The 54th annual Grammy Awards aired on Sunday, and due in part to Whitney Houston’s sudden death the day before, brought in an audience of around 40 million people. This makes the show the 2nd most watched Grammy ceremony in history, with numbers up 40% from last year’s show and beating last year’s Academy Awards viewership. However, the success of the broadcast can also be attributed to the amazing lineup of performers for the evening. Here are a few of the highlights:
The Boss kicked off the evening by playing his new single “We Take Care Of Our Own”. He demonstrated the true meaning of rock and roll–high energy, very little production or frills, just focusing on the music. He looked and sounded great, and definitely added to the anticipation for his forthcoming album. I think he was a perfect choice to start off the show.
Performing “Runaway Baby”, Bruno Mars delivered what he does best–smooth lyrics and dance moves that showcase his old school charm. Rocking his signature poufed-up hair and a gold suit jacket and bowtie combo, his performance had a blast from the past vibe, which is something that sets Bruno Mars apart from his fellow contemporary artists. His music seems reminiscent of an earlier, simpler era, which people seem to really respond to. Overall, Bruno sounded and looked great in this performance.
Rocking blue hair, the singer started off with last year’s hit “ET” and transitioned into a new song called “Part of Me”. Her hair was a little questionable, but she sounded and looked great, despite dealing with her recent divorce. Her outfit was typically outlandish, but the performance itself did not overdo the theatrics. Assuming that this new track is part of a forthcoming album, good things are definitely to be expected from Katy Perry in 2012.
Adele’s comeback performance following throat surgery was the most anticipated moment of the evening, and she more than lived up to hype. She sounded incredible as she sung her smash hit “Rolling in the Deep”. She stood center stage with a microphone and a single spotlight, a perfectly pared down performance that showcased her astonishing voice. She looked so happy when she finished singing and the entire audience stood up cheering for her. The camera panned and showed artists like Rihanna, Paul McCartney, and Bruno Mars fist pumping and screaming for her. This was definitely the return everyone had been waiting for.
The Beatles legend performed twice, but it was his closing out of the show that really got everyone talking. He was joined by fellow rock phenoms Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, and Joe Walsh to perform a medley of Beatles songs: “Golden Slumbers”, “Carry That Weight”, and “The End”. It was a perfect end to the night. The symmetry of starting with Springsteen and ending with McCartney was a reminder that even with all the new music out there, the true legends will always remain.
As predicted, Adele swept all 6 awards that she was nominated for, tying her with Beyonce for the most wins in a single year by a female. She also became the 6th person ever to win the 3 major categories: song, record, and album of the year.
Kanye West took home 3 of the 7 awards he was nominated for, including Best Rap Album for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
The coveted Best New Artist award went to Bon Iver, causing some confusion with viewers who either had never heard of the band (and thought their name was Bonny Bear) or didn’t consider them “new” (they released their debut album in 2007). Despite all that, the band clearly had a hit with last year’s self-titled album, which also took home Best Alternative Album.
Country sweetheart Taylor Swift took home 2 awards for her single “Mean”, but lost Best Country Album to Lady Antebellum.