This year’s Grammy Awards was quite the spectacle. In addition to its crowd stealing performances and (for lack of a better word) “interesting” red carpet outfits, there were some remarkable on stage occurrences that seem to have everyone talking. After receiving her “Album of the Year” Grammy for her critically acclaimed 1989, Taylor Swift gave a rather interesting acceptance speech. Almost everyone can remember back at 2009’s MTV Video Music Awards when Kanye West stole the microphone from Ms. Swift and proclaimed Beyonce’s Single Ladies video as the “greatest of all time,” virtually stealing the spotlight from Taylor during her moment of triumph. To add insult to previous injury, Kanye West on his most recent album The Life of Pablo proclaimed that he did Taylor a favor by interrupting her in 2009: ““I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why?/ I made that b**ch famous/ God d**m I made that b**ch famous.” In response to this, Taylor Swift denounced West in a thinly veiled acceptance speech at last night’s awards ceremony: ““I want to say to all the young women out there: there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame,” Swift said. “But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you … you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.” West still refuses via Twitter that he has a still-standing feud with Swift.
Another onstage occurrence that has gained notoriety was Adele’s performance. Coming hot off the heels of her widely televised Adele: Live in London performance, Adele took the stage last night at the Grammy’s to sing All I Ask. However, the performance was plagued by faulty sound equipment including microphones that fell onto live piano wires. Alls well that ends well however because Adele wrote on Twitter that she decided to treat herself to an In and Out burger following her faulty performance.
Perhaps the most attention grabbing performance of the evening came from Kendrick Lamar. Lamar, who virtually swept the rap and hip hop categories last night, gave a very moving performance of The Blacker the Berry complete with an on stage set resembling a Prison block and African-American background dancers in prison uniforms and chains. Obviously commenting on the proportionality of incarcerated African-Americans in American prisons, Lamar joins the likes of Beyonce, Spike Lee, and Jada Pinkett Smith who have all used their star appeal to draw attention to race relations in America.
The Grammy’s were surely a sight to behold last night. Its celebrity feuds, unfortunate mishaps, and political undertones provided a unique spectacle for all who tuned in to enjoy, appreciate, and soak in. This year’s Grammys were a reminder to us all of the effects music can have on our culture.