Wow did the Grammys redeem themselves. After last year’s boring show, there was a lot of ground to make up and this year’s show delivered. Here are my highlights and notes from the spectacular 2019 Grammy Awards:
- Miami heat: The Miami/Havana song and dance number featuring Camila Cabello, Ricky Martin, and J Balvin (whoever that is) kicked off the show in a colorful, bombastic, and fun way.
- Hire Alicia Keys to host indefinitely: She was cool, collected, and complimentary of so many of her peers. Although she is a 15-time Grammy winner, Keys exuded the type of likability that makes you want to hang out and have a drink with her. She is a class act who looked genuinely happy to be hosting. Also, who else other than Keys could bring the star power of Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez, and Michelle Obama together on one stage. I loved how they all talked about the power of music and what it means to them.
- Miley Cyrus steals the show in two performances: She absolutely saved Shawn Mendes’ otherwise dull performance and rounded out the Dolly Parton/Maren Morris tribute trio like a pro.
- “Shallow” missed Bradley Cooper: As I mentioned in my Grammy Preview, having Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform their hit song together at the show would have been an enormous ratings boost but Cooper was in London attending another awards show. That being said, watching Gaga win for “Shallow” was definitely a highlight. Also, while I appreciated her sequined jumpsuit and rocked-out version of the song, I would have rather seen the more authentic version that included Cooper and not her insane shoes.
- Not afraid of the mic drop: Janelle Monae’s performance was the Prince tribute we didn’t know we wanted. Even though many of her moves bled purple it was so well done and ballsy that it didn’t matter.
- Post Malone showed up the Red Hot Chili Peppers: Who could have predicted that Post Malone, who from the outside looks like the poster child for what not to do in any situation, would be one of the most memorable performances of the night? Starting off singing and playing acoustic guitar and then seamlessly transitioning into a hip-hop walk-through was exciting and different. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for RHCP who showed up but didn’t put on a show. I would have much rather seen Greta Van Fleet, who are on tour and had two nominations and a win, tear the roof off the Staples Center.
- Perry + Parton: Did anyone else see Linda Perry playing guitar in the backup band behind Parton and Little Big Town?! Meanwhile, Parton absolutely belted every song she sang. She may be plastic surgery-ed out but her voice was on point.
- Introduction to H.E.R.: Before last night I had no idea who H.E.R. was but I’m glad I do now. Clad in 1990s sunglasses and a glittery jumpsuit, she shredded her clear guitar and sang with the confidence of Lauryn Hill circa 1999. I may have to play her on the radio this week as she was another artist who wasn’t afraid to hide her Prince influence. Or should I say Princefluence?
- No thanks: I have never and will never understand the appeal of Cardi B. The best part of her performance was her phenomenal piano player and her acceptance speech was by far the worst of the night.
- Fashion: Between Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus, and Meghan Trainor, among others, the Grammys were quite the braless boob show! Also, the men were all about the all-black-everything suits. Everyone was looking good!
- Keys slays: She played two pianos at once while talking and crooning her way through songs she wished she’d written, and then ended with her hit “Empire State of Mind.” Every part of her performance was flawless.
- All in the family: Diana Ross’s nine-year-old grandson was solid gold. His introduction of his “grandmommy” was so adorable I couldn’t even take it. And of course, in true diva style, her cascading red diva dress was as show-stopping as her voice.
- Loved the shout-out to music teachers around the country and the fact that Keys’ former piano teacher is now teaching her son. That kind of a recognition on the Grammy stage is so important for music education.
- Did anyone see the girl talking on her cell phone during Keys and Smokey Robinson’s presentation?! Who does that at the Grammys?
- This year’s show featured a ton of female performers: Alicia Keys, Janelle, Monae, Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B., Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Maren Morris, H.E.R., Kacey Musgraves, Lady Gaga, Brandi Carlile, Chloe and Halle, St.Vincent, etc. I wonder if that had anything to do with longtime Grammy President Neil Portnow’s exit.
- Where the hell was Childish Gambino? He won two of the biggest awards of the night (Song of the Year and Record of the Year) but didn’t attend the ceremony.
- Did Jennifer Lopez lip-sync her entire Motown number?
- Congrats to Greta Van Fleet for winning Best Rock Album!