The 60th Grammy Awards hosted by James Corden aired on Sunday night and with it came surprises, politics and no lack of drama. From its energetic opening performance by Kendrick Lamar, to the powerful and evocative messages driven home by performances from Kesha and Camila Cabello, and even a cameo appearance in the form of Hillary Clinton, the Grammys was jam-packed with events that led to a memorable night.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was that 21-time Grammy winner Jay-Z did not take home a single award this time around, despite being nominated in eight categories. Instead it was Bruno Mars who cleaned up the most coveted prizes of both Album of the Year and Record of the Year with “24K Magic”. The singer picked up all six awards that he was nominated for. Ed Sheeran notably won both awards in which he was nominated, with “Shape of You” winning in the Best Pop Solo Performance category and “Divide” winning the Best Pop Vocal Album. “Wild Things” singer Alessia Cara, who burst onto the music scene in 2017, unsurprisingly took home the Best New Artist award.
Second only to Bruno Mars was Kendrick Lamar, who took home five Grammys including Best Rap/Sung Performance with “Loyalty” featuring Rihanna. His performance at the start of the show kicked off what would be a night filled with socio-political awareness, when backup dancers in Lamar’s set dressed in red hoodies appeared to be gunned down.
The political digs were only getting started, though, with Lamar’s performance. Throughout the show, host James Corden had a host of presenters and performers alike, ranging from John Legend, to Cher, and even Hillary Clinton, read excerpts from Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
The readings were not the only instances in which the Trump Presidency was acknowledged, however, with “Havana” singer and proud Cuban-Mexican immigrant Camila Cabello taking to the stage to deliver a talk on the DACA campaign. In her introduction to a U2 performance, she said “All I know is, just like dreams, these kids can’t be forgotten and are worth fighting for.”
The most anticipated performance of the night, though, came from Kesha, with her powerful and emotional comeback song “Praying”. She had a massive ensemble backup cast including singers such as Cindy Lauper and Camila Cabello, which demonstrated perfectly the amount of support that has been garnered around the world from the #MeToo movement. Kesha’s inspirational return to the music scene has been anticipated for years and to give a performance fuelled by so much emotion through her legal battle with Lukasz Gottwald signifies a true comeback on her part.
The night was rounded up with Logic and Alessia Cara, bringing suicide prevention awareness to light with their song “1-800-273-8255”. Their dedication was received with survivors standing alongside the duo on stage. Logic said, fittingly, “To all the beautiful countries filled with culture and diversity and thousands of years of history, you are not shithole countries.”
Next up in Awards Season will be on March 4, with the 90th Oscars hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.