My Thoughts: The 2019 Grammy Awards
So like many things, I’m still processing the Grammys. I’m not shooketh in a bad way, I’m shooketh in a oh-my-goodness-this-ceremony-was-dope kind of way. So this is going to be a bunch of exuberant word-jumble. Of course, I’m leaving out many other moments that happened during the Grammys, so this is by no means all of my thoughts.
- First and foremost, thank you Alicia Keys for making the ceremony so upbeat and awesome. You also wore incredible outfits. Also, Michelle Obama! 🙂 And when you jammed on those two pianos, it made my heart soar. You played “Maple Leaf Rag,” “Doo-Wop (That Thing)” and so many other incredible hits, as well as your epic “Empire State of Mind.”
- The tribute to Dolly Parton was phenomenal. Seeing Miley Cyrus and Dolly belt out “Jolene” was especially beautiful. And I loved the clocks in the background while everyone sang “9 to 5” together.
- Lady Gaga’s speech when she won for her duo with Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born had me in tears. She also raised awareness of mental health, saying that as musicians struggling with mental health we need to support one another, and if you’re struggling with mental health issues to never be afraid to ask for help. And her performance of “Shallow” also had me in tears. She put so much raw emotion into her performance, and her sparkly bodysuit was pretty. Her stare down at the camera while rocking the mic showed the passion and hard work she put into performing the song. I haven’t yet seen A Star is Born but I want to.
- Janelle Monae killed it, and I mean, KILLED IT tonight. I love the song “Make Me Feel” and the music video with her and Tessa Thompson (from the film Sorry to Bother You). She and the backup dancers livened everything up with their killer sweet dance moves (I saw some Michael Jackson moonwalking in there at some point), and the brilliant juxtaposing of pink, black and white in both the outfits and the set also gave the performance its eclectic fun character.
- H.E.R. was amazing. Her performance of “A Hard Place” was beautiful, and it was so cool how the violinists (and violists. I want to acknowledge if there were also violists playing) were black women. And I loved the chorus. I was also just really happy H.E.R. won two Grammy Awards that evening.
- Childish Gambino won for Best Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “This is America.” I’m so glad because the song and the music video were super powerful. I wish he was there, but at least Ludwig Goransson and Jeffrey Lamar Williams went up there to accept it for him. Ludwig also was the only one who mentioned 21 Savage (for those who don’t know what’s going on, HuffPost has an article about this).
- St Vincent and Dua Lipa’s awesome performance of “Masseduction” was phenomenal. St. Vincent is one of my favorite artists and seeing her rock out on that electric guitar with her and Dua Lipa sporting black and white outfits and bob haircuts was classic. I noticed they also incorporated some Aretha in the song by chanting “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” to each other. And Dua Lipa won Best New Artist and gave an encouraging speech to tell other youth that their stories matter and gave a shout-out to other female artists. Seeing her tear up was quite sweet and touching.
- Can we just talk about the fierce female pianist during Cardi B’s performance of “Money?” At first I thought Cardi B was playing piano but then the camera showed who was playing it, and it wasn’t Cardi B but another incredible young woman by the name of Chloe Flower (I didn’t know who she was until the next day when all the articles emerged about who the dope pianist was during Cardi B’s performance). Chloe and Cardi both slayed during the performance. Cardi and the backup dancers busted some extremely well-coordinated moves on a large purple sofa, while Chloe busted out those hip hop beats with the utmost passion. Seeing Chloe bust out those epic chords on that shimmery crystal-covered piano (first time I’ve ever seen a piano with this much pizzazz) made me reconsider what I really want to do with my music career. At first I was so hell-bent on being in a professional orchestra, but I don’t know. After seeing Chloe perform with Cardi B, I feel inspired to practice more contemporary music (and classical, too) so I can one day earn the honor of accompanying Beyonce, Cardi, or any other popular artist at the Grammys. Oh, and I loved Cardi’s black feathers at the end. 🙂
- Yolanda Adams, Andra Day, and Fantasia both paid the most sophisticated tribute to Aretha Franklin. I also liked how they placed Aretha last in the In Memoriam montage so that it segued right into the trio’s performance of “You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman).” Like many people, I cried when I heard about Aretha’s death, and this beautiful performance by these three incredible black female artists made me cry even harder, especially seeing the montage of Aretha photos in the background. There’s supposed to be a tribute to The Queen of Soul next month on March 10, and I know I definitely will not be missing out on such a momentous occasion: to remember the Queen.
- Diana Ross’ grandson is everything. Diana Ross is everything. Her elegant magnificent fire-red dress sizzled with everything. Her performance was everything. I cried.
- J Lo, Ne-Yo, the legendary Smokey Robinson, and Alicia Keys collaborating onstage to give a unique spin on a medley of Motown classics. What more could you want? 🙂
- Brandi Carlile’s performance of “The Joke” was incredible. I never listened to her music before, but after hearing her performance I want to listen to more of her music. I also loved seeing the string players having so much fun while accompanying her.
- Kacey Musgraves’ speech at the end was quite moving. I also loved the neon rainbow display behind her during her performance. In her speech she acknowledged other female artists who were there during the evening and who were nominated for their albums. It was truly beautiful.
Got any thoughts on the Grammy’s? Post in the comments!