The Grammy’s Hit a High Note


William DeMuria, Writer

On Feb. 15, music’s biggest night, the Grammys, took place and the world listened closely to hear their favorite artist’s performances. A Grammy award is given to an artist in the music industry who has been the best performer in the category in which they were nominated. The award show is filled with spectacular performances from your favorite stars and inspiring speeches that you won’t want to miss and will surely hold you off until it’s time for the Oscars.

The star-studded award show began with a performance by the one and only Taylor Swift, singing her new single “Out of the Woods.” This performance was the perfect way for all Swift fans to recover after going to one of her shows on her life-changing world tour. In the middle of the opening performance, Swift welcomed the audience, saying “Hello and welcome to the 2016 Grammys, but right now it’s 1989,” referring to her hit album. Swift, who received three Grammy wins that evening, including Album of the Year, truly raised the bar for the night.

The 58th Grammy Awards featured several different performances featuring many of the artists that you know and love (or maybe hate). A highlight of the night was a duet between the Best New Artist nominees, Tori Kelly and James Bay. Kelly has been at the center of the spotlight after finding fame this past year. I definitely was not the only one who had their eyes stuck on the screen as she hit the stage. The two-singers performed a mash-up between their two hit songs, “Hollow” and “Let it Go.” Both artists showed off their unique vocals and Bay also proved his guitar skills, proving to both performers that they are more than just singers.

Justin Bieber, who won his first Grammy that evening for his song “Where Are Ü Now”, hit the stage and performed an emotional rendition of his song, “Love Yourself,” from his new album. After performing by himself, Bieber raced to another stage to for a strong performance of his Grammy winning song, “Where Are Ü Now,” with Skrillex and Diplo. I won’t be the first to admit that Justin Bieber’s music has been painful to listen to in the past, but his performances are going to make you want to start listening to what he has released recently. According to Vanity Fair, even though performance “wasn’t the most exciting of the night, Bieber reminded the audience that a Justin Bieber appearance is still something of an event, regardless of what he did to that monkey, or that bucket, or whatever.” After his performance, the world will definitely be keeping a close eye on the young musician’s career.

The Grammys also featured two tribute performances. The first was dedicated to MusiCares Person of the Year, Lionel Richie. This award is presented annually by the Grammy foundation to musicians for their achievements in the music and philanthropy. This star-filled performance was filled with songs by Richie, such as “Hello,” “Brick House,” and “All Night Long.” Multiple artists took part in this special performance, including Meghan Trainor, Luke Bryan, Tyrese Gibson, John Legend, Demi Lovato, and Richie himself. Anyone who wacthed will agree that Lovato’s rendition of “Hello” brought the house down.

The second tribute of the evening was dedicated to the late pop icon, David Bowie, who passed away in early January. Lady Gaga was chosen to take the stage and pay tribute to Bowie and performed a medley of his hit songs. Many saw Gaga as a perfect choice to cover the British sensation’s songs. Despite the performance being nothing short of show-stopping, many thought Gaga did not do Bowie justice with her performance. David Jones, Bowie’s son, tweeted late Monday night what seemed to be a jab at Gaga and her name, saying “‘Overexcited or irrational, typically as a result of infatuation or excessive enthusiasm; mentally confused.’ What IS that word!?” Despite not being as well-received by all, Lady Gaga brought an electrifying performance, which is what she does best.

Many Adele fans were excited when their favorite singer took the stage to sing her new song “All I Ask” from her record-breaking album 25. Despite Adele performing an almost flawless, as usual, performance, many fans around the world were upset to hear audio issues in the middle of her performance. This led many viewers to ask themselves “Why didn’t I cry this time?” At first, people weren’t sure if Adele’s performance was pitchy or not, but she confirmed the audio issues by tweeting, “The piano mics fell on to the piano strings, that’s what the guitar sound was. It made it sound out of tune.” Despite the minor technical difficulties, Adele gave yet another heart-wrenching performance.

The Best New Artist Award brought about lot of emotion for the viewers. As the winner, “All About that Bass” singer, Megan Trainor, accepted her award, it was clear that she was overwhelmed with emotion and happiness. As Trainor, who was crying, accepted her first Grammy, she delivered what was probably the most emotional acceptance speech that night. The artist began by thanking record executive, LA Reid, saying “I have to thank L.A. Reid for looking at me as an artist instead of a songwriter” She then thanked her parents, who were in the crowd. Trainor brought her speech to a close by saying, “I’m a mess. I have to go cry!” It is clear that Trainor is one to watch in the near future and she is not just about that bass.

The Album of the Year award caused a major controversy between fans across the world. Swift, who took home the coveted award for her acclaimed album 1989, was considered undeserving by Kendrick Lamar fans. Many of Lamar’s fans thought he deserved the award for his rap album “To Pimp a Butterfly”. One enraged fan tweeted “Taylor had a dope album but no way it deserved album of the year. This was Kendrick’s year.” Amid the controversy, it seemed that a part of Swift’s acceptance speech seemed to be directed towards Kanye West. “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’ll look around and know it’s you and the people who love you who put you there. That will be the greatest feeling in the world,” Swift said.

Even though there were many ups and downs throughout the night, the Grammys showed the world why we love music so much and why music is an important part of our lives.