As anticipated, the 59th Grammy Awards ceremony was full of exceptional moments. Whether it was celebrities voicing their opinions on Trump or The Late Late Show host James Corden upping the ante and using the stage to address the controversy, or even Adele bagging all the top honours for her album 25, there was plenty to behold. Here are the moments that everyone will be talking about from this edition of the Recording Academy, for years to come. --- Anisha
ADELE CLINCHES MAJOR AWARDS
Singer Adele Adkins, who kick-started the Recording Academy with her hit single ‘Hello,’ bagged the top honours, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year, for her album 25. The British chanteuse also won the trophy for Best Pop Vocal Album, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance for her single ‘Hello’.
This is the second time that Adele has won the three big awards. In 2012, the artist won the Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year awards for her album 21 and single ‘Rolling in the Deep’. However, while receiving the award for Album of the Year at Staples Center, the singer broke her Grammy in half on stage so she could give the crowning part to Beyoncé. Explaining at length how she felt Beyoncé’s Lemonade was a more deserving winner than her own 25, a tearful Adele stated, “I can’t possibly accept this award. The Lemonade album was just so monumental, Beyoncé. It was so monumental and well thought-out and beautiful and soul-bearing... we appreciate that. All of us artists here adore you. You are our light.”
The snub was clearly as much of a blow to Adele as it was to those who saw Lemonade as one of the best works Beyoncé has produced in years and thought she would scoop the biggest award for her concept album.
BEYONCÉ PAYS HOMAGE TO MOTHERHOOD
Regardless of losing the award to Adele, Beyoncé found a way of affirming and unapologetically loving herself. And she did so for the world to see. Dressed in a golden gown and a halo evoking the Virgin Mary, singer Beyoncé Knowles, who is pregnant with twins, gave a phenomenal performance at the annual awards gala, while paying homage to motherhood. With her stunning bump on display, a breathtaking gravity-defying chair, and mesmerising, lyrical choreography, the ‘Formation’ singer gave one of the most memorable performances ever, singing ‘Sandcastles’ and ‘Love Drought,’ from her highly-applauded album Lemonade, all while sending the Bey-hive into a frenzy.
Queen B’s performance was greeted with a standing ovation by the audience, which also included her sister Solange Knowles, husband Jay Z, and daughter Blue Ivy.However, what was unexpected was for her emotionally powerful introduction by her mother Tina Knowles. Donned in a scintillating black gown, Tina said, “I am proud of their (daughters Beyonce and Solange’s) accomplishments, their self-confidence, and their desire to make a difference. Beyoncé’s devotion and love for her daughter Blue Ivy makes me proud,” proving that she is her daughter’s number one fan. “Ladies and gentlemen, with a mother’s pride, my daughter, Beyoncé,” she concluded.
GRAMMYS GOT POLITICAL
Joy Villa was probably the first of the night to get political, perhaps even before the telecast got under way. The singer-songwriter wore a dress with a blue, red, and white bedazzled “Make America Great Again” dress. Next was Jennifer Lopez who, however oblique, made a statement by saying, “At this point in history, our voices are needed more than ever,” before quoting from Toni Morrison’s essay, “No Place for Self-Pity, No Room For Fear.”
Katy Perry, who campaigned for Hillary Clinton, ended a performance of her new single ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ bathed in a projection of the Declaration of Independence. Also, Perry wore a “persist” armband.
Laverne Cox of the Orange Is The New Black, introduced Metallica and Lady Gaga’s fiery performance of ‘Moth Into Flame,’ by adding, “Everyone please Google Gavin Grimm. He’s going to the Supreme Court in March” referencing to the upcoming Supreme Court hearing that centres on students’ right to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
TRIBUTE TO PRINCE AND MICHAEL
No other artist could pay tribute to Prince quite the same way as Bruno Mars, The Time, and Morris Day. Backed by a band, the artists performed the late singer’s popular tracks like ‘Jungle Love’, ‘The Bird’, and ‘Let’s Go Crazy’.
The tribute began with the band The Time singing ‘Jungle Love’ followed by ‘The Bird’. Bruno Mars along with Morris Day took the limelight at one point when Bruno, who was in full and sparkling purple Prince regalia, performed ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ from Purple Rain, busting out some huge guitar solos on a Prince guitar.
Prince was also remembered by star couple Beyoncé Knowles and Jay Z’s five-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter, who stole the show by appearing in a pink suit with a ruffled collar shirt that paid tribute to the late musical icon.
The evening also saw Adele paying homage to late singer George Michael, who died on December 25, 2016, at the age of 53. However, the singer called a halt to her performance as she went badly off-key in the first chorus. “I can’t mess this up for him,” she said, fighting back tears. “I’m sorry. Can we start again?”
TWENTY ONE PILOTS WENT PANTS-FREE TO ACCEPT THEIR GRAMMY
American musical duo Twenty One Pilots who won the award for Pop Duo or Group performance for their song ‘Stressed Out’ took the trophy in their underwear.When their names were announced, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun took off their pants to accept their very first Grammy. “A few years ago when we were sitting around in our underwear watching a Grammy show on TV, hoping some day we might be on that stage, when it occurred to us if we ever did win a Grammy, we should receive it just like this,” they said while receiving the award.
“So, not only is this amazing, but I want everyone who is watching at home to know that you could be next,” Joseph concluded, Adding, “Because anyone, from anywhere, can do anything!”
Inspired from the duo, James Corden followed them onstage in his boxers and vowed that if he ever got to host the Grammys, he would appear without his pants too.
CHANCE THE RAPPER WINS BEST NEW ARTIST
It was kind of a historic night for American hip hop recording artist Chance, who grabbed seven nominations and won three awards for Best Rap Performance and Best New Artist for ‘No Problem’ with 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne and Best Rap Album for his gospel-infused hip hop mixtape Coloring Book.
“This is the time our voices are needed more than ever. This night is not about dresses, not awards, it is about music. How they move us, inspire us. Our voices are needed more than ever. We do languages, that’s how civilisation prevails,” Jennifer Lopez said before announcing Chance the Rapper as the winner, who defeated contenders like The Chainsmokers, Maren Morris, and Anderson Paak.