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Today’s roundtable topic asks each anchor their thoughts on the…
Grammy Awards 2017
Beyond being the most memorable Grammys in years, last night was easily one of the most resonating award shows in recent memory.
As anyone from the “MTV generation” will agree, award show slayage is defined by the ticking of three boxes: great performances, commendable wins / speeches, and off-script moments that have you OMG’ing.
The 2017 Grammys checked each and every one.
In unpacking my views, it’s perhaps best to do so using said headers…
Beyonce saved her first public appearance since announcing her pregnancy with twins for music’s biggest night – and didn’t disappoint.
Her showing was expectedly slower in tempo, but still captivating, arresting, and rousingly regal. What’s more, as a fan who continues to yearn for the ferocious Sasha Fierce from yesteryear, last night’s performance still managed to satisfy and electrify. Indeed, in literally being on the edge of her seat, she had me on the edge of mine.
Another highlight was Bruno Mars’ showing of ’That’s What I Like.’ What it may have lacked in “moments,” it more than made up for in vocals, choreography, and precision. He really is one of the best performers of the current generation.
Similarly, Adele’s rendition of ‘Hello’ was simple, but effective. It’s an enormous song – both sonically and commercially – and had not yet been performed on a stage of this magnitude. As such, it was great to see her do it justice.
Other highlights included Chance The Rapper’s praise and worship, Alicia Keys and Maren Morris, and Cynthia Erivo.
Lady Gaga’s embrace of the eccentric (again) brought joy to my heart. But we’ll get to that later.
The Awards & Speeches
While corners of the net are melting down over the clear talking points (see: Adele’s wins and Beyonce’s snub), I’m somewhat “ok” with their overall narrative. Especially given the public shows of respect and affection between the ladies on stage.
Of course, the broader context of Beyonce being consistently shut out of the “big” categories does make one wonder. But it was cool to see her walk away with Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Music Video for ‘Formation.’
I thoroughly enjoyed ’25’ and actually feel it to be Adele’s best holistic body of work, hence if Bey were to lose out to anyone it’s warming that it was her.
Elsewhere, Solange’s win for Best R&B Performance warmed my spirit, as did Cynthia Erivo and the cast of ’The Color Purple’ bagging Best Musical Theater Album. The latter is an actual slay from start to finish. Check it out.
Am I the only one who felt at numerous points that the Grammy’s were being produced by ’The Real Housewives Of Atlanta’ team? The drama!
Adele’s start-stop tribute to George Michael defined OMG. Beyond the shock of the moment itself, I was stuck thinking of the chaos that must have gone down in that control room. Every second (literally) of such shows are accounted for and for such a mass watched special, there’s also multi-million-dollar ad component too. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any ramifications.
As for the moment itself, Ms. Adkins is lucky that she was a) the night’s MVP, b) able to rest of the excuse that she “wanted to make it right” for George, and c) a big enough power player to be able to brush it off. Any other act under any other circumstances could have been career crushing.
Gaga and Metallica’s showing was equally awkward – but in an oddly amazing way.
From the rocker’s not being introduced despite it being their performance, to their mics not working, to the song sounding like construction noise, it had all the makings of disaster.
However Gaga is such an engaging, crazy performer, that it made for an wowing watch.
- Katy Perry sucked, which is unfortunate as I’m “here” in earnest for her new song.
- James Corden was a great host.
- The Weeknd was a snooze; he may have it “coming” but it never arrived. Boring.
- Rihanna not bagging anything for ‘Work’ was surprising.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable show.
Last night’s ceremony was indelible!
Though I was disappointed to watch Rihanna’s ‘ANTI’ left out in the cold, the show’s line-up reminded me that today’s industry is filled with a diverse range of talented entertainers.
Beyond Beyonce’s performance and wins, Katy Perry’s comeback and Adele’s moving George Michael tribute and award-collecting, Chance the Rapper’s success on the night stood as its highlight.
