By: Eman Elshahawy
We might consider calling the official 2019 Grammy Awards the “Keke Awards” because this year’s show had many of us in our feelings. From the live performances, the fashion, to the winners– music’s biggest night of the year was filled with surprises, controversy and history-making moments that blew our mind; and I was personally there for all four and a half hours of it.
The music industry’s hottest stars dazzled their way across the red carpet before taking their seat inside the L.A. Staples Center Sunday night on Feb. 10 for the anticipated annual ceremony. Red carpet coverage began about an hour before the evening’s live musical event and award show, hosted by Alicia Keys on CBS and lasting a near three and a half hours. It goes without saying the drip was too hard– bystanders standing too close could get flooded out and drown off the stars’ wave. From head to toe, artists made their premiere entrance of the night showcasing their jaw-dropping fits from some of fashion’s top designers. Distinguishable designers of the night included Versace, worn by Michelle Obama and Dualipa, Mugler worn by Cardi B and Miley Cyrus and Balmain worn by Kylie Jenner and Katy Perry.
Mugler was my favorite of the night because of the extraness they so fittingly delivered with Cardi’s look and the chic simplicity they gave Miley in her pants suit get-up. Balmain was more BalINSANE with the looks they gave Kylie and Katy. I digged the pretty in pink vibe both women were going for, however I thought their cute color choice was undermined by the loud, unflattering design of their overall outfits. Was Kylie so influenced by her week-long birthday celebration for her baby Stormi that she thought she should go for the wrapped bow look?
Did Katy attend some Hawaiian Luau party and get her look’s inspiration from the dollar store decorations of foldable paper Tiki lanterns she was surrounded by? Since pictures speak louder than words, you be the judge and take a look for yourself below.
She said did you love the Grammys? I told her only partly. I only loved the live singing and dancing, I’m sorry. The lineup for this year’s show was highly anticipated and spiked some controversy in the process. Artists like Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, and Ariana Grande turned down performance and attendance invites to this year’s awards. Drake originally rejected his invitation and surprised everyone when he was there to accept the award for “Rap Song of the Year” for his hit single “God’s Plan.” Travis Scott, another nominee for this category, was a top performer of the night, performing songs, “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD” and “NO BYSTANDERS” off of his latest “Astroworld” album, giving us all a well deserved break from “SICKO MODE.” The rapper delivered an out of this universe performance, climbing over cages and losing his shoe in the process but still killing it.
Other top performances of the night included Cardi B performing her hit “Money” twerking across the stage in her sleek, black feathered outfit. Camila Cabello opened the show with a star-studded performance of her hit “Havana” alongside Young Thug, Ricky Martin and J Balvin. Rocking a black t-shirt that read “21 Savage”, Post Malone performed a few of his hits solo at first before transitioning to playing his guitar alongside the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for the rap and rock mashup we all dreamed of. Wrapping up my favorite performances of the night was the Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus duet for the song “Jolene.” As an O.G. Hannah Montana fan, I admittedly held back some tears seeing two of my childhood icons perform together live on a stage in front of millions but it’s totally fine, I’m fine. Check out the videos of the performances below!
The Grammy, or “Keke Award’s” top winners of the night were, country singer Kacey Musgrave for “Country Album of the Year” and “Album of the Year”, Childish Gambino for “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year”, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper for “Best Pop Duo Performance”, Drake for “Rap Song of the Year”, H.E.R. for “R&B Album of the Year”, Cardi B for “Rap Album of the Year”, and Dua Lipa for “New Artist of the Year.”
Lady Gaga accepted the award for her duet song “Shallow” with Bradley Cooper, featured in the “A Star is Born” film and film soundtrack. Gaga accepted the first award of the night and touched our hearts acknowledging the movie’s mental health awareness message in her acceptance speech.
While accepting the award for “Rap Song of the Year”, the winning rapper threw 50 shades of Drake to the evening’s ceremony. Watch the video below to see the Toronto rapper get his speech cut off after sneak dissing the Recording Academy by undermining the importance of declaring a single artist a winner in a category after a hard-working year creating music
Last but certainly not least, winners Childish Gambino and Cardi B made Grammy history for the awards they won, giving us another reason to celebrate Black History Month this February. Childish Gambino’s, “This Is America” won “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year” making it the first time a rap song wins in both categories. Cardi B became the first female solo artist to win the award for “Rap Album of the Year” for her 2018 debut album, “Invasion of Privacy.” Let’s give an applause to this year’s talented musical nominees and winners– and an “OKUURRR” for the ones who made Grammy history!
ONE LAST THOUGHT
I’d like to reserve this space in my 2019 Grammy recap by honoring the musical legacy left behind from fallen 20-year-old hip-hop artist,Jahseh Onfroy, or XXXtentacion. During the show’s montage honoring musicians we lost this past year, the Grammys left out any acknowledgment of the rapper’s death following his murder in June 2018. Variety reported that despite efforts made to get the rapper on the memoriam, the Recording Academy decided to opt out due to the pending allegations of domestic abuse the rapper faced before his death. The report states that the Recording Academy developed their memoriam list to best reflect the public’s interest, and if this is the case, I question the public’s disinterest to honor somebody’s tragic and unexpected death to acknowledge the lasting influence and impact he or she has embedded in to a musical genre and culture for making a wrong mistake at 17 years old. So I’d like to take this time to commemorate a legendary artist taken away from this world way too soon and give XXXtentacion the memoriam mention he deserved at the 2019 Grammy Awards.