It’s that time of year again, my friends. The 56th GRAMMY Awards were tonight, hosted by GRAMMY winner (as we’re constantly reminded for God-knows-what reason) LL Cool J.
Oh, that’s right. He listed some of his own songs and panned to Taylor Swift’s privileged white-girl angst. He also seems to miss the concept that, with a microphone, you don’t have to YELL.
But enough babbling — LL took care of that — let’s get to the important stuff:
Another year, another ho-hum red carpet. Here’s what I found notable:
- Daft Punk, because, well … I just got a kick out of any audience shot involving this helmeted duo. Extra points for Pharrell having to speak on their behalf.
- I’m not entirely sure what was on Lorde’s nails — thimbles, spray paint or otherwise — but it was certainly noticeable.
- Thin mustaches and otherwise terrible facial hair were in full effect for some reason. From Robin Thicke to Nate Ruess, I am severely disturbed by the prevalence.
- The dear, sweet Kacey Musgraves: Honey needs a new stylist, stat … unless tassled skirts are making a comeback and I missed the memo.
Legendary concerts and collaborations like these happen but once a year:
- Queen B opened the show with a dramatic performance of “Drunk in Love,” a song I personally don’t enjoy. I mean no disrespect to her talent, but I was most mesmerized by her beautiful bob haircut. Of course, Jay-Z joined her and made it rain.
- Captivating and understated, Lorde absolutely killed it with “Royals.” I cannot say enough how much I love this songstress’s success.
- I still don’t really know who Hunter Hayes is and get him confused with every other fresh-faced singer, but his shaky-sweet reveal of “Invisible” just might make me remember him.
- Actor Steve Coogan joked, among other things, that the GRAMMYs chose to reunite two of the Beatles over all of the Jonas Brothers. He then introduced Katy Perry and Juicy J’s performance of the slutty, Hocus-Pocusy “Dark Horse.”
- Next up were Chicago & Robin Thicke, performing a medley of their respective hits. Naturally, my fave is the group’s “Saturday in the Park” — hello, birthday shout-out. And thanks be to God, there were no foam fingers at this show.
- Country and blues music came together onstage with Keith Urban and Gary Clark, Jr.’s soulful duet “Cop Car.” Mr. Kidman was looking mighty fine, and Clark is undeniably talented.
- My fave piano man John Legend melted my ovaries with “All of Me.” A memo to Chrissy Teigen: You better not ever, ever, ever let that man get away from you. Speaking of …
- And then there was Taylor Swift and “All Too Well.” This girl … I just can’t. She’s been in the biz for almost a decade and yet she STILL always looks surprised and awkward. Own it, woman. You know you’ve got eleventy billion tweens looking up to you! I didn’t even realize her painful “dancing” could be done while seated.
- Smooth-mover Bruno Mars welcomed Pink for a gravity-defying performance of “Try.” Nate Ruess then joined her onstage for the always emotional “Give Me Just One Reason.”
- Always incomprehensible Ozzy Osbourne and the rest of Black Sabbath introduced Ringo Starr for “Photograph.” I can’t say anything negative about the legendary Starr, so let’s just chalk that dancing up to him usually being seated at the drums.
- Rapper Kendrick Lamar & rockers Imagine Dragons did a huge number with a mash-up of their respective smash hits. I wonder if, while watching the playback, they’ll collectively shit themselves seeing legends like Steven Tyler sing along.
- The electric (no, really … lit-up boots and jackets were involved) Kacey Musgraves dazzled with “Follow Your Arrow.” Love her and the song, but as mentioned earlier, that outfit should have been burned.
- Julia Roberts explained an upcoming CBS special for the 50th anniversary of The Beatles performing on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and then introduced Sir Paul and Ringo for “Give the People a Shout.”
- Jeremy Renner welcomed the two remaining Highway Men, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, to kick things off. They were then joined by Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton to croon a handful of classics and make me seriously consider a move back to the South.
- Suited up Neil Patrick Harris entertained with his intro of Daft Punk for their first televised performance in six years (and only second-ever). Perhaps if MTV hadn’t stuck their noses in for the VMA/Colbert debacle, that stat would have been smashed in August. Pharrell and Stevie Wonder were incredible bandmates, though.
