This year’s Grammys ceremony was probably the most eventful and exciting of recent years. The show kicked off with pop’s biggest star Taylor Swift giving an expected performance of Out of the Woods from her album 1984. She later walked away with the Grammy for Album of the Year, making her the first female to receive this honour twice in her career.
Kendrick Lamar stole the show
Rapper Kendrick Lamar, the most-nominated artist of the evening, might not have walked away with Album of the Year, but he stole the show with his five other wins, including: Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (shared with Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat), Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album, and Best Music Video (shared with Taylor Swift).
He might’ve won big on the night, but it’s not his victories that people are talking about. Lamar set the Grammy stage on fire, quite literally, with his performance of his singles The Blacker the Berry and Alright. True to the nature of his art, which is all about social commentary, he walked on stage handcuffed as part of a chain gang, with the rest of his band locked inside jail cells.
He went on to perform Alright in front of a large bonfire and ended off his performance with the word ‘Compton’ written over a picture of Africa on the screen behind him. This performance was reminiscent of Beyoncé’s Formation video that brought Black History Month into context.
Adele didn’t strike a chord
While Lamar’s performance lit up the stage, Adele’s had the complete opposite effect. Her performance of Someone Like You at the 2011 BRIT Awards is still Youtube’s most watched live performance in history because of its simplicity and brilliance.
Last night’s performance of All I Ask from her latest album, 25, however, was less than lacklustre. Not only was the singer flat, but she missed a few notes, with her voice breaking like the dawn towards the end. She ended her performance with a shoulder-dropping silent sigh, evidently unhappy with how she’d sounded.
While it all wasn’t her fault, with The Vox reporting that there was a problem with the sound, it seemed like the singer hadn’t prepared.
She later explained what happened in a tweet: “The piano mic fell on the piano strings, that’s what the guitar sound was. Because of it though… I’m rating myself to an in n out. So maybe it was worth it,” she wrote.
Rihanna and Lauryn Hill
Lamar and Adele aside, Rihanna and Lauryn Hill’s performances were two of the most anticipated of the evening, but unfortunately both stars pulled out at the last minute.
Just Jared reports that Rihanna was prevented from performing Kiss It Better from her new album ANTI because of a persistent case of bronchitis. “[Rihanna’s doctor has] put her on vocal rest for 48 hours because she was at risk of haemorrhaging her vocal chords,” one of the singer’s reps told the publication.
Lauren Hill, who was expected to join The Weeknd in his first Grammy performance, was a no-show. Hill’s representative released a statement that read: “The Grammys announced a performance by Ms Lauryn Hill prematurely and without approval. Ms Hill had concerts all weekend, leaving no time to prepare, and was uncertain she would be able to make it to LA in time to rehearse for the event. Any performance that could have happened was never confirmed, and should not have been advertised as such. Ms Hill was invited to do a collaboration with an artist she appreciates. The performance was intended to be a surprise and unfortunately due to its last-minute nature, was unable to come into fruition.”