Despite tributes, the 61st Grammy Awards still fell short

Despite tributes, the 61st Grammy Awards still fell short

Despite tributes, the 61st Grammy Awards still fell short
February 12
21:28 2019

When I found out Alicia Keys was the hosting the Grammy Awards and there was going to be a Diana Ross performance along with a Motown tribute, I was beyond ready.

I had my snacks and my Twitter loaded with the Grammys hashtag because what is an award show without Twitter commentary? The show began with an impressive theatrical Latin music number of “Havana” by Camila Cabello, Ricki Martin and J Balvin. After, we were greeted by Keys, who brought along some showstopping names like Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and Michelle Obama.

Yes, Michelle Obama came to discuss the important impact music has on society. It was a beautiful and moving moment which, to be honest, was probably the best moment of the entire show.

Miley Cyrus and Shawn Mendes had a sweet duet of “In My Blood,” the Dolly Parton tribute was adequate, H.E.R. performed marvelously as always and Alicia Keys played two pianos at once. But what stood out the most was the horrendous Motown tribute.

As a Jennifer Lopez superfan, I hate to say that I didn’t like the Motown tribute. In her defense, she did a fantastic job performing, but there were barely any true remnants of Motown to be seen on that stage. The fault lies much more with the Grammys for putting together a disappointing homage to Motown.

The Aretha Franklin tribute turned out to be spectacular because you can’t go wrong with Fantasia, Yolanda Adams and Andra Day in a trio, but all we had was one song for the Queen of Soul. It just didn’t seem right.

The Diana Ross performance was lovely to see as she celebrated her 75th birthday. She sang a few of her classic hits including “Reach out and Touch,” which Jaden Smith thankfully knew since Ross granted him the spontaneous opportunity of singing a few words with her.

The awards of the night went mostly as predicted. Lady Gaga took home three awards, one for “Shallow” as Song of the Year, which she performed to many people’s surprise as early 2000s Lady Gaga. Childish Gambino, who was not able to attend, garnered both Song of the Year and Record of the year for “This is America.” Kacey Musgraves was the big winner of the night winning Best Country Song, Best Country Album and Album of the Year.

Cardi B’s Best Rap Album win for “Invasion of Privacy” served as a big surprise as she is now the first woman to ever win in the category. Dua Lipa also dropped some jaws when she received Best New Artist against artists like Chloe X Halle and H.E.R.

A few artists who left without any wins were Shawn Mendes, the Carters and Post Malone. Ariana Grande surprisingly snagged one win with her song “Sweetener” despite the drama she had with the Academy, pushing her to not even perform or show at the actual event.

Grande was not the only one to experience some drama with the Academy this year. Drake’s anti-awards speech was cut off by the show and musicians such as Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar denied requests to perform at the Grammys, which people speculate has a connection to their criticism of a lack of diversity in the Academy.

It appears the Grammys were trying to make up for this with tributes targeted toward for black audiences, but it is apparent there is much more diversification that needs to happen to create a better Grammys next year.

Featured Image: Courtesy Facebook.

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Vanessa McTillmon

Vanessa McTillmon

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