By Collin McDonald
All of Hollywood’s biggest stars gathered this past Sunday in designer suits and gowns, adorning the LA Staples Center with the glitz and glamour of fame. One of the most flamboyant outfits of the night was the fabulously grand pink poof dress worn by the pop icon Rihanna. Alongside the “We Found Love” singer was Beyoncé, Roc Nation pals Jay Z and Kanye West, Madonna, Ariana Grande, Big Sean, Paul McCartney, Pharell, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Usher, and many more of music’s biggest stars.
Ariana Grande was one of the night’s opening acts, singing the sweet song “Just A Little Bit of Your Heart” from her Grammy nominated album “My Everything.” However, the night’s biggest winner by far was the British Breakthrough artist Sam Smith, who won 4 Grammys, two of which were in the 6 major categories (Best New Artist and Song of the Year). Personally, I love Smith’s album “In the Lonely Hour” and I couldn’t be any happier that someone as kind and honest as him had the night that he did. During his acceptance speech after winning Record of the Year, Smith said something that left a lasting impression on me- “Before I made this record, I was doing everything to try to get my music heard… I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was when I started to be myself that the music flowed.” In a music industry that has grown overwhelming superficial, people as soulful and talented as Sam are looked at as a breath of fresh air.
Out of all of the performances, I would have to say that Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s rendition of the classic jazz hit “Cheek to Cheek” was one of my favorites. Sia’s unique performance of “Chandelier” and Ed Sheeran’s sultry performance of his song “Thinking Out Loud” were also among the night’s best. However, it was Kanye West’s abrupt walk to the stage after Beck won “Album of the Year” for his album “Morning Phase” that became one of the show’s biggest headlines. Everyone, including myself, was shocked that Beyoncé did not win the award for her self-entitled album that took the music world by storm after she released it a year ago without any prior promotion. But, in my opinion, what Kanye did was extremely disrespectful. This category was filled with plenty of well deserving nominees other than Beyoncé. To make a joke out of Beck’s moment like Kanye did is just inexcusable. Nonetheless, West would be happy to know that Beyoncé did not leave the Grammys empty-handed. The Queen B won three awards (Best R&B performance and Song for “Drunk in Love, “and Best Surround Sound Album for “Beyoncé”).
As exciting as the night was, there was definitely a more serious tone for this year’s Grammys compared previous ones. Later in the evening Obama addressed the audience and viewers at home about the importance of domestic violence awareness with the “It’s On Us” campaign. Afterwards Brooke Axtell, a domestic violence survivor, delivered a compelling speech about the pain and suffering that domestic violence causes while telling us what it truly means to love someone. Her speech was followed by a soulful performance from Katy Perry, who sung “By the Grace of God,” from her recently released album Prism. With the controversy and emotional moments that made up music’s biggest night, it’s safe to say that the 57th Annual Grammy Awards will go down in history as a one the most memorable Grammys yet!