The biggest night of the year for music was kicked off Sunday evening by a roaring welcome from AC/DC, who performed their 1979 hit “Highway to Hell.” Everyone from AC/DC’s shorts-sporting lead guitarist Angus Young to legendary big-band singer Tony Bennett were jamming out to this sweet start to the 2015 Grammy Awards.
The evening, filled with the usual awkward cringe-worthy jokes by presenters and an extravagant performance by the music award show staple Madonna, was definitely one that furnished mixed feelings.
AC/DC excited everyone just enough to be drastically bummed out by the host’s, LL Cool J’s awkward introduction that left everyone wondering, “Why is this irrelevant washed-up artist crashing The Grammys?’”
LL Cool J popped up like an unwanted mole that just could not be whacked throughout the night.
He was the kind of host that leaves his own party to “go get more wine from the cellar” and ends up staying there for the whole night.
The 57th Grammy Awards was expectedly filled with snubs, schlubs and the usual crack-ups, but also advocated snippets of the fight against domestic violence, and subtle yet powerful artist nods to the Black Lives Matter movement.
President Barack Obama made a short video appearance concerning the nation’s domestic violence issue, which made good use of the widely broadcasted event.
To bring more attention to the cause, an actual domestic abuse survivor gave a small yet uplifting speech where she said “Authentic love does not devalue another human being,” showing that award shows can have a higher purpose other than celebrating music.
Musical artists also paid respect to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, as Prince outrightly showed his support verbally in his presentation of the Album of the Year award, along with both Pharrell Williams and Beyonce having their backup dancers demonstrate the “hands up, don’t shoot” image as tribute, giving the evening another deeper social meaning.
Many were surprised to see that Beck’s album “Morning Phase” won the Album of the Year award (along with Rock Album of the Year) over Beyonce’s self-titled record.
The snub certainly had Beyonce’s Beyhive fanbase buzzing with anger, including the ever-so-lovable music award show villain Kanye West.
West was provoked to storm the stage in protest, as he did when Taylor Swift won Best Female Video at the 2009 Video Music Awards.
Thankfully he backtracked before completely embarrassing everyone involved.
West had to get his opinion out eventually, and did so in an interview with E! News where he said Beck “should’ve given his award to Beyonce,” making for one of the best crack-ups of the night.
Sam Smith ruled the 2015 Grammy’s with his iron fist and angel voice this year, taking home four awards including Best New Artist, Song and Record of the Year.
He performed his winning hit “Stay With Me” with nine-time Grammy award winner Mary J. Blige, both of whom spread goosebumps like an auditory epidemic to listeners around the country.
Smith concluded his wildly successful night and thanked the man his record was about, and said “Thank you so much for breaking my heart, ‘cause you got me four Grammys.”
A new aspect that was infused into the Grammys this year was the fusion of 20th century favorite artists with 21st century favorite artists, such as Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.
The duo performed “Cheek to Cheek,” showcasing the fact that Bennett is still indubitably relevant to the music world. The combination of these two in the first place was pure genius, as it definitely classed-up Lady Gaga, whose old unconventional musical style shadowed over her undeniable talent.
Another unlikely pairing was West and Paul McCartney, both of whom collaborated on the new track “Only One,” that is apparently supposed to release later in 2015.
The 57th Grammy Awards was certainly a learning experience for everyone involved, showing the world that a) Madonna is that surprisingly energetic grandma of any award show who is just necessary to invite; b) The Academy needs to lock LL Cool J down in that cellar; and c) Award shows are more than just music, they are a platform to showcase the culture that has defined an entire year of one’s life.