NEW YORK CITY—Well for the first time in nearly 15 years, the Grammy Awards returned to its original staple ground at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, January 28 to celebrate not only its 60th anniversary, but the best in music. Leading all contenders was rapper Jay-Z with a total of 8 nominations, followed close behind was rapper Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars with 7 nominations apiece.

While this is indeed an awards show, there wasn’t many awards being handed out at all America, only 8, and when you have over 100 plus categories it sucks that many of the people who should get that recognition go unnoticed in favor of musical performances. The Grammy Awards have become longer than any other awards show there is, including the Academy Awards. What’s the difference? The Oscars actually hand out trophies for all categories.

That is my biggest grip with the Grammy Awards lately is they’ve been doing these fusion performances that aren’t that entertaining. Let the artists do what they do best solo, unless it’s a collaboration that was a massive hit to begin with. So who would reign supreme? Mars and Lamar each kicked off the night with a few wins under their belt, but in the end Mars was the big winner sweeping all the categories he was nominated for. Kendrick Lamar picked up a total of 5 awards. However, rapper Jay-Z, who led all contenders, was completely shutout.

Well, after being overlooked several times by the Recording Academy Kendrick Lamar finally earned the accolades he so deserved. Speaking of Kendrick, he kicked off the ceremony with a theatrical performance of his hit “XXX” that was political in nature, and was later joined on stage by rock group U2. Man that performance was electric and a great way to kick off the show; he even included a comedic moment involving Dave Chappelle.

The ceremony was hosted by late-night talk show host James Corden, as the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaign continued to make waves this awards season. However, instead of donning all black like the Golden Globes, celebrities and musicians wore white roses to show solidarity and support. Lady Gaga soon hit the stage alongside Mark Ronson singing her hit “Joanne” and “Million Reasons,” and delivered a sensational vocal performance. Gosh, I love that the Grammy telecast highlighted the name of each song for the performances.

The first prize of the night for Best Rap/Sung Performance went to Kendrick Lamar feat. Rihanna for “Loyalty.” Must say I’m slightly surprised, I thought that was a category where Jay-Z would take the prize. At least the Grammys aren’t waiting a ton of time like previous ceremonies to hand out awards. Considered both a gift and a curse, the Grammy for Best New Artist went to Alessia Cara, who I absolutely think deserved that prize. That woman has a terrific voice and has been killing the airwaves the past year. Little Big Town performed their hit “Better Man” from high in the sky via the iconic Empire State Building.

Best Pop Solo Performance was a win for Ed Sheeran for “Shape of You.” Ed might have been snubbed in some of the major categories, but he added two more Grammys to his collection Sunday night. The biggest hit of 2017 and perhaps the most viewed video ever was “Despacito,” which saw its collaborators Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi hit the stage to perform their smash hit. Who would reign supreme Jay-Z or Kendrick Lamar in the Best Rap Album category? Dave Chappelle knew the answer and presented the prize to Kendrick Lamar for “DAMN.”

Perhaps in one of her most dramatic performances to date (no theatrics here), Pink took to the stage to belt up a vocal performance completely stripped down. Bruno Mars and Cardi B took to the stage to perform their latest hit “Finesse.” Mars definitely has the dance moves America! I am seriously baffled that of all the Grammys that could be handed out Sunday night, Best Comedy Album was televised. Like seriously, this is about music, how about highlighting musicians not comedians.

Revered singer Sting took to the stage to perform his hit “Englishman in New York,” just as DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller had the entire crowd dancing on their feet when they took to the stage. The Grammy Award for Best Country Album was delivered to Chris Stapleton “From a Room: Volume 1.” Eric Church, Maren Morris and the Brothers Osbourne took to the stage to pay tribute to the survivors and victims of the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017 with the song “Tears From Heaven.”

The Grammys delivered an unforgettable moment making sure the #TimesUp movement is not just focused on Hollywood and Washington D.C. It was an all-star performance that included Kesha, Cyndi Lauper and Camilla Cabello. Kesha delivered raw emotions that were without a doubt a moment that will be talked about for days to come.

“Get Out of Your Own Way” was performed by U2 in the middle of the water of New York City. Nearly 120 minutes into the ceremony, we get one of the Big 3 presented, Song of the Year by music icon Sting to “That’s What I like” by Bruno Mars. Indeed a tough category, where I thought it could have gone to any of the contenders.

Sir Elton John took to the stage to perform alongside Miley Cyrus to sing his hit “Tiny Dancer.” Wow, Tony winner Ben Platt sure can belt out a tune people. He makes some of the musicians nowadays look like a novice. Sza performed from her hit “Broken Clocks.” Alicia Keys presented the Grammy Award for Record of the Year to “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars. Bruno is having a good night, but I do believe that prize should have gone to either “Despacito” or “Humble.” Fingers crossed that Lamar finally gets his long due prize for Album of the Year. Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid took to the stage to perform their inspirational hit “1-800-273-8255” to influence change; a memorable moment to say the least America.

Well after 3 hours and 30 minutes the 2018 Grammy Awards came to an end with U2 presenting the prize for Album of the Year to “24K Magic.” Yeah, that audible gasp from the entire crowd tells everyone how disappointed everyone at home was with that revelation. Once again, Kendrick was robbed.

Out of all the awards shows, I’ve always deemed the Grammy Awards as one of the longest and boring of the bunch because things seem to drag. However, the 2018 ceremony moved at a steady pace. Maybe that’s because the ceremony was in New York and started at 7:30 p.m. EST. Hmm, hear is hoping the trend continues in 2019!