On the night of Sunday, Feb. 10th, the biggest stars hit the stage to perform and accept their awards. Alicia Keys hosted the awards, which she is no stranger to the Grammys as she has won a whopping 15 Grammys’ herself. In a history-making night full of controversy, women and rap won big. Here’s a quick recap of the main parts of the award show.
Camila Cabello had a big year last year and it carried over to this year as she opened the ceremony with Young Thug, J Balvin, Ricky Martin, and Arturo Sandoval. Playing her chart-topping song “Havanna” (which was nominated that night for Best Pop Solo Performance) featuring Thug himself, she brought her best version of Havanna to the stage. The performance included a very creative use of lighting and decor. Camila sadly left the Grammys empty-handed, but she surely left her mark on the stage.
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 11, 2019
Childish Gambino and Kacey Musgraves Won Big
Childish Gambino won big at the Grammys by winning four awards. This brings Childish Gambino to a total of five Grammys’ – winning one last year for Best Traditional R&B Performance with “Redbone.“ Childish Gambino made history with being the first rapper to win Song of the Year and Track of the Year. This fact shows how out of touch the Grammys have been with Rap over the years as it took 61 years for this to happen. With this win, Young Thug has also won his first Grammy as he worked on the track with Childish. Ludwig Göransson produced “This Is America“ and accepted the awards for Childish as he was not at the awards. Some fans noticed that he was among the few who acknowledged the arrest of 21 Savage and shouted him out. 21 Savage also worked on this track and was supposed to attend at the Grammys, but due to the recent ICE arrest, this made that impossible. The lack of attention towards 21 Savage was kind of a punch in the face as he was nominated for two Grammys and rumored to be set to perform with Post Malone. “This Is America” also won Best Music Video and Best Rap/Sung Performance.
Kacey Musgraves won big at the Grammys taking home Best Country Solo Performance, Best Country Song and Best Country Album. Kaceys’ Golden Hour won the biggest award of the night, Album of the Year, which was fitting as her album was highly reviewed and landed on plenty of album of the year list.
Janelle Monáe Stole the Show & Ariana Grande Wins Her First Grammy
Janelle Monáe was nominated for Album of the Year for Dirty Computer and Best Music Video for “Pynk,“ featuring Grimes. Dirty Computer was well received by her peers and fans but was left without an award. That didn’t affect her and she destroyed the stage when performing a fan favorite from the Grammy-nominated album – “Make Me Feel.“ From the choreography to the custom design you could tell this was a tribute to Prince, but with her own twist. Ariana Grande won her first Grammy for Best pop vocal album with Sweetener, which was well deserved as that album dominated the charts.
Post Malone Performing with Red Hot Chili Peppers
Post Malone took the stage and performed his hit tracks from his Grammy-nominated album Beerbongs & Bentleys – “Stay“ and “rockstar“ featuring 21 Savage. People on Twitter were ready to throw their tomatoes at Post if he didn’t mention 21 Savage. He did indeed though support his friend by sporting a tee shirt with his name on it. This was a heartwarming moment as he acknowledged 21 on the big screen during the performance. Fans seemed to love his performance until Red Hot Chili Peppers hit the stage as many felt it was messy and their voices didn’t match well together.
Cardi B Made History
Cardi B had a monster year last year and grabbed the attention of many as she is known now as a heavy header in a male led genre. Cardi’s performance was everything you would expect from Cardi B. It was nothing short of entertaining, especially as she performed her new hit “Money.” The performance was filled with creative costumes, a creative twerk routine, an amazing live band, and of course Offset showing he loved the performance as much as the fans. Cardi B became the first female rapper to win Best Rap Album with Invasion of Privacy, which of course came with controversy after some felt the late Mac Millers’ Swimming should’ve won, and one of these people was Ariana Grande. In her since-deleted tweets, she says “THEY INVITED HIS PARENTS OUT. NO.“ She said more and there are screenshots out on the web. Ariana says there’s no disrespect towards Cardi B, but on the bright side Cardi acknowledged the disagreements and tweeted “WE WON A F*CKIN GRAMMY“ after Mac Miller’s family said before the show that if he didn’t win then they’ are rooting for Cardi B. Cardi B accepted the award and for the first time, we see Cardi B’s emotion overpower her and is in disbelief that she’s now a Grammy award-winning artist.
Drake’s Acceptance Speech
Drake took home Best Rap Song with “God’s Plan,“ which was a smash hit at the beginning of 2018 and had everyone recording themselves doing good deeds. But that wasn’t the highlight of the night. When Drake accepted the award he gave a firm, heartfelt speech — telling artists all around the industry to not get discouraged because they didn’t win tonight. He states “know we play in an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport. It is not the NBA… This is a business where sometimes it is up to a bunch of people that might not understand what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say… or a brother from Houston right there, my brother Travis….” Which seem to be perfect timing after Travis Scott was snubbed and walked out empty handed. It seems the show’s producers did not like this and cut his acceptance speech to go to a commercial break, but who knows the real reason.
Michelle Obama’s Surprise Appearance and the Motown Tribute
Michelle Obama made a surprise visit and the crowd couldn’t get enough of her as indicated by them giving her a standing ovation for about two mins. Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Jada Pinkett Smith, all stood on stage to tell their stories of their road to success in the music industry. The moment was very encouraging for up and coming artist of all backgrounds to keep pushing and let their voices and stories be heard. Jennifer Lopez took the stage to pay tribute to Motown Records (if you didn’t know Motown Records was a revolutionary record label that helped black artists break into the mainstream, which was nearly impossible in the 1950s). Many people spewed their doubts about Jennifer Lopez doing the tribute, but nonetheless, she did and did a great job with help from Neyo, Alicia Keys and a legendary artist who was once signed to Motown, Smokey Robinson.
Recap of Rap and R&B Awards
The fresh artist H.E.R won her first two Grammys with Best R&B Performance for “Best Part” featuring Daniel Caesar, which is also Daniel Caesar’s first Grammy. H.E.R also took home Best R&B Album with her self-titled project H.E.R. There were two ties in the two genres with Best Traditional R&B Performance being a two-way tie between Leon Bridges‘s “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” and PJ Morton‘s “How Deep Is Your Love” featuring Yebba. Best Rap Performance also had a two-way tie between Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake‘s “King’s Dead“ and Anderson .Paak’s “Bubblin.” This was the first Grammy for Future, Jay Rock, James Blake, and Anderson.Pakk.
Grammy “In Memoriam” Controversy
2018 was a very sad year in music as we lost many talented artists from the big names like Mac Miller, Avicii and Aretha Franklin to some of the smaller names like Young Greatness. Every year the Grammy pays respect to these artists with a video montage of them all, but there were some names missing from the list; names like XXXTENTACION, Vinnie Paul, and Reggie Lucas. Of course, their fans and family were outraged by this and the Academy has yet to comment or fix this. Reports are coming out saying that some of the artists were left out due to their troubled past like XXX. But if this is true then that makes the Recording Academy hypocritical due to other artists on the list that have had troubled pasts. Who knows if this was intentional or not. Regardless, their music and legacy will live on forever.