Who were the winners and losers of the 2017 Grammys?
In a word, the 59th Annual Grammy Awards show was complicated. This year’s show was filled with both subtle and overt political protests, major snubs to what should have been obvious winners and plenty of Adele; it was overwhelming and genuinely entertaining.
James Corden of Late Late Night on CBS, hosted in a comical but responsible way. He was clearly well-prepared, and almost every single joke landed perfectly. The only bump in Corden’s performance was trying to get a handful of celebrities to sing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” with him to promote his new Carpool Karaoke series. Luckily Blue Ivy Carter saved the day when she ran into the Jennifer Lopez-led group and earned a collective “Awww!” from the audience in-house and at home.
Beyoncé, mother of Blue Ivy Carter and incoming twins, may have had the most beautiful performance of the night. Decked out in golden material, crowned with gold metals and almost literally glowing six months into her pregnancy, Beyoncé’s performance of “Love Drought” and Sandcastles” was beyond impressive. Even without her usual quick-choreography performance (which backup dancers made up for this time), her vocals shone through the breathtaking visuals to truly encapsulate why people call her “Queen Bee.”
Other captivating performances included Bruno Mars’ boisterous and enthusiastic Prince tribute, Chance the Rapper’s gospel-rap performance and Katy Perry’s best Grammys performance yet. Dressed in Prince’s iconic sparkling purple coat and white guitar from Purple Rain, Mars played Prince perfectly — including a hyper-sexual guitar solo to close out “Let’s Go Crazy.”
Chance took home three Grammys and inspired the audience with a performance of “How Great” and “All We Got” from his newest album, Coloring Book. Perry displayed a new hairdo and a whole new look, wearing a “Resist” armband as a form of protest against President Donald Trump. Her dance moves, new song and stage display were a change of pace for Perry, and it was one that the audience clearly appreciated, as evidenced by a standing ovation.
In terms of winners, Beyoncé was snubbed again for her numerous nominations, except for Best Music Video and Best Urban Contemporary Album. Like in 2015, she was nominated for Best Album of the Year, but lost to Adele. Adele managed to sweep all of the awards she was nominated for, once again starting the conversation of racial inequality in the Grammy nominations committee. But Adele ripped her award for Best Album in two and gave half to Beyoncé.
Regardless, Adele definitely received the most camera time. She was responsible for the George Michael tribute but hit the wrong note and let a swear word slip. The orchestra then restarted the song and she finished without error. She also opened the show with a low-key performance of “Hello” — which, as many pointed out, was released in 2015. Grammy guidelines state that anything released between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016 was eligible for the 2017 Grammys. The song took home the award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Lastly, the performance by A Tribe Called Quest must be mentioned. Along with Busta Rhymes and Anderson .Paak, A Tribe Called Quest performed a powerful rap/R&B song with political focus. They started by thanking “President Agent Orange” for an “unsuccessful attempt at the Muslim ban,” and soon broke down a wall on stage as a symbol against Trump’s anti-immigration policies. Soon, the stage was filled with women in hijab, Mexican men and others. A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes and .Paak ended the performance by raising their fists for black solidarity.
This year’s Grammys presented an excellent platform for political speech while also allowing the fun and silly performances to create an atmosphere of inclusivity and love among the performers and the audience.
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