be renamed the Sammys!
Beck pulled off the upset of the night with Album of the Year for Morning Phase. And Kanye West almost Kanyed the guy on stage, but this time around, he let him finish his acceptance speech. (By the way, there are pictures of Kanye and Taylor Swift together at the Grammys circulating around the internet. Guess the bad blood between them is out of the woods and in the clear now!). If you don’t know who Beck is, he’s the guy who sings the song “Loser”. But he was a winner tonight!
Newcomer Paul McCartney and Kanye joined Rihanna for a performance of the new song they wrote for her, “FourFiveSeconds”. He’s written with the two. On a related note, Paul’s former Beatles fellow George Harrison was finally given a Lifetime Achievement Award (accepted by George’s son, Dhani Harrison).
Best bros Ed Sheeran and John Mayer teamed up for a bluesy rendition of Ed’s romantic ballad “Thinking Out Loud”, and then Ed joined ELO for “Mr. Blue Sky”. Ed Sheeran is kind of like the Leonardo DiCaprio of the Grammy Awards, but he can always be counted on to deliver amazing live performances!
Sia’s vocal acrobatics on “Chandelier” never fail to astonish, but it was Kristen Wiig (in a wig, no less) who stole the attention with her surprise appearance.
Pharrell Williams’s dark and twisted spoken word intro to “Happy” (winner of Best Pop Solo Performance) was an… interesting spin on such a happy-go-lucky song. It appears that he’s traded in his iconic Arby’s hat for a more relevant Grand Budapest Hotel get-up. #RIPPharrellsHat
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album winners Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga went “Cheek to Cheek” with a jazzy duet of the swingin’ classic. At first glance, Tony and Gaga seem like an odd pair, but once you hear them, you realize that it totally works.
Speaking of pairs, the pairing of Hozier and Annie Lennox was absolutely perfect. “Take Me To Church” and “I Put A Spell On You” – two haunting and chilling songs by these two dark and deep artists – were by far my favourite performances of the night. This was a prime example of a genuine Grammy moment.
The Voice coaches Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani‘s duet to Maroon 5’s “My Heart is Open” was quite terrific, but it was Gwen’s red hot Versace gown that had a little moment on that stage. Along with her Versace jumpsuit on the red carpet, Gwen wins Best Dressed of the night.
Usher gave a stunning vocal performance of Stevie Wonder‘s “If It’s Magic” (accompanied by a harp, which is the most beautiful musical instrument invented) and was joined by the legend himself on the harmonica. The Grammys will be hosting a tribute concert for Stevie Wonder on February 16th, much like the Beatles tribute last year.
“Authentic love does not devalue another human being. Authentic love does not silence, shame or abuse. I want you to know you are worthy of love. Please reach out for help. Your voice will save you.” Brooke Axtell, the founder of SHE, Survivor Healing + Empowerment, spoke out in support of survivors of rape, abuse, and sex trafficking in the campaign to end violence against women and girls (#ItsOnUs). She was followed by an emotional performance of “By The Grace of God” by Katy Perry.
Closing out this fine evening of song was the winner of 3 Grammy Awards (including Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance for “Drunk in Love”), Beyoncé, and her glorious performance of the hymn “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” and John Legend and Common with their moving performance of “Glory” from Selma (nominated for Best Original Song at this year’s Academy Awards), a song which is a reminder of the importance and power of music in our lives.
Image Credit: GRAMMY.com