For the first time in 15 years, “music’s biggest night” returns to New York City. The award ceremony, which recognizes musicians across genres, from pop to country to classical, was hosted at Madison Square Garden Jan. 28.
The night began with a performance by Kendrick Lamar alongside rock band U2 and comedian Dave Chappelle. Shortly after, actor-comedian James Corden introduced himself as the award ceremony’s host for the second year in a row.
The first Grammy presentation went to the Best Rap Song Performance which was awarded to to Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty,” feat. Rihanna. Lamar was nominated for a total of seven Grammys for the night, and also competed in other categories such as Album of the Year and Record of the Year.
Sam Smith took the stage with a performance of his gospel-soul “Pray.” Following his performance, Alessia Cara was awarded a Grammy for Best New Artist. Receiving this award for Cara was a symbol of the hard work she has invested in her career, along with “pretending to win Grammys since [she] was a kid in [her] shower.”
Five-time Grammy nominee, Donald Glover (known as Childish Gambino) performed “Terrified” off of his album Redbone. Following the performance, Sheeran was awarded for Best Pop Solo Performance of “Shape of You.”
The ceremony briefly left Madison Square when Corden took to the New York subways, joined by Shaggy and Sting, to spread the excitement of music with others. Corden and Shaggy danced up the subway cars with a stereo and, accompanied by Sting on the guitar, the trio sang “Every Breath You Take,” by The Police, and “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy, hoping to get some of the passengers in on the fun.
Corden then joined the audience to present the Music Educators Award. The award was created about five years ago as an opportunity for the Grammys, and the world, to recognize music teachers who have an outstanding commitment to supporting and growing the field of music education. This year’s award was presented to Melissa Salguero, an elementary school teacher from the Bronx, New York.
Lamar was then welcomed back to the stage to receive his Grammy for Best Rap Album, DAMN.. Going two-for-two at this point in the ceremony, Lamar noted that the “Grammy showed me a true definition of what it was to be an artist was.” He mentioned that being a performer goes beyond the privilege of material things and a big name, but “it’s about expressing yourself and putting the paint on the canvas for the listener and the next generation.”
The Grammys once again left the arena and joined U2 in front of Lady Liberty herself with a performance of “Get Out of Your Own Way.”
Sir Elton John received a 50th Anniversary salute from the Grammys in recognition of the many years of music Sir Elton John has brought to the world. Sir Elton John, who was joined by Miley Cyrus, performed “Tiny Dancer” to celebrate the decades Sir Elton John has dedicated to music throughout his career.
Of course, the Grammys in New York wouldn’t be complete without taking a moment to pay tribute to the show tunes of Broadway. In tribute to one of the biggest names of Broadway, composer Leonard Bernstein, 16-time Grammy-winner, was honored with a performance of “Somewhere” from West Side Story.
Bruno Mars returns to the stage to receive his Grammy for “24K Magic,” record of the year. This was Mars’s second win for the night with “That’s What I Like” as his first win for Song of the Year.
In what may arguably have been one of the toughest categories of the show, Album of the Year nominees included LORDE’s Melodrama, Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love!, 4:44 by Jay-Z, DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar and 24K Magic by Bruno Mars. Ultimately, the award went to Bruno Mars with 24K Magic, making it Mars’s third win for the night.
Although this year didn’t bring the nerve-racking competition Adele and Beyoncé brought to the awards portion of the 2017 ceremony, the Grammys brought a stellar line-up of performances that kept the audience on their feet. Other artists fortunate to take the Grammy stage this year included, Lady Gaga, Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, Ke$