LAS VEGAS, NV—I think I’m like most Americans who feel like the Grammy Awards are overrated and not as entertaining as they used to be. It is an awards show, but they barely give out any awards and when the ceremony clocks in close to 4 hours, which is just as long if not longer than the Academy Awards you have a problem. You know what we should be doing: we should just rename it to the Grammy’s Concert because that is exactly what it is.
I’m NOT as musically verse as I used to be, I guess music just doesn’t move me the way it used to people. With all that said, the 64th Annual Grammy Awards were handed out from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 3. Jon Batiste led all contenders with 11 nominations including Album of the Year, but something told me Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett might be dark horses of the night people, they were NOT. Winners of the night in Olivia Rodrigo, Jon Batiste and Chris Stapleton, who earned multiple awards before the ceremony started, but Batiste took home 5 awards including the coveted Album of the Year.
Comedian and late night host Trevor Noah kicked off festivities with a performance by Bruno Mars and Silk sonic. It was a slow, jazz infused performance taking one back to the old school days of music. The ceremony is a lot different, as Noah did his best to deliver jokes, but they really were NOT landing in my opinion. Here’ a tip: The Grammys does NOT need a host people. I did grin when he slightly poked fun at last week’s incident involving Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars.
Just like that we have another performance, this time from Best New Artist contender Olivia Rodrigo who has had a stellar 2021. The youngster can indeed carry a note people. Three performances in the first 15 minutes, are we going to see any awards handed out? J. Balvin performed singing in Spanish, so I had no idea what was being said.
Song of the Year, that is a big award to be presented so earlier in the night and to be the first award of the night which was presented by Quest Love, and again here we go with the Will Smith and Chris Rock incident again. Look it was a week ago people, there are more pressing things in the world transpiring. No clue who could win this prize, but when the envelope was opened it was “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic that claimed the prize. Was I surprised by the win? Yeah, I was.
The pop sensation BTS took to the stage and likely had millions of girls across the world screaming at their TV scream people, complete with dance moves as they performed their ubiquitous hit “Butter” which is so damn catchy you cannot help, but sing along. Those guys sure as hell no how to entertain on the stage. Once again, instead of handing out awards, the Grammys give a minor token to the 76 other categories that won’t receive the same treatment as the 10 awards that are likely to be handed out during this drag of an awards ceremony.
Lil Nas X took to the stage and he previewed that he was going to deliver a performance people would be talking about, as a religious tone, soon transitioned to his hit “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” before transitioning into a stepping routine. He was later joined onstage by Jack Harlow, but I’m waiting for the shocking moment, but nothing yet people and we didn’t get one, but still an entertaining performance to say the least. Fifty minutes into the ceremony and we get our second award of the night for Best Country Album presented to Chris Stapleton for “Starting Over.”
Oscar winner, Billie Eilish took to the stage to perform a sober song, while standing in a pool of water people. That soon turned into a rock n’ roll infused mayhem full of what was to appear as raindrops. It was indeed interesting to say the least America. It was funny to see Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa appear on the stage in the same outfit with an assist from Donatella Versace to present the prize for Best New Artist to Olivia Rodrigo. The youngster was in literally tears as she took to the stage to collect her Grammy. Music legends Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt took to the stage to introduce five-time Grammy nominee Brandi Carlile. Damn, I had no idea Carlile had vocal range like that. Purely gave me chills people.
Ok, this is bringing me back to my high school and early college days as rapper Nas took to the stage to perform a medley of his hits. Seriously, where has this guy been people; I forgot how great of a lyricist this man was. The Grammy for Best Rap Performance went to “Family Ties” for Baby Keem feat. Kendrick Lamar. Chris Stapleton took to the stage and I will admit this guy has a catalogue of songs that are damn catchy and soothing to say the least.
I will admit for so much musical talent in this room, this ceremony doesn’t have that punch that previous Grammys have had in the past. In an emotional moment, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the audience discussing the crisis in Ukraine at the hands of Russia, just as John Legend took to the stage to belt out a rousing ballad. This is not a fun awards show people, 2 hours in and I don’t know how I’m going to make it another 90 minutes.
Perhaps Lady Gaga singing old time jazz in a tribute to music legend Tony Bennett will help energize the ceremony. It was a performance I’m not used to seeing from Gaga, but change is good people. Gaga soon channeled that energy to a somber ballad as highlights of her with Bennett played on the screen. The Grammy Award for Best R&B Album was a victory for “Heaux Tales” by Jazmine Sullivan. She was stunned by the victory as she gave her acceptance speech.
Oscar Winner Jared Leto presented the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album to Olivia Rodrigo for “Sour.” Jon Batiste, who led all Grammy contenders with 11 nominations took to the stage to perform a colorful set that included the piano and an opportunity for the audience to go to church. We are literally 3 hours in and still several musical acts to go and at least 2 major awards that have NOT been handed out. The Grammys NEED to seriously take a cue from the Oscars and find a way to shorten the awards ceremony. It gets duller by the minute every year. Avril Lavigne presented the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance to Doja Cat and SZA for “Kiss Me More.” It was indeed a moment watching Sza run to the stage in crutches, just as Doja was rushing to the stage after going to the bathroom. It was a hilarious moment and this might have been one of the stiffest races of the night because I could argue “BTS” or Justin Bieber deserved the award just as much. Also Coldplay is NOT pop music people!
H.E.R. who might be one of the most slept on musical talents in the past 5 years took to the stage with an assist from Lenny Kravitz, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Travis Barker that was indeed a moment on the stage people. Keith Urban presented the prize for Record of the Year to “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic. They also won the prize for Song of the Year for the same hit at the start of the ceremony on Sunday.
Carried Underwood took to the stage to perform her new hit “Ghost Story” which sounds like a hit if you ask me America. It’s very catchy, watch out it could be a major contender at the 2023 ceremony. Music icon Lenny Kravitz presented the Grammy for Album of the Year to Jon Batiste for “We Are.” The artist with the most nominations this year was stunned by the win. Batiste gave a humbling acceptance speech.
The ceremony was closed out by the Brothers Osbourne, after 3 hours and 30 minutes. I get its music’s biggest night, but getting thru the end of this ceremony was tough, but I can officially say: I’M GLAD AWARDS SEASON IS FINALLY OVER!