Last night, some of the biggest names in music came together at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to celebrate the 58th annual Grammy Awards. But during the live broadcast, only seven awards were given out. Instead, the majority of the show was filled with a large variety of performances. Here are our top five performances of the night:
5. Little Big Town – Girl Crush
The country group didn’t need any special effects to make this performance incredible, just the power of their voices. They stood on a circular and illuminated stage and just had their mics and instruments. Karen Fairchild had the lead vocals and the rest of the band backed her flawlessly with some of the best raw talent of the night.
4. Justin Bieber and Jack U – Love Yourself, Where Are U Now
The YouTube-sensation turned world famous heartthrob took the Grammy stage for the first time after also winning his first Grammy for Best Dance Recording. He started with an acoustic rendition of ‘Love Yourself’ changing the octave to one higher and showcasing his raw talent. Then he ran back to the main stage where he joined Skrillex and Diplo for an exciting live version of ‘Where Are U Now’ that featured an electric guitar, drums, keyboard, a mini orchestra and dancing from the Biebs himself.
3. Lady Gaga – Space Oddity, Changes, Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City, Rebel Rebel, Fashion, Fame, Let’s Dance, Heroes
There is no one who could have pulled off a David Bowie tribute better than this generation’s own version of him. Lady Gaga’s performance began with the camera zoomed in on her face as she sang “Ground control to Major Tom…” and a projection of the famous orange and blue lightning over her left eye. She went through nine of Bowie’s hits, ending the tribute with ‘Heroes’. The standing ovation Gaga received tells us we’re not alone in ranking her this high.
2. Adele – All I Ask
For four years, we’ve heard nothing from Adele and then last November she blew us away with the record breaking ‘Hello’ and the accompanying 25. Last night she returned to the Grammy stage to bring that album to life. Although she had some sound issues during the first verse of the performance, that didn’t seem to faze her. She brought people to tears as well as fighting back her own during the emotional ballad in which she was joined only by a piano. Very few artists can demand the attention of not only of those in attendance, but also the millions watching too, with just a powerhouse voice, but Adele isn’t your average pop star.
1. Kendrick Lamar – Blacker the Berry, Alright, freestyle
The most talked about and, some would say, most controversial performance of the evening, as well as our number one pick, goes to rapper Kendrick Lamar. The set started with him in chains, in a jailhouse rapping ‘Blacker the Berry’ and then moved to a large bonfire surrounded by African dancers, where he raped ‘Alright’. The executive producer of the Grammys, Ken Elrich said about the performance “It is overtly political and it is overtly provocative, and I think if nothing else it’s going to give people something to think about and talk about.” Many people disagree with the praise the performance is receiving, but an artist used his art and his opportunity to showcase something important, and he did it very well.
Honorable mention also include the Lionel Richie tribute featuring John Legend, Demi Lovato, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor, Tyrese and Lionel Richie himself, Hamilton, the Maurice White tribute featuring Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix, Andra Day with Ellie Goulding, the Glenn Frey tribute featuring Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Joe Walsh and Tim Schmidt and lastly, Joey Alexander.