From the 60th annual Grammy Awards, Elton John and Miley Cyrus perform "Tiny Dancer."
The 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards returned to the Big Apple last night and man what a show it was. Bruno Mars was undoubtedly the big winner, taking home six trophies in total, including the three major all-genre awards - Album of The Year for “24K Magic,” and Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “That’s What I Like.” He also won three R&B trophies, for Album, Song and Record of the Year."
And while he didn’t win any of the major awards, Kendrick Lamar also picked a boatload of trophies with five and completely swept the rap field. Other big winners included: Alessia Cara, who took home the coveted Best New Artist honor, and Ed Sheeran who picked up two trophies, Best Pop Vocal Album for “Divide,” and Best Pop Vocal Solo Performance for “Shape of You.”
- This year’s show was hosted by James Corden, who basically just moved the show along, although he did offer two skits that seemed to go over well with the audience. First, instead of doing Carpool Karaoke, he headed to the New York City subway system with Sting and Shaggy for what he dubbed Subway Car-pool Karaoke, which basically had the three artists getting shut down by cranky New Yorkers every time they tried to sing. His other sketch had people trying out to be the narrator of the Donald Trump book, “Fire And Fury,” including Cher, John Legend, Snoop Dog, Cardi B, and Hillary Clinton, which got the biggest cheer of the night.
- But that wasn’t the only political moment of the evening. Janelle Monáe spoke out for the TimesUp movement before introducing Kesha’s performance, while Camila Cabello gave a speech about Dreamers and immigrants before introducing U2, and Logic ended his performance with a speech that referenced the #MeToo movement, immigration in America and more.
And of course there were lots and lots of performances, including:
- The night opened with an epic performance by Kendrick Lamar that included the songs “XXX,” “DNA”, as well as verses from “New Freezer” and “King’s Dead.” He was surrounded by dancers dressed as soldiers, was joined by U2’s Bono and was interrupted a few times for some jokes by Dave Chappelle, who at one point commented, “The only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America.”
- Lady Gaga had to follow that kicking things off with quiet performance of “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Going).” Gaga, who was joined by Mark Ronson, performed the song sitting at a piano that was covered by angel wings. She then transitioned into her hit “Million Reasons.”
- Sam Smith performed a subdued version of “Pray” surrounded by choir.
- Little Big Town performed the Taylor Swift-penned track “Better Man” standing on a stage made to look like the side of a building with the New York skyline projected on the background.
- Jon Batiste and Gary Clark, Jr. performed a salute to Fats Dominoand Chuck Berry who both died last year, which included Fats’ “Ain’t That A Shame,” and Berry’s “Maybelline.”
- Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee tried to get the crowd dancing with a performance of their megahit “Despacito,” surrounded by a bevy of dancers, with all the girls in hot pants, and lots of chains, coming from everywhere.
- Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover), in a white suit, gave a soulful and super smooth performance of “Terrified,” and was joined by young JD McCrary, who’ll star alongside Glover in the upcoming “Lion King” flick.
- We’re used to seeing Pink flying across the stage for performances, but for “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” she simply stood on stage in just a pair of jeans and a T-shirt for a powerful performance in which she was joined by a sign-language interpreter.
- Bruno Mars and Cardi B brought their collaboration “Finesse” to the GRAMMYS, and as usual Bruno owned the stage.
- Sting helped celebrate the GRAMMY’s return to New York City with “Englishman in New York,” and was then joined by Shaggy for their new single “Don’t Make Me Wait.”
- DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller turned the stage into a nightclub for “Wild Thoughts,” with RiRi definately feeling the rhythm and getting her dance on. Khaled, on the other hand, basically spent the whole performance screaming at the audience to to put their hands up.
- Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne paid tribute to the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting and the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Although the tribute got off to a shaky start due to technical issues, it was all fixed in time for them to perform Eric Clapton’s classic “Tears In Heaven.” As they performed, the names of those lost were projected behind them.
- As we mentioned, Janelle Monáe gave a fiery speech about the need for women’s equality in the music business and then introduced Kesha, who performed a truly emotional version of “Praying,” where she was joined by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Bebe Rehxa, Julia Michaels and Resistance Revival Chorus, all of whom were dressed in white, and supported the singer both emotionally and physically.
- U2 made a political statement of their own by celebrating New York and the city’s promise to immigrants by performing “Get Out Of Your Own Way” on a barge in the Hudson River in front of the Statue of Liberty.
- Elton John performed “Tiny Dancer” with a white rose on his piano, and was joined by Miley Cyrus which served as a preview of the upcoming Elton tribute, which will be recorded later this week and air this spring on CBS.
- Patti LaPone and Ben Platt helped salute Broadway, with Platt paying tribute to Leonard Bernstein with “West Side Story’s “Somewhere,” followed by Patti, who performed “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from “Evita” in tribute to Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber.
- SZA had the crowd swaying for her performance of “Broken Clocks.”
- Chris Stapleton and new Lifetime Achievement Honoree Emmylou Harris performed a beautiful version of the late Tom Petty’s“Wildflowers” to introduce the "In Memoriam" segment.
- Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid performed their suicide prevention song “1-800-273-8255,” which kicked off right after the "In Memoriam" segment, which ended with a picture of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, who committed suicide last year. The artists were joined on stage by suicide attempt survivors and friends and relatives of suicide victims. Logic then ended the performance with a rousing, politically-charged speech, sharing, “Bring us your tired, your poor and any immigrant who seeks refuge,” and referencing President Trump by noting, "beautiful countries you are not sh*tholes.” He then added, "Together we can build not just a better country, but a world that is destined to be united."
Click here for a list of this year's GRAMMY winners.