Adele Won and Nicki Minaj Creeped; We Recap the Grammys
If Adele could rap, she probably would have won that Grammy as well.
Sunday night's Grammy Awards made for interesting viewing, with Adele's sweep, some amazing tributes, performances, and a downright weird and horrible showing from Nicki Minaj.
Host LL Cool J opened up with a prayer for Whitney Houston, whose shocking death on February 11 cast a shadow over the proceedings, especially later in the evening, when Jennifer Hudson sang "I Will Always Love You" in tribute to the great Houston. Her death was hardly the only notable one, as the show paused to honor Etta James, Don Cornelius, Steve Jobs, and so many more. The scope of losses made the whole thing feel like a wake from time to time.
There were passionate performances -- like Adele and the Foo Fighters -- and then of course, there was that thing Nicki Minaj did, which boggled our minds.
The night started with Bruce Springsteen, bringing a kind of halftime heat to the stage. You've got to start with a solid performance like this when you're worried that America is going to flip the channel. (Oh, and, folks, that "Is anybody alive out there" is a Springsteen-staple, and should in no way be considered a tone-deaf reaction in light of Houston's death.)
Bruno Mars surprised me. It would be nice to hear the Bruno Mars that I saw and heard on the stage more so than the typical mainstream radio crud. Mars moved like James Brown and hit all the right notes. As for Chris Brown's performance? I couldn't stop laughing. Brown was all over the place. Literally. He was continuously jumping around, up, down, and side-to-side on blocks. He danced more than he sang, and I wouldn't be surprised if he were lip-synching. It felt more like a workout routine than a performance (although Brown did take home the R&B award -- I don't get it).
The duos of the night worked well. Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson took the stage, followed by Rihanna and Coldplay. All I kept thinking was "Wow, these artists match up so well together." The former makes perfect sense, but the latter was a little more off-kilter. Sure, RiRi shows up on Coldplay's latest, but the risky move of pairing them mostly worked for me.