In a time in which impressionable kids find themselves inundated with soulless (and suspiciously drug-pushing) party numbers, watching Chance- an articulate and artistic male artist of colour- receive recognition for his work was monumental.
His glorious night can only encourage the industry’s eco-system to support credible musicians with art which gives the critical mass something to invest and believe in.
Back to Rihanna.
It stings to watch ‘ANTI’ suffer because of an unfortunately-handed rollout but I hope that this doesn’t deter Rihanna from venturing into more subversive musical territory with her next studio effort.
The night belonged to Bruno and Adele. Bruno delivered two flawless performances and reminded us all that he is infinitely better than his closest male competitors (Ed Sheeran & The Weeknd). Adele – whose historic sweep of the Grammys left a lot of people sour (myself included) – had already won America’s heart with her botched tribute to George Michael. That “save” was iconic and helped rescue her from what I believe would have been a terrible performance anyway (leave it to Adele to make even “Fast Love” sound like a funeral song).
If you ask me though, the tribute was poor – not due to Addy’s hiccup – but to the fact there was only one performer and a random song from his polished catalog selected. His legacy is so chockfull of much more appreciated numbers.
Elsewhere, Tori Kelly slayed (as expected) and the overall Bee Gees tribute was enjoyable. Chance the Rapper gets all the thumbs up for his public proclamations of faith.
Finally, as a #Beyhive member I’m hoping my membership doesn’t get revoked, but…erm…that Grammys performance was confusing as hell. The spectacle was great given what I assumed she was going for (a la 2011 Billboard Music Awards “Run the World” pt. 2), but it just left me scratching my head a bit in parts. As always, I love that she’s pushing the visual envelope however. This will serve her well in later years, much like it’s doing Madonna.
Yesterday, the Grammys lived up to its reputation as “the biggest night in music.” Indeed, this year’s ceremony was packed with memorable segments on several fronts.
If Adele was the big winner of the night, the very thing which won me over – yet again – was her realness and authenticity.
Starting the festivities off with a stellar rendition of ‘Hello’, she pulled off quite the ballsy move during her George Michael tribute and obviously THAT acceptance speech where she showered her “rival” Beyonce with praise.
Although she took home only 2 out of 9 gongs yesterday, Beyonce will remain the main talking point of the night and rightfully so. The pregnant diva delivered the best performance of the night with her ethereal 9-minute showing, once again proving to the world that she is the ultimate performer of this generation.
If there ever was a ‘WTF’ Performance award, I would give it to Katy Perry who’s showing was disastrous to these eyes and ears. I’m still trying to figure out why some artists think they don’t need dancers. The Weeknd was a bit of a letdown too as not much was happening on stage, which is a shame as his music is very visual. Still, he was in good voice for the most part so kudos.
Gaga’s performance was interesting, as the technical issues made for a cringe watch. But one has to give it to her for salvaging the whole shabang with her Rockstar attitude and energy and as always those vocals. Talking about vocals, Bruno Mars is another name to always deliver on that front and his ‘That’s What I Like’ performance was no exception.
Sidenote: Am I the only one who thinks that he could have made that a real “moment” had he went on and serenaded Jennifer Lopez who was front row and center and clearly ready for some camera action?
As far as the other performances go, John Legend and Cynthia Erivo delivered flawless singing; Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood got the whole room going with ‘The Fighter’; A Tribe Called Quest made sure to school the people on the woeful ways of a certain “President Agent Orange”; Alicia Keys beautifully sung a song which should have been included on her own album and released as a single at some point; and Chance The Rapper turned the Staples Center into the biggest church in America.
As a long time supporter of his, I was elated to see him take home 3 awards; it’s always good to see Adele win as her talent is unparalleled. I was expecting Rihanna to bag at least one trophy and even though ‘Lemonade’ isn’t my favorite album of the year, it deserved as much as ’25’ to win AOTY – if only for its cultural impact and critical acclaim.
Thank you the Grammys for a fantastic night.
Do you agree with our picks? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and your thoughts on the 2017 Grammys.