The Grammys are probably the most hated of the major entertainment awards. Fans always think their favorite bands are overlooked, music writers spend most of the night hate-tweeting the event, and even the artists seem put out by the entire show. It doesn’t help that the Grammys are kind of boring and ridiculous at the same time with huge gaps between awards filled with weird mash-up performances and stage designs that occasionally hit their mark.
This year’s show was no different and for every great performance by the likes of Chance the Rapper or Sturgill Simpson, the world needed to be balanced out by giving Pentatonix the opportunity to butcher the Jackson 5’s “ABC” or filling your country quota by letting Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood duet inside a cube. The Grammys are billed as “music’s biggest night,” but it’s actually music’s longest night with this year’s telecast running over three and a half hours.
For those of you who couldn’t make it through the entire 59th annual Grammys telecast to see the shocking finale, here’s a sampling of some of the things you missed:
CARPOOL KARAOKE FAILURE
For those who don’t know host James Corden, he hosts The Late Late Show on CBS which features a popular segment called “Carpool Karaoke.” Since he was hosting a music awards show, it’s only fitting he would bring the segment to the Grammys. Corden gathered a group that included Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Neil Diamond to sing Diamond’s hit “Sweet Caroline,” and no one knew the words. It was a hilarious misstep in an otherwise uneventful night for Corden.
DAVID BOWIE FINALLY WINS A MUSICAL GRAMMY
Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, received five nominations this year and won every single one of them, including the televised Best Rock Song. These five wins mark the first time Bowie has won a musical Grammy ever (his only Grammy before yesterday was in 1985 for Best Video, Short Form), and hopefully the last time The Chainsmokers accept any award for either themselves or anyone else at the Grammys.
TWENTY ONE PILOTS IN THEIR UNDERWEAR
Twenty One Pilots won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their song “Stressed Out,” and proceeded to remove their pants before accepting the award. Lead singer Tyler Joseph explained that years ago he invited bandmate Josh Dun to his house to watch the Grammys, and the duo along with Joseph’s roommates watched the show in their underwear, promising to only wear underwear if they ever won the award. This story was supposed to come across as inspirational, but it was also a little odd.
ADELE HITS THE RESET BUTTON
Adele kicked the show off with her hit, “Hello,” and returned about two hours later to perform a tribute to George Michael. Singing a re-worked version of Michael’s “Fastlove,” Adele seemed a bit off from the get-go, and about a minute into her performance the singer stopped, swore, and then asked for a re-do. Adele was given her mulligan, and received a standing ovation of the Grammy crowd.
Whether you loved it, hated it, thought it was too long, or “not a song,” there is no denying that Beyoncé had the most visually entertaining and riskiest performance of the night. Dressed in gold, flanked by dancers, and aided by holograms, Beyoncé wove a narrative about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood into a nearly 10-minute performance on national television.
POLITICS AND INSPIRATION
Paris Jackson started things off with a No DAPL shout-out and from there, we had Katy Perry standing in front of the Constitution, Beyoncé’s acceptance speech for Best Urban Contemporary Album, and presenter Laverne Cox asking us to “Google Gavin Grimm.” But the best political statement of the night came from A Tribe Called Quest’s performance of “We The People,” with Busta Rhymes calling out “President Agent Orange” and Q-Tip shouting “resist” repeatedly.
CHANCE THE RAPPER’S BIG NIGHT
Last June, the Recording Academy changed the rules regarding the eligibility of streaming albums, which opened the door for Chance the Rapper’s streaming only Coloring Book. Chance took home three Grammys, and was one of the night’s highlights with a rousing performance of “How Great” and “All We Got.”
THE SHOCKING CONCLUSION
It seemed inevitable that Beyoncé’s Lemonade would stroll to Grammy glory with little resistance from anyone, but Grammy voters had other plans. In possibly one of the more shocking Grammy nights ever, Adele’s album 25 and song “Hello” swept all three major categories (Record, Album, and Song of the Year), along with two other awards on the night. Beyoncé did walk away with two awards, but even Adele seemed shocked as she praised Beyoncé and Lemonade during one of her acceptance speeches.
Here is a list of the major winners from the 59th annual Grammy Awards:
Record of the Year
“Hello” — Adele
Album of the Year
Song of the Year
“Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)
Chance the Rapper
Pop Solo Performance
“Hello” — Adele
Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots
Traditional Pop Vocal Album
“Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin” — Willie Nelson
Pop Vocal Album
25 — Adele
“Don’t Let Me Down” — The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya
Skin — Flume
“Blackstar” — David Bowie
“Dystopia” — Megadeth
“Blackstar” — David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)
Tell Me I’m Pretty — Cage the Elephant
Alternative Music Album
Blackstar — David Bowie
“Cranes in the Sky” — Solange
Traditional R&B Performance
“Angel” — Lalah Hathaway
“Lake By the Ocean” — Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell) (read our interview)
Urban Contemporary Album
Lemonade — Beyoncé
Lalah Hathaway Live — Lalah Hathaway
“No Problem” — Chance the Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
“Hotline Bling” — Drake
“Hotline Bling” — Aubrey Graham & Paul Jefferies, songwriters (Drake)
Coloring Book — Chance the Rapper
Country Solo Performance
“My Church” — Maren Morris
Country Duo/Group Performance
“Jolene” — Pentatonix featuring Dolly Parton
“Humble and Kind” — Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth — Sturgill Simpson