The Grammys concluded just yesterday, with record-breaking wins by Beyonce and Album of the Year going to Harry Styles. Hosted by comedian Trevor Noah, The 65th Annual Grammy Awards showcased a strong lineup of performances throughout. Bad Bunny opened up the show, proving why he’s the most streamed artist of last year, while tributes to musicians who have passed and a 50-year celebration of hip-hop segments were highlighted too. Here, we’re ranking the best and worst performances throughout the 65th Grammys.
12. Going, Going, Gone by Luke Combs
Combs pulled the Grammys back to reality with his delicate performance of his “Growin’ Up” album hit, offering raspy voice vocals and poignant lyrics against the setting of a night sky. Though it was a strong Grammys debut for the country singer, he failed to grab the viewers’ attention, having performed right after the all-star hip-hop homage.
11. Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile
Having received a heartfelt introduction from her wife Catherine Shepherd and her two girls, Carlile performed her hit single from her album, ‘In These Silent Days’. Unleashing an explosive guitar solo mid-song while performing with only strobe lights and a supporting band, Carlile received a standing ovation from the crowd, including Taylor Swift.
10. Bad Habit by Steve Lacy
The famous guitarist and singer performed his funky-smooth viral smash ‘Bad Habit’ during the Grammy Awards, exuding effortless charisma and a polished stage presence. And while Machine Gun Kelly and Kendrick Lamar were seen singing along to the lyrics in the audience, the performance fell a little short compared to the others throughout the award show.
9. As It Was by Harry Styles
Right after bagging the award for Best Pop Vocal Album, Styles performed his hit song ‘As It Was’ in a frilly and shiny outfit alongside dancers on a large turntable. However, the performance wasn’t as energetic as we had hoped. Styles sounded understandably tired considering his tour schedule and was hindered by sound problems. There was also not much happening on stage as background dancers were given mundane dance steps throughout the song.
8. Unholy by Sam Smith and Kim Petras
Taking the stage to perform their chart-topping song ‘Unholy’, Smith and Petras gave a red-hot performance after Petras’ historic Grammy win. Smith walked around the stage wearing a top hat with devil horns while Petras was seen in a steel cage as she grinned for the camera.
7. God Did by DJ Khaled, John Legend, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Jay-Z
In an inspired setting of the last supper, a medley performance by DJ Khaled, John Legend, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Jay-Z left the crowd in awe. Each rapper took a turn at a verse as John Legend sang the chorus before Jay-Z finished the song off with a 3-minute solo rap. It was arguably one of the best performances from Jay-Z we’ve ever seen.
6. In Memoriam by Quavo, Kacey Musgraves and Bonnie Raitt
The Grammys’ ‘In Memoriam’ segment saw tributes to three musicians who recently passed away, namely Loretta Lynn, Christine McVie and Takeoff. Musgraves opened the performance with a rendition of the late Lynn’s ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’, before Mick Fleetwood, Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow paid a melancholy ode to McVie. A touching mashup of ‘Without You’ and ‘See You Again’ by Quavo and Maverick City Music honours Takeoff, the Migos member who was recently shot dead. Though the tribute was emotional, some argued that the Grammys left out icons like Aaron Carter and Gangsta Boo.
5. Good Morning Gorgeous by Mary J. Blige
Sporting a wide-brimmed hat and diamond-encrusted outfit, Mary J. Blige stood atop a pyramidal platform as she performed vocal feats from her 14th studio album. Her performance drew attention through strong vocals without the need for over-the-top settings and backgrounds.
4. El Apagón and Después de la Playa by Bad Bunny
The Puerto Rican rapper opened the Grammys with a vivacious and energetic performance, filling the event space with dancers, brass players, giant puppets and more. With a simple fit of pants, a white tee and a baseball cap, Bad Bunny managed to get the crowd up on their feet to dance, including Taylor Swift, Jack Harlow and Mary J. Blige.
3. Hip Hop 50 by LL Cool J, Queen Latifah and more
A highlight of the Grammys was the 50th Hip Hop anniversary performance by more than 14 hip-hop artists including LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Busta Rhymes and more. Albeit a ted bit lengthy, the performance features smooth transitions and nostalgia-filled tunes, like ‘Look at Me Now’, which quickly went viral on Twitter and other social media platforms.
2. About Damn Time and Special by Lizzo
It’s no surprise that Lizzo brings some of the best performances when it comes to award shows, and the Grammys is no different. Donned in a stunning figure-hugging black dress and a bejewelled cross necklace, Lizzo sang ‘Special’ with a soulful gospel choir in the background, but not before starting her performance out with the hit song, ‘About Damn Time’.
1. Motown Medley by Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and WanMor
If there’s one performance that was undeniably memorable, it was the Motown Medley by legends Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and WanMor. Beginning with ‘The Way You Do the Things You Do’ by Temptations, Wonder and WanMor took turns singing before Wonder performed a duet with Robinson. He then ended with his hit song, ‘Higher Ground’, delivering one of the best vocals and stage presence we’ve seen in a while.
Featured image by @recordingacademy.