Superstar collaborations headline the 59th Annual Grammy Awards

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This is it, music lovers! Tonight was the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. Late Late Show host and Carpool Karaoke creator James Corden made his hosting debut as some of the music industry’s biggest names came together to honor the achievements of the Recording Academy.

However, viewers were looking forward to seeing who would win the most awards of the night: Adele or Beyonce? While Beyonce has the most nominations, both the Lemonade singer and the 25 songbird were nominated for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance.  But, if we are looking at total Grammy counts the “Formation” singer’s 20 Grammys compared to Adele’s ten awards.

Who won the fight of the divas? Which collaborations rocked the house? Read on to find out!

Adele kicked off the night with a haunting rendition of “Hello.” Her powerful voice shook the Staples Center, as she delivered a flawless performance of her monster hit. (Grade: A) As Adele exited the stage, James Corden made his messy entrance, complete with a dozen backup dancers and impeccable rap regarding the nominees, the late music legends and even President Trump.

Jennifer Lopez presented Chance the Rapper with his very first Grammy: Best New Artist. The rapper thanked God for his supporting family, friends, and the city of Chicago. As the duo left the stage, Paris Jackson introduced the Weeknd and Daft Punk, who performed a few bars of “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming.” The Weeknd gave me serious MJ vibes as he sang across the Fortress of Solitude set. (Grade: B+)

A blinged out John Travolta did not follow the prompter and brought out cards to introduce Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood, who performed their collaboration: “The Fighter.” As usual, Carrie stole the show with her vocals, while Keith sadly underwhelmed me. I wished they had Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani perform “Go Ahead & Break My Heart.” (Grade: C+) Nick Jonas presented Twenty One Pilots with Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Stressed Out.” The duo dropped their pants and revealed their underwear as the rock duo accepted their award.

Fresh from his Saturday Night Live gig, Ed Sheeran took the Grammy stage and performed his new single: “Shape of You.” The one-man band tore up the stage with his impeccable on-the-spot looping and he was the first artist to make me get up and dance. (Grade: A-) Meanwhile, David Bowie received his first posthumous Grammy Award (Best Rock Performance)  for “Blackstar.”

Ryan Seacrest introduced Kelsea Ballerini and Lukas Graham, who blended two of their hits (“Seven Years” and “Peter Pan”) together for an unusual combination. Kelsea was very weak vocally in this performance, and it brought down Lukas Graham. I wished that they had Jennifer Nettles duet with the group because that collaboration would have taken the Grammy Awards to the next level of excellence. (Grade: D)

After Tina Knowles introduced her daughter, Beyonce. The pregnant superstar created a stunning visual presentation that celebrated three generations of the powerful woman in the Knowles family (Tina, Beyonce, and Blue Ivy) for “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles.”  While it was an average presentation, I wished that she performed “Daddy Lessons” or “Sorry,” because it would have been great to see Beyonce rock out! (Grade: C-)

Camilla Cabello and Thomas Rhett presented Maren Morris-the Best Country Solo Performance for “My Church.” As the trio left the stage, James brought Carpool Karaoke to the Grammys and recruited Neil Diamond, Faith Hill, John Legend, Tim McGraw, Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Tedder, and Blue Ivy Carter to perform “Sweet Caroline.” (Grade: B+) While the performers went back to the seats, Bruno Mars debuted “That’s What I Like” on the world stage. It was an excellent vocal performance, and I loved that he was singing directly to J.Lo, Faith, and Chrissy Teagan. Bravo, Bruno! (Grade: B)

Little Big Town introduced Katy Perry by performing a cover of “Teenage Dream, ” and it was spectacular. (Grade: B+) As the quartet left the stage, Katy Perry and Skip Marley debuted their new single: “Chained to the Rhythm.” I loved their performance, and they put a smile on my face. (Grade B).

Stax Records legend William Bell and Gary Clark, Jr. performed “Born Under a Bad Sign” before handing the Best Urban Contemporary Album Award to Beyonce. As the pop diva left the stage, Gina Rodriguez introduced Maren Morris and Voice coach Alicia Keys who performed “Once.” That performance was the first time I heard Maren Morris perform and I instantly became a fan. I loved the combination of their voices, and they gave me the first case of the goosies of the evening. (Grade: A+)

As the women left the stage, James Corden introduced Adele, who honored the late George Michael with her interpretation of “Fastlove.” For the first time in the show history, the “Hello” singer had to stop the performance and start the song over again. It was one of the more dramatic moments of the past few years, but Adele delivered a solid tribute to the celebrated singer. (Grade: B+)

Empire and Hidden Figures leading lady Taraji P. Henson presented Chance the Rapper with Best Rap Album for Coloring Book. After a cute moment with James’ parents who sat with both Nick Jonas and Heidi Klum, Laverne Cox introduced Metallica and Lady Gaga for a wildly spectacular performance: “Moth Into Flame.” While I loved hearing Gaga’s lower vocal register, I was worried for her, the band, and the fans who surrounded with a lot of pyrotechnics. Minus the bad microphone, this performance rocked the Staples Center to the core. (Grade: A)

Dwight Yoakum introduced Sturgill Simpson who performed “All Around You” with the Dap-Kings’ horn section as a tribute to the late Sharon Jones. Sturgill’s husky voice gave me chills, and I know that Ms. Jones would have been happy with her tribute. (Grade: B).  James Corden joined DNCE on stage to introduce the Bee Gees tribute. Demi Lovato kicked off the tribute with an amazing “Stayin’ Alive.” Tori Kelly jumped in with “Tragedy,” while Little Big Town sang “How Deep is My Love.”  Andra Day brought it home with “Night Fever, ” and all of the acts joined forces to conclude the tribute with “Stayin’ Alive.” (Grade: B+)

Celine Dion handed Adele and Greg Kurstin, the Song of the Year Grammy for “Hello.” Adele praised Greg for coming to London to help her finish her record and favorite song. Unfortunately, as Greg was about to speak, the music cut him off, which lead to a lot of boos. In all honesty, I rather heard Greg Kurstin talk than watch A Tribe Called Quest and Anderson Paak’s abysmal political performance. (Grade: F)

The Grammys paid homage to Prince when Bruno Mars teamed up with one of Prince’s greatest collaborators: The Time. I loved watching Beyonce, Jay-Z, Laverne Cox, James Corden, Paul Williams, Nick Jonas, and Rihanna dance out to the Time. I got chills seeing Prince’s symbol flash across the screen and Bruno Mars in Purple Rain attire as he performed “Let’s Go Crazy.” His guitar solo was wickedly awesome, and it was one of the night’s many highlights. What a great tribute! (Grade: A)

Halsey and Jason Derulo introduced Chance the Rapper. I have no words to describe this performance but I was impressed by his impeccable set. He took us to church and I believe that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. (Grade: A-)

The night winded down when John Legend and Cynthia Erivo performed “God Only Knows” for the artists that died in the past year. Faith Hill & Tim McGraw presented the two biggest awards of the night: “Record of the Year” and “Album of the Year.”  Both of these awards went to Adele!


Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar