Caitlin Rickard: Grammys make history and display some, too

Sunday marked music’s biggest night, the 2014 Grammy Awards.
Jan 29, 2014
Caitlin Rickard

Sunday marked music’s biggest night, the 2014 Grammy Awards.

While the awards are now in their 56th year and the highest esteem for anyone in the music world, the show itself has become less about winners and nominees and more about the glitz and glamour of the night’s performances.

Instead of lulling the show by handing out countless awards followed by monotonous speeches, the show presents a select few of the top awards to give out at the ceremony and keeps speeches to a minimum.

What the show is really about is the live music. Known to many as the biggest and best concert of the year, the Grammys packs a laundry list of performances into a three and a half hour show; usually with surprise performers and collaborations as well as the years top songs and singers. And bonus points because those performing get to look to the audience and see music’s biggest names—Beyoncé, Jay Z, Katy Perry, to name a few—as fans in the front rows during their set.

And speaking of music’s most magical couple, Beyoncé and hubby Jay Z opened the show with Drunk In Love and, in my opinion, the greatest performance of the night. And it was all over in the first three minutes. Queen Bey literally sat in a chair for 85 percent of the song and easily kept me entertained far more than the other 19 performances throughout the night.

A big winner on the night, Lorde, performed her song Royals, which won song of the year, in true Lorde fashion. I want to hate her but I can’t. Sure, she may simply stand at the mic and sometimes seem as if she’s on Quaaludes, but the 17-year-old is a breed all her own. You can tell she’s not there to please or impress anyone but herself. Plus, it says something that the most infamous song of the year was from a new comer and was written in under 30 minutes as a way to ridicule music moguls like Kanye West and Lana Del Rey for their opulence and lavish lifestyles that she believes is far from a normal person’s reality. Pretty heavy for a high schooler, but amazing all the same.

Collaborations were also big throughout the night. Sara Bareilles and Carole King slayed a dueling piano rendition of songs Brave and Beautiful; Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton brought country crooners to their feet with a classic country medley; Katy Perry gave the most elaborate and costumed performance with Juicy J, casting a spell dressed as a witch and performing their hit Dark Horse; Robin Thicke joined Chicago for a medley that ended in Thicke’s hit Blurred Lines; Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr kept the Beatles and history alive, both debuting new songs; Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar brought rap and rock together with an amazing mash-up of Radioactive and M.A.A.D. City; and Daft Punk (the biggest winners of the night) teamed up with Pharrell and Stevie Wonder for Get Lucky, which had the entire room on their feet dancing.

Other acts include Taylor Swift, John Legend, Hunter Hayes and Pink and Nate Reuss, to name a few.

And just for good measure I do want to point out that Kacey Musgraves took home country album of the year and best country song, dethroning T Swift, and she also performed. She’s awesome and if you haven’t heard of her you need to look her up. And if you don’t like her after looking her up then you need to see a doctor.

I’ll end on the most talked-about performance and, I’m guessing, one that had to of made history.

Rap’s new dynamic duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (who, I’m sorry, I can’t stand) performed their inspiring song Same Love (which I actually can stand) with Mary Lambert but before the song was over were joined on stage by—gasp! —Madonna. Though Madge looked a little like a rhinestone cowgirl, the singers took a short pause after the song and were joined by Queen Latifah, who apparently is an ordained minister. Latifah then officiated 34 marriages, gay and straight, right in the aisles of the Grammys.

That’s definitely new, but then again I’d die to be able to say people like Beyoncé and Madonna and half of the Beatles were at my wedding. What will they think of next?

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