The 61st annual Grammy Awards show took place this past Sunday and left an imprint on many who tuned in. First time wins, cut off speeches, iconic tributes and performances did not disappoint! Host, Alicia Keys performed a sequence of covers including Lauryn Hill, Drake, Coldplay and more. She showed off her skills by hopping back and forth between two pianos while playing at the same time!
Camila Cabello was joined onstage with Young Thug. She opened the show strong with her performance of hit single “Havana.” Camila recreated her music video onstage, wearing a vibrant yellow matching outfit while going through multiple rooms in a two story set. The pop star was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Havana” and Best Pop Vocal Album for her debut album “Camila.” The Cuban inspired performance was later joined by J Balvin and Ricky Martin to start off the show with a kick!
Kacey Musgrave won album of the year for “Golden Hour.” The artist reportedly has had barely any air time on the radio, but that is not what it is about when it comes to Kacey. Speaking to reporters backstage, the country star responded,”To me, radio isn’t necessarily the mark of what makes good music.” The star had an eventful evening winning album of the year, best country album, best country song, and best country solo performance. She also sang with Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Maren Morris in an inspiring performance honoring Dolly Parton.
Drake won Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan” after having feuded with the president of The Grammy Awards. Drake believes the award show does not properly acknowledge artists and do not give credit to enough people. “We play in an opinion-based sport, not a fact-based sport,” said Drake. “Unlike basketball, there are no stats for us to measure talent or skill. The point is, you’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown. Look, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and snow, spending money to buy tickets to your shows, you don’t need this right here. You already won.” But…then the show cut to commercial. Afterwards, it was clarified the cut off was not intentional during Drake’s speech. “There was a natural pause and at that moment, the producers did assume that he was done and then cut to commercial, said Sunshine Sachs’ Michael Samonte. However, the producers did speak with Drake following his speech and offered him to come back on stage to finish his thoughts. Drake said he was happy with what he said and didn’t have anything else to add.
Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance when she walked onstage alongside Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez and joining host, Alicia Keys. It was a moment of female empowerment. The former First Lady managed to speak through the applause saying, “From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through the last decade— music has always helped me tell my story and I know that’s true for everybody here.”
2018 was a big year for Cardi B. The rapper was nominated for five awards and won Best Rap Album for “Invasion of Privacy.” Her acceptance speech was genuinely touching and showed even the best performers get nervous. She gave an iconic performance with her new song “Money.” A classical pianist began the song with attitude and confidence as Cardi waited for her cue performing in a see through crystal bodysuit that accentuated her curves!
Ariana Grande won her first Grammy in the category of Best Pop Vocal Album for “Sweetener.” The pop star did not attend the show after declining the invitation to perform at the ceremony. She posted the custom dress by Zac Posen she would have worn to the award show on her Instagram. Ariana said she “offered three songs to perform for the Grammys team to choose.” She unfortunately expressed there was a lack of “collaboration” and “support” specifically from Grammy producer, Ken Erhlich. “It’s about collaboration. It’s about feeling supported,” she added. “It’s about art and honesty. Not politics. Not doing favors or playing games. It’s just a game y’all.. and I’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me.” After all of what she had to say, Ariana still won a Grammy. Which was very much deserved!
By Desiree Cantu
Cover Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy