Grammy Goes Gaga; Over Lady Antebellum, Arcade Fire, Esperanza Spalding, too!
The biggest spectacle of all the Awards shows, The Grammys did not disappoint Sunday. The 53rd annual celebration of recorded music was an exuberant extravaganza filled with phenomenal performances, crazy costumes and some major upsets.
Sure Gaga left folks agog with her dramatic egg-strance as she emerged from an egg, and wearing what seemed like a yolk to debut her new single “Born This Way” on the Grammy stage. She’s a showstopping performance artist, for sure, but alas, some of us are old enough to remember Madonna’s late ’80′s act. Gaga did walk off ( in a very Madonna-esque leather get up) with a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album.
But the big awards went to the fab country-pop crossover trio with that dubious name, Lady Antebellum, who scored both Record of The Year and Song of The Year honors for their melodic hit, “Need You Now.” Album of The Year Honors went to Canadian indie rock underdogs Arcade Fire ( who also performed one of the most pulsating performances of the night) for “The Suburbs,” beating out both Ladies Antebellum and Gaga as well as Eminem and Katy Perry.
The other big upset came from the Best New Artist category: The Academy shook off Bieber Fever and honored Esperanza Spalding. Besides beating Bieber, the jazz newbie ( wow, when was the last time a jazz artist won here?) bested the likes of Drake, Florence and the Machine and Mumford & Sons.
The performances were a mixed bag, with the producers, again, mixing groups and traversing generational and genre divides. The opening tribute to ailing Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin set the tone for a star-studded,exhilarating evening.
Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan performing “Maggie’s Farm, ” the ageless Mick Jagger’s tribute to the late, great Solomon Burke and Barbra Streisand reprising her hit “Evergreen” pleased the older crowd, while performances by Bieber and Usher, Eminem and Gaga kept the younger audience enthralled. And then there was Cee Lo Green–outdoing Elton John’s ’70′s featherganza — singing a sanitized version of his infectious funk hit “Forget You” with Gwyneth Paltrow( in cray-cray high platform shoes) and an assortment of Muppets. Let’s just say, they captivated everyone as they out-Gagaed Lady Gaga.
The problem with the Grammys is there are so many categories, inevitably, a slew are doled out the night before at the non-televised ceremony. Among Saturday”s winners, I have to single out Mavis Staples who, at age 71, scored her first Grammy nomination and win as she nabbed Best Americana Album honors for “You Are Not Alone.” It’s a shame more people didn’t see a true musical icon receive such a well deserved and impressive honor.
You can find a complete list of nominees and winners, as well as a bunch of backstage interviews, performance videos and other Grammy goodies on the official Grammy site.
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