The 2015 Grammys took place this past Sunday, Feb. 10. Hosted once again by LL Cool J, the awards ceremony started off on high energy with ACDC performing their hit song “Highway to Hell,” strewn with guitar solos and blazing pyrotechnics that had the whole crowd in the Staples Center up on its feet dancing, including Lady Gaga and Blake Shelton. The first award that night, Best New Artist, unsurprisingly went to Sam Smith, who received the most nominations alongside Pharrell Williams and Beyoncé. The night proved fruitful for the lucky newcomer, who ultimately took home four Grammy awards, among them Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Sentimental performances tugged at America’s heartstrings, including Ariana Grande’s rendition of “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” written for her by One Direction’s Harry Styles and a tribute duet by Jessie J and Tom Jones of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” The next award, Best Pop Solo Performance, was snagged by Pharrell Williams for his catchy track “Happy.” Many viewers were surprised at Williams’ win, given that Sia, Taylor Swift and Sam Smith were among the nominees.
Among the first of the many interesting performances that night was Madonna’s comeback performance of “Living for Love,” her first single off of her upcoming thirteenth studio album, “Rebel Heart.” Never failing to remind us that she is the queen of performance, the 56-year-old pop star danced alongside 56 horned, animal- like dancers wearing rhinestone masks, while clad in a skimpy matador ensemble. Regardless of the audience’s reactions, Madonna proved that she’s still fit as ever
and can out-dance anyone.
The most talked-about person of the night, however, was none other than Kanye West. Performing for the first time in six years, Kanye sang his heartfelt song dedicated to his daughter, North West, and his late mother, titled “Only One.” Although I found his decision to wear a Fubu-esque red velour tracksuit questionable, Kanye still managed to be the center of attention during both his performance and after.
The most controversial event was undoubtedly when Beck won Album of the Year over Beyoncé’s celebrated visual album. Instantly social media was abuzz with criticism and utter shock, which I felt myself. Among those outraged was Kanye West, who pulled the biggest scare of the evening, threatening to do exactly as he did in 2009 when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMA’s. Thankfully, Kanye just mimicked the act but smiled and shook his head as he backed down from the stage, ignoring the fact that Beck was calling him back up. Even more entertaining than Beck’s surprise and confusion at his win were the utterly shocked reactions of Jay-Z and Beyoncé, stirring up social media once again with video close-ups of their baffled faces. Luckily, Beyoncé didn’t go home empty- handed that night, as she took home her record-setting 20th Grammy of Best R&B Performance for “Drunk in Love.”
The two most anticipated performances of the night that followed were Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney’s newly released “FourFiveSeconds,” as well as Sia’s “Chandelier.” Donning matching black pantsuits for the live debut of “FourFiveSeconds,” Rihanna and Kanye dramatically outsang Paul McCartney to the point where viewers questioned whether or not his microphone was on. Shortly after was the surprise appearance of SNL’s Kristin Wiig alongside Sia and child dance superstar, Maddie Ziegler, during the interpretive and abstract performance of “Chandelier.”
Contrasting its action-packed beginning, the 57th Annual Grammys turned serious with a powerful performance by Beyoncé. In closing, the rapper Common and John Legend gave a racially charged performance of “Glory” from the movie “Selma,” a Golden Globe-winning movie. Though there were times during the three-hour event when I wanted to see more action and excitement, overall the 57th Annual Grammys was another great turnout, complete with extravagant outfits, celebrity drama and awesome performances.
Sabrina Leung ‘18 is the Digital Editor majoring in International Relations-Political Science with a minor in History. She is best reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @sabrinatzleung on Twitter.