With white roses sprinkled throughout the audience at the 60th Grammy Awards, there was an obvious wave of emotion washing over this typically “fun” award show. Representing the #TimesUp movement, celebrities were seen integrating white roses seamlessly into their fashions for the night or as a handheld accessory for the duration of the ceremony.
Host James Corden made an able effort at lightening the mood throughout the night and his most valiant effort may have been with a pre-recorded sketch featuring Shaggy and Sting on a New York City subway train. The unexpected threesome were clever, even in the face of angry New York City commuters.
Nonetheless, with so few women nominated in the major categories and the recent news that Lorde (the only female nominated for Album of the Year) wasn’t offered a solo performance at the show, as her male counterparts were, there was a clear divide. Lorde took her artistic freedom one step further by creating her own version of a white rose, by pinning the excerpt of a feminist essay by Jenny Holzer on the back of her dress. Her matching flask was an impressive touch, as well. Although the nominees and winners (Bruno Mars swept the night) were predictable, the performances really stole the show. Oh, and Blue Ivy. At one point Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s six-year-old daughter shushed her superstar parents in a way only a superstar daughter could.
Rap-phenom and Grammy-winner Kendrick Lamar opened the show with a high-energy performance featuring Bono and The Edge and political commentary by comedian Dave Chappelle. Although nobody would want to follow a performance like that, leave it to Bad Gal Ri Ri to not only follow it up but truly dominate. Rihanna, DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller fiercely performed “Wild Thoughts” and left New York City speechless, with several new GIFs to enjoy.
Finally, the audience at Madison Square Garden (and viewers at home) was transformed into a sea of glossy eyes following Kesha’s powerful performance of her Grammy nominated song “Praying.” Since severing ties with famed producer Dr. Luke and battling him in court since 2014 for sexual assault allegations, Kesha’s first body of work released was Rainbow in 2017. With the Grammys as the final stop on her tour, this transcendent performance was the cathartic moment Kesha needed. Backed by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha and other female artists dress in all-white to signify the #TimesUp movement, Kesha stood strong as a performer and albeit not a Grammy winner this year, she graciously thanked the Recording Academy for the opportunity.
After the three and a half hour show, celebs raced out of Madison Square Garden to get to the first after party on their list. At Universal Music Group’s star-studded bash held at Spring Studios, artists such as Shaggy, Sting, Eve, Marian Hill and Dua Lipa all walked the red carpet while other A-listers like Lorde, Imagine Dragons and Calvin Harris snuck right into the party. Presented by American Airlines and Citi, entertainment was provided by Erykah Badu and celebs like Zedd, Sarah Silverman and Darren Criss all were in attendance.
Main image credit: Instagram