Filled with emotion, talent, and controversial performances and speeches, this year’s Grammys have been the topic of millions of peoples’ conversations worldwide. With each person that took the Grammys stage at the Staples Center on Monday, more and more whispers seemed to flutter throughout the crowd, whether they were mutters of appreciation or gossip-filled murmurs. Michael O’Connell of Billboard says, “Monday's Grammys easily rank as the top-rated entertainment telecast of 2016 thus far.” Let’s take a look at Monday night’s highlights.
Emotional Tributes: Having lost so many iconic artists in the past year, one of the central focuses of Monday night’s show was paying respect to those who left a great impact on the world and the music industry. With the public still mourning the recent loss of David Bowie, Lady Gaga took the stage in an emotional medley of Bowie’s songs. Gaga’s performance was packed with booming vocals and special effects so bright and creative that they could only have been used for a man as colorful as Bowie. Eagles members Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit also took the stage last night to honor their late band member Glenn Frey, with help from singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. A tribute was also paid to the still-living Lionel Richie, performed by Luke Bryan, Demi Lovato, John Legend, and Tyrese Gibson.
Controversy: Much of Monday night’s controversy surrounded Taylor Swift as she had drama that had followed her there. Just two days before, her long-time frenemy Kanye West dropped his new album, which includes a track slamming Swift. Following this, Swift won Album of the Year at the Grammys, and proceeded to use her speech to make sly digs at West by saying, “I want to say to all the young women out there: there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.” However, this was not the only controversy surrounding Swift at the Grammys. Many music-lovers are upset about the fact that she beat rapper Kendrick Lamar whose album To Pimp a Butterfly was also nominated for Album of the Year. Many people on social media have accused Swift of being privileged and not deserving the award due to the dramatic content of Lamar’s album versus the romantic content of hers. Swift has made no comment about the criticism.
Glitches: Technical difficulties were also present last night, particularly during singer-songwriter Adele’s highly-anticipated performance. During her performance of the song “All I Ask” off her new album 25, multiple glitches in the sound were noticeable throughout the song. This was her first time taking the Grammys stage since she went on hiatus to work on her new album in 2012.
An Overall Unforgettable Night: Putting the drama of the night aside, minds were blown with the incredible performances and celebrity appearances throughout the night. The cast of the musical Hamilton performed their opening song “Alexander Hamilton” live from Broadway. Kendrick Lamar’s passionate performance about African-American culture earned a standing ovation from the crowd. Other performers of the night include The Weeknd, Carrie Underwood, Ellie Goulding, Taylor Swift, Andra Day, Little Big Town, Tori Kelly, James Bay, Miguel, Justin Bieber, and Pitbull. Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift took home most of Monday night’s Grammys with Lamar winning five and Swift winning three. The 2016 Grammy Awards can be re-watched on NBC’s website.