The 54th annual Grammy Awards kicked off with Bruce Springsteen yelling “Are you alive out there?” Perhaps that wasn’t the best choice of words given the tragic premature death of Whitney Houston earlier in the weekend, but when you’re the Boss, you can get away with a faux pas like that.
The rest of the star-studded affair unfolded as you might expect: an eclectic mix of legend and now, a blend of flashy distracting auto-tuned newness and stripped-down classic musical talent. And somehow, on a night when the world expected a celebration of The Voice in the image of Whitney’s long shadow, admitted girlfriend-beater Chris Brown snatched up more stage time than Adele and Jennifer Hudson combined.
Our music folks at Weeping Elvis kept an insider’s live blog going on Sunday night, but here’s a quick recap of the festivities from our perspective…
• Adele swept the awards, rolled six deep and performed perfectly without even moving
• Nicki Minaj tried too hard by showing up with a Pope impersonator and then turned in the worst rendition of the ‘Amen’ theme song of all-time (OF ALL-TIME!)
• J-Hud did “I Will Always Love You” justice, an admirable, impeccable performance…yet, still, her homage couldn’t touch the original and showed us just how incredible Whitney Houston was
• Chris Brown isn’t old enough to know he ripped off Q*bert
• Paul McCartney likes his tuxedos double-breasted, his ex-wives single-legged
• Bruno Mars was little, gold, adorable and awesome
• Dave Grohl made a great speech about the human element of music…and then about 20 minutes later willingly and excitedly performed with DJs and auto-tuners in a dubstep segment
• “Trolling” Deadmau5 showed up wearing Skrillex’s cell phone number on his T-shirt
• Rihanna showed she is to lyrics what Channing Tatum is to dialogue
• Somehow they left Etta James and Soul Train founder Don Cornelius off the In Memoriam death real
• And Whitney Houston sent word down from purgatory to call The Beach Boys‘ reunion with Brian Wilson “the biggest tragedy of the weekend.” (Glen Campbell with Alzheimer’s > Beach Boys)
And now, some videos…
J-Hud’s spectacular Whitney tribute:
Nicki Minaj’s “Little Nicki” exorcism:
Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”:
Adele rolling six deep after sweeping the night:
Bruno Mars tore the roof off the sucka with his James Brown moves:
The Beach Boys reunited for the first time in two decades ahead of their 50th anniversary reunion:
For more performances, check out Mr. World Premiere’s full rundown right here.
UPDATE: “Tributes to Whitney Houston helped Sunday’s 54th Annual Grammy Awards draw more than 39 million viewers, the second-largest audience ever for the show, according to preliminary numbers. The show, which aired on CBS, was the most-watched since 1984, when Michael Jackson won a record-setting eight awards,” according to The Wrap.
So what did you think of this year’s Grammy Awards? Let us know in the comments below…