Unless you were sleeping under a rock yesterday, you would’ve known (or at least heard) about the 2016 Grammy Awards being presented at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Not only is it the biggest night in music, but there are also plenty of amazing musical performances. So, in case you were too busy to watch the telecast, here are the best musical moments of this years Grammys.
The Weeknd performs ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’ and ‘In The Night’
Singing at the Grammys on his birthday, The Weeknd was welcomed to the stage by a very punny Ariana Grande, who made it all that much better. After doing a rendition of his dance hit ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’, The Weeknd moved towards the crowd to put all his soul into singing ‘In The Night’. And that’s not to mention that winning two Grammy Awards for your debut album on your 26th birthday is the coolest thing ever.
Andra Day and Ellie Goulding’s ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Love Me Like You Do’ remix
Newcomer Andra Day certainly showed off her strong voice that managed to silence the whole audience, partnering with Brit Ellie Goulding in a duet of their two hits ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Love Me Like You Do’. Hopefully we hear more of Day Down Under if last night’s show was anything to go by.
Stevie Wonder announces the award for Song of the Year and advocates for inclusivity of disabled people
After a quick acapella round honoring Earth Wind & Fire singer Maurice White with Pentatonix, Stevie Wonder struggled with opening the envelope and turned an awkward moment into an empowering one. He opened the envelope to show the world the winner, which was written in Braille. Laughing at people for not being able to read and understand Braille, Stevie reminded us all that we need to make things accessible for every single person with a disability. You go, Stevie!
Lionel Richie wins MusiCares Person of the Year, complete with awesome tribute by John Legend, Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, Luke Bryan and Tyrese Gibson
Earlier this year MusiCares awarded insanely talented singer Lionel Richie with the Person of the Year award, and it wasn’t long until a bunch of incredible singers banded together to give him a tribute. John Legend smashed Richie’s hit ‘Easy’, and Demi Lovato reminded us that his other famous tune, ‘Hello’, will always conquer Adele’s song of the same name. But when Lionel Richie got onstage to sing his seminal hit ‘All Night Long’, the party really started
Kendrick Lamar connects his music with the African American experience
Just over a week after Beyoncé’s insanely “controversial” and empowering performance at the Super Bowl, Kendrick took his own storytelling to the stage. Opening the performance in shackles in a jail and ending with an image of Africa with Compton labeled on it, complete with a real onstage bonfire in retaliation to oppression somewhere in between, Kendrick reminded everyone that struggles of the African American community are far from over.
Hamilton kicks ass and wins a Grammy
Getting a taste of the Broadway musical that most of us won’t get a chance to see was the best thing viewers were treated to. Live from the Richard Rodgers theatre in NYC, the cast did a preview of their show minutes before winning the award for Best Musical Theater Album. The show’s star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, then rapped his own acceptance speech that showed off more of his rhyming abilities.
Lady Gaga becomes David Bowie in full tribute
As we all know, Lady Gaga is a unique artist unlike any other. So who better to pay tribute to the incomparable David Bowie? While there was little focus on a song to show off her talent and the whole thing seemed a bit more like a collection of karaoke-style jams, Gaga did go all out in costume, dance and passion. For younger viewers wanting to experience the power and veracity of Bowie through a popular current artist, Gaga took all the right steps.
Taylor Swift wins Album of the Year and throws shade at Kanye
OK, I’ll be the first to admit that, while pretty catchy, 1989 certainly didn’t offer the same musical strength as Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly. Regardless, Tay Tay was the first woman to ever receive the award for Album Of The Year twice, so we saw history in the making. She also took it one step further in her acceptance speech, speaking directly to women across the world and subtly shaming Kanye West for his comments last week. We love you Taylor ❤
Originally published on Junkee, February 17, 2016.