…And we are live blogging the 54th Grammy Award Show coming to you live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California courtesy of CBS. Although the normally jubilant ceremony is overshadowed by the untimely death of Whitney Houston, the pop female vocalist who once ruled at the Grammy Awards, there is certainly going to be some celebration tonight as the Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist are named. So who rules the gramaphone?
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band rock the opening of the 54th Grammy Awards with “We Take Care of Our Own.” Katy Perry is looking beautifully “normal.” LL Cool J comes on stage as the host and immediately asks everyone to join in a prayer for the fallen sister, Whitney Houston. It was a somber moment which lead into his short speech about how music helps heal. Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” Grammy performance from 1989 after which Adele was welcomed back. Bruno Mars, who has six Grammy nominations tonight, takes the stage, dressed in gold, to sing “Runaway Baby.” I love this guy and his modern twist on the throwback style of doo woop!
Bonnie Raitt and Alicia Keys perform a tribute to Etta James “Sunday Kind of Love” before presenting the “Best Pop Solo Performance” Grammy to Adele for “Someone Like You.” Bruno Mars was thrilled as he could be seen dancing backstage after the announcement even though he was one of the nominations for “Grenade.” Chris Brown took the stage in a performance of “Turn Up the Music” and “Beautiful People” which was considerably better than ever seen before but the choreography was confusing and the costuming even more so…what’s up with the bat wings? Although he did some great isolations and footwork, the overall dancing came in spurts with more than usual standing for Chris.
Fergie and Marc Anthony present the Grammy for “Best Rap Performance” which goes to Kanye West and Jay-Z for “Otis” for which there is relatively little enthusiasm…they do not even seem missed as Marc and Fergie accept the award for the duo. Reba McIntire introduces Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson who perform “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” The Hugo gears backdrop stage setting was fantastic! Outside, Jack Black introduces the Foo Fighters who won four early Grammy Awards as the perform “Walk” to a head banging crowd.
After the first hour, I must state this is the best Grammy Award show I have seen in years. There is a great pace as well as wonderful spacing of the performances and awards while taking time out to provide dedications to those musicians taken this year. The dresses have not been too outrageous so far including Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, and Katy Perry who are almost understated!
The dapper rapper LL Cool J introduces the performance of Rihanna who shares the stage with Coldplay. Rihanna appears first singing “We Found Love” with choreography that resembles a sexified workout video. This melts into a duet between her and Chris Martin from Coldplay of “You Stole My Star.” Finally Coldplay commands the stage but Martin’s vocals fall flat several times throughout “Paradise.” Pauley Perrette escorts Superbowl Champs Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz onstage to present the “Best Rock Performance” which goes to the Foo Fighters! Ryan Seacrest introduces the next combination performance in celebration of the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary with begins with Maroon 5 singing “Little Surfer Girl” followed by Foster the People singing “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” The finale is when the Beach Boys come onstage to sing “Good Vibrations” sending us baby boomers back to those days of fun in the sun. These guys sounded GREAT!
The Trustees Awards go to Dave Bartholomew, Steve Jobs, and Rudy Van Gelder. Stevie Wonder, who has won more than 2o Grammy Awards, takes the stage and plays a little harmonica before introducing (Sir) Paul McCartney who sings a new song “My Valentine.” He sounds old even though it is a smooth performance. Common and Taraji P. Henson present the Grammy Award for “Best R&B Album” which goes to Chris Brown for “Fame.” Seriously? What about the album is remotely rhythm and blues? Completely disagree with this! The Civil Wars play before introducing Taylor Swift. Now this was a kickin’ homespun hoe down performance to “Mean” which was reminiscent of “Hee Haw!” LOVED this!
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) presents the “Song of the Year” Grammy Award to Adele for “Rolling in the Deep” which she is about to sing in a few minutes. The only comment her is I wished she had not been chomping gum during each of her award speeches so far tonight. Kate Beckinsale, along with LL Cool J, introduce the performance by Katy Perry which starts off with “Extraterrestrial” and abruptly stops to go into the Russell Brand tune, “Part of Me,” which is her new single to hit the streets tomorrow so we get a preview! Woohoo! She is HOT and bouncing around in the cleavage bearing outfit! Miranda Lambert and Dirks Bentley present the Grammy Award for “Best Country Album” which goes to Lady Antebellum for “Own the Night.” Gwyneth Paltrow introduces Adele who takes the stage for her much anticipated return follow throat surgery to sing “Rolling in the Deep.” She seems comfortable with the performance even though it seems she struggles a little bit with the lower notes in the song. It is great to see her back, though! I love her voice…so raw, so unique, so NOW and represented by the four Grammy Awards she has won tonight!
So who rules the gramaphone tonight? It looks like Adele and Foo Fighters are each in there with four each from what has been discussed on the show so far. For those who are wondering, Skrillex has received two Grammy Awards so far this evening and we are still waiting to see who walks away with the “Best New Artist.”
Taylor Swift offers a heartfelt introduction (in a fabulous dress) to Glen Campbell who is suffering from Alzheimer’s as he is joined by The Band Perry and Blake Shelton as they pay homage to several of his award winning songs. The Band Perry starts off the tribute with “Gentle on My Mind” followed by Blake Shelton singing “Southern Night.” Glen Campbell himself takes the stage in a moving performance of “Rhinestone Cowboy” interactively with the audience. Carrie Underwood (another stunning dress) asks the still crooning Tony Bennett to join her onstage after announcing he won a Grammy Award tonight for his “Duets II” album as they sing “It Had To Be You” before presenting the “Best New Artist” award to Bon Iver.
Paul McCartney is declared MusicCares “Person of the Year” after bringing in a record $12M in fundraising and after some words from the CEO of the Grammy Foundation and a tribute memorializing several individuals lost this past year including Amy Winehouse, Phoebe Snow, Steve Jobs, Jimmy Castor, Frank Foster, Gary Moore, and Clarence Clemons, Jennifer Hudson appears onstage to sing “I Will Always Love You” as a tribute to Whitney Houston. I am sure many tears fell during this performance but the song did not just touch the hearts of those who feel the loss for passing of Houston; it was a wonderful way to address all those who were lost with a song that truly will forever be a timeless dedication to love. I still cannot believe the Grammy Awards forgot to include Etta James in the listing of those lost to whom tribute is paid tonight! Unbelievable!
We take another trip outside the Staples Center to the Nokia Arena where Chris Brown helps get the party pumped up with the help of Lil Wayne, the Foo Fighters, and the techno sound of Skrillex! Drake introduces Nicki Minaj whose performance will certainly be one not easily forgotten since it will undoubtedly be garnishing backlash from the Catholic community! “The Exorcism of Roman” was strange but had awesome effects and staging. Although Minaj can really spit words, this was a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen combined with rapping. I can’t wait to see what fallout results!
Lady Antebellum presents the Grammy Award for “Record of the Year” which goes to none other than Adele for “Rolling in the Deep” which should bring her total to five tonight tying her with the Foo Fighters so we will see who reigns king (or queen) with a win for “Album of the Year.” Diana Ross settles the suspense as she presents Adele with the biggest Grammy Award of the night for “Album of the Year” for “21.” Adele becomes the pop queen of the night with six awards and this time, she finally breaks down into the tears she has kept at bay all night. Paul McCartney (sadly) ends the show.
Image courtesy of the Grammy Awards