Swap Meet, JT’s Return, & Best And Worst Dressed: 15 Memorable Grammy Moments
I usually never watch the Grammys and honestly wasn’t planning on doing so last night. But when my friend asked me if I was going to participate in the festivities at brunch, I decided since I was avoiding the cold, to check it out. The show itself had high and low moments. It wasn’t fabulous but it certainly wasn’t the most boring thing I’ve seen. So, whether you missed it or want to relive it, check out the most memorable moments. The asterisks represent high points of the night.
Last night, Adele deviated from her standard uniform of all-black everything and decided to go with a vibrant, red patterned dress. Honestly, as much as we love Adele, we must admit that it was the wrong choice for her body and for this event. It wasn’t flattering. It was so terrible that someone ended up comparing it to a costume from The Wiz; and sadly, the comparison wasn’t that far off. Yikes!
In a smart career move, Miguel agreed, at the last minute, to perform at The 55th Annual Grammy Awards. Generously, he decided to bring Wiz Khalifa on stage to perform the remix to “Adorn.” If you ask me, he should have performed the original and got more shine but that’s neither here nor there. Miguel’s vocals and showmanship were on point and though he only had a limited time on stage before he introduced some nominees, it was memorable. One of the best of the night. (The sound is a little off on this video; but you’ll still be able to hear Miguel hit his notes with precision. If you missed it, you should definitely check it out in the video below.)
Jay-Z feeling loose
Early on in the show, it was easy to see that Jay-Z had adopted a “been-there-done-that” attitude when it came to the Grammys. He sat in that front row like he was chilling in his living room, bottle of Cognac, which he shared with his neighbors, in tow. I’m always accusing somebody of being drunk. He wasn’t that far, but he was certainly a lil loose. As Fun was accepting their award, one of the band members thanked Jay-Z. Instead of his standard head-nod of appreciation, he hollered out, “You’re welcome!” Then later in the evening Jay was seen backstage pouring that Cognac he’d been carrying that night into his award. Like I said, over it.
After a four year singing hiatus, Justin hit the stage and gave us, in my opinion, the best performance of the night. Moving in on Robin Thicke’s lane, Justin hit his falsetto for “Suit and Tie,” beckoned Jay-Z from his seat in the front row and slid across the stage in what looked like an homage to James Brown. Then afterward he shut it down with what I feel was the stronger of the two songs: “Pusher Love Girl.” If you missed the performance check it out here.
Kelly Rowland’s Dress
Has anyone else noticed that Kelly is slaying the stages and red carpets she’s used to? We’re happy to see homegirl stepping into her own. Last night she was easily the best dressed in this black, cut-out, see through gown. It might not have followed CBS’ memo; but it was hot and classy at the same time. Werk Ms. Rowland!
Chris Brown claps for Frank Ocean
I’m far from a Chris Brown fan. But I’m also not trying to sit here idly by as the media slanders his name…unfairly. There are plenty of times when Chris doesn’t get it right; but when he does, can we give the man some credit? Many sites are reporting that Brown snubbed Frank Ocean when he took the stage to accept his first award of the night. I see things differently. Despite their pending beef, Chris Brown is visibly clapping for Ocean. That’s more than some of us would have done, had we been in a similar situation. Do we really expect him to be standing when these two were in a physical altercation last week? I’d argue that his clapping is a sign of growth and maturity.
Kelly Clarkson loves Miguel but doesn’t know who he is
Despite the fact that both Kelly Clarkson and Miguel are on the same label, before last night, she had no idea who he was. And she let everyone in the room know when she accepted her award for pop song of the year. Here’s what she said verbatim: “Miguel, I don’t know who the hell you are but we need to sing together. I mean, good God! That was the sexiest damn thing I’ve ever seen.” Black Twitter was up in arms about the comment. Should Kelly have known who Miguel, her label mate, was? Of course. Was she trying to insult him? Absolutely not. Let’s be honest, Miguel is not mainstream. In fact before “Adorn” got all of that radio play, there were black folk who didn’t know him either. If I were Miguel I would certainly hop on a Kelly Clarkson track and get that crossover money.
Jay-Z Shades The Dream
Maaaan! The Dream is known to act a fool and Jay-Z high-key told him to cut it out in probably the shadiest moment in Grammy history. There is no way I can recount it accurately, so just watch the clip. The Swap Meet was happy for the shoutout.
Kelly Clarkson’s Performance
Say what you want about Kelly’s acceptance speech slip ups. But the girl reminded us, at the end of the day, she’s here to sing us into a stupor. Kelly put all the soul and all the stank into her, no-fuss rendition of “Tennessee Waltz” and “Natural Woman.” I know I was moved and I realized other folks were as well when people started making church and offering references on Twitter.
Bob Marley Tribute*
I was very excited to hear that they were going to honor music legend Bob Marley. I expected Bruno Mars, who’s a great performer, to shut it down. And he was great; but early on, it was apparent that this tribute wasn’t going to feature that many Bob Marley songs, just the songs his music influenced. Bummer. Bruno introduced Sting– he sounded great by the way; and then, Rihanna, Ziggy and Damian Marley came out to sing “Could You Be Loved.” Once Rihanna was on stage, I found myself flinching every time she lifted her arms. I just knew a boob was going to pop out. Luckily, that didn’t happen.
Who is the black girl singing with Jack White?
When Jack White took the stage to perform “Love Interruption,” many were wondering who the black girl singing for her life and playing the tambourine was. Many were speculating that it was Phaedra’s daughter or sister or next of kin. But it was not. Her name is Ruby Amanfu and she kilt it like a Scottish skirt. Gotta check her out.
Prince, the King of cool, the master of music and style, was there for one reason and one reason only. He walked out in what I initially thought was a pimp cane prop to introduce the nominees for song of the year. He didn’t have a sketch, he didn’t crack any jokes. He just sauntered to the mic and said, “And the nominees for song of the year are…” And then in a moment of sheer adulation, Prince says, “Oh, I love this song…” and brought up Gotye and Kimbra to present them with the award for song of the year for their collaboration on “Somebody That I Used To Know.” What I later learned, was that that cane might have been necessary. Apparently, Prince has had hip problems for the past few years.
The Memorial Performance*
In memory of all the artists who passed away in the last year Elton John, Zac Brown, Mavis Staples and Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard hit the stage to perform “The Weight.” I was impressed by Brittany Howard, who I’d never heard before. But her voice was very powerful and her energy, as she hopped around in a fur jacket, was awesome. Then there was Mavis Staples. No one does it like her. That raspy, growl of a voice is second to none. Check out the performance below.
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Oh Frankie. I’ve listened to your music and most of it, I’m quite fond of. There are folks who are Frank Ocean stans and cosign everything he does. But folks from all levels of Frank Ocean fandom had problems supporting his performance of “Forest Gump.” There were several pitch issues and then once he started whistling people were completely over it. It seemed like he was just very nervous to be singing about a man on national television.
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As much as I’m a lady who loves James Todd Smith, and as hard as I was trying to get into his performance with Chuck D., I just wished that he had either sat this one out or performed an entirely different song. It was a little too hard to get into. But I will admit that he truly looked happy on that stage, jumping up and down like he was in his early twenties. I’m not mad at him.