- Cyndi Lauper rocked red locks to announce Carole King and Sara Bareilles for their rendition of the latter’s “Brave.” Dueling pianos are always a win in my book.
- The most perfect specimen who ever lived, Jared Leto, honored the legendary Lou Reed before bringing Metallica onstage with Lang Lang for a chilling performance of “One.”
- Queen Latifah shared a heartfelt welcome to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, along with Mary Lambert and Trombone Shorty for the inspirational ballad “Same Love.” Oh, and then Queen Latifah came back to officiate 33 simultaneous marriages. Madonna showed up, too, and belted a few bars (with a full choir) of “Open Your Heart.” As expected and deserved, a standing ovation erupted from the crowd.
- Lang Lang returned to the stage to begin the annual In Memoriam piece. It’s OK if you cried like a baby (too). Then, Miranda Lambert and Billie Joe Armstrong closed it with a duet of “When Will I Be Loved?” to honor Phil Everly.
10 gramaphones were televised out of 82 awards, so this is all you get:
- Funnygirl Anna Kendrick and super-hottie Pharrell presented Best New Artist to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. I was personally pulling for country crooner Kacey Musgraves, but I wasn’t surprised to see this duo win.
- Global sensations Juanes and Ana Faris were pleased to present Best Pop Duo/Group Performance to Daft Punk and Pharrell for “Get Lucky.” In a field of strong contenders, I thought it was anyone’s game.
- Kevin Hart and Charlie Wilson announced Best Rock Song to multitalented winners Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear for “Cut Me Some Slack.” It took them two hours to create pure magic … imagine what they could do in 24.
- Teeny-tiny powerhouse Ariana Grande and singer Miguel gave Best Pop Solo Performance to the humble and nervous Lorde for “Royals” — guess Sara Bareilles and Katy Perry really didn’t need to fight over that melody after all.
- Total nutjob and silly guy Jamie Foxx presented Best Rap/Sung Collaboration to power couple Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake for “Holy Grail.” HOVA accepted and earned Hubby of the Century for acknowledging Beyoncé and Blue Ivy.
- Gloria Estefan and Marc Anthony announced that Pharrell was previously awarded Producer of the Year, Non-Classical; and then handed out the gramaphone for Best Pop Vocal Album to Bruno Mars for “Unorthodox Jukebox.” I knew my Pandora was right about something!
- Country crooners Martina McBride and Zac Brown honored George Jones and Ray Price in memoriam before handing Best Country Album to Kacey Musgraves for “Same Trailer, Different Park.” Her shock was genuine and endearing, and the award so well-deserved.
- After their performance, Carole King and Sara Bareilles announced Song of the Year winner to Joe Little and Ella Yelich O’Connor (AKA Lorde) for writing her smash “Royals.”
- The iconic Steven Tyler and Smokey Robinson were up next to sing and scream (guess which one?), and present Record of the Year to Pharrell, Nile Rogers and le French, Daft Punk, for “Get Lucky.”
- Neil Portnow, Ryan Seacrest and John Legend honored Kent Knappenberger with the first-ever Music Educator Award. Real talk: He deserved to win for his beard alone.
My DVR decided to crap out at this point, so I know I missed some things. Album of the Year went to Daft Punk, I’m sure, but let me know if there was anything else of note.
Somewhere in there (probably halfway through) was the Pepsi Halftime Show, a first for this event. Just another reminder that the Super Bowl is next Sunday and will OWN YOUR LIFE till then. Oh, and that Pepsi must be richer than God to afford all the celebs involved. #ditkaonawreckingball
I also would really like to buy a Chevy if John Legend is selling them. And a MasterCard from JT.
So that’s my take on the night — did I get something dead wrong in your opinion? Let me know in the comments!
In case you missed it, here’s what happened at last night’s VMAs:
Kevin Hart is NOT funny.
GaGa needs her head examined.
Chris Brown lip-synching? Weird.
Why didn’t we see Dave Grohl’s reaction during Nirvana nod?
Britney’s tribute = pitiful.
Beyoncé’s baby will be fieeeerce.
Amy’s memorial was moving.
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