As usual, viewers of the 2016 Grammy awards sat through a three and a half hour show – a mix of hits and misses – while there were very few actual awards handed out. However, when it comes to this particular ceremony, the performances and side-shows are what make this show such a crowd pleaser. We look at the 8 things that we learned from a night of ups and downs for some of the world’s biggest music stars.
- Taylor Swift Is Simply Unstoppable
For many observers, predicting who would walk away with the Album of the Year award became a tough job when favorite Taylor Swift lost some of the earlier awarded pop music trophies, while Kendrick Lamar blew the audience away. However, Swift proved she was unstoppable, with her seminal ‘1989’ album finally scooping the top prize. It was admittedly a relief for the country/rock crossover singer, who later admitted after the show that she was inconsolable after losing out in the same category at the Grammys a few years ago.
- A Night of Mishaps for Adele
Adele, an artist who has sold more records in her career than most Grammy nominees combined, clearly had everyone’s attention when she took to the stage with everyone expecting her to bring the house down. Unfortunately, the star had to deal with a string of technical problems during the course of her performance; in the first instance, her microphone inexplicably went off for a couple of seconds, followed by a sound that sounded as if someone was playing their guitar out of tune.
Later, she tweeted to her fans, explaining that a microphone that had fallen into the piano strings was responsible for the awful noise. Although nobody will hold the incident against her, Adele sounded like she was singing from the bottom of a well.
- Kendrick Lamar Is the Real Deal
Undoubtedly, the ‘pride of Compton,’ Kendrick Lamar’s – How Much a Dollar Cost is one of President Obama’s favorite songs. On the night, the rapper put on an electric performance that absolutely blew everyone away and it also saved a night that had plenty of indifferent performances. The best part was that it also drew the spotlight away from Kanye West’s industrial-prison complex tweets that had threatened to mar the night. To include a poignant reference to Trayvor Martin’s death in such an artful and lively performance breathed life into a stiff and mainstream event. He crowned it all by picking up an award for the track, To Pimp a Butterfly.
- A Night of (Sleepy) Ballads
When you have a highly anticipated, globally televised awards show like the Grammys, which is almost four hours long (when you attend the event, it is even longer), you need to find ways to occasionally pep up the audience. Lining up a torpid list of sleepy ballads is definitely not the way to do it. With a selection of slow-tempo music from the likes of Tori Kelly, Carrie Underwood, Ellie Goulding, James Bay, Andra Day, Sam Hunt and Big Town, the Grammys this year produced a lot of yawns.
- Is There Anyone Who Listens To Kanye’s Rants Anymore?
The hours that preceded the awards show, West blew up on Twitter, attacking the negative reviews of his new album. Taylor Swift did not waste any time using the Grammy platform to get back at the controversial rap star, who attributes Swift’s success to the episode where he crashed her video Music Awards acceptance speech.
In a thinly veiled dig at West, Swift said, “There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments.” She added that all that young ladies need to do is stay focused on their work and avoid letting negative people sidetrack them. “Someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there,” she said.
- Johnny Depp Could be a Rock Star Yet!
For movie buffs that are unfamiliar with rock music, Johnny Depp’s performance may have come as a pleasant surprise. Depp raised the roof along with his band, known as the Hollywood Vampires. Other members of the band are Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Alice Cooper. Introduced by Dave Grohl and backed up by Duff McKagan and Guns and Roses’ Matt Sorum, they took the audience on an exhilarating musical journey in tribute to Lemmy. For many Depp fans, his energetic show was the most convincing show he has put on in years.
- Rihanna Just Cannot Catch a Break
Rihanna continues to endure a tough time as she attempts to return to pop music. After a messy and ambiguous ‘Anti’ response, Rihanna had to deal with more bad luck after her planned Grammy performance had to be canceled at the last minute. Even after making it to the venue, she received a warning from her doctor that performing at the awards would be an injury risk for her vocal cords. In the end, she had to go home.
- You Just Cannot Help But Love Meghan Trainor
Whether you are into Meghan Trainor’s brand of teensy bubblegum pop, it is hard not to fall for her unbridled and extremely emotional reaction and heartfelt speech when she took the award for Best New Artist. As soon as the All About That Bass star’s song was announced as the winner, she erupted in a flood of emotion that it is even a wonder she managed to make it to the stage.
2016 Grammy Awards – Where to from here?
Is the Grammy’s all that it used to be? It seems like as the years go by, the music is becoming less relevant and all the theatrics are where the attention is drawn. From the skimpy “gown-less evening straps” to the ranting West’s, the question is, when will the music come first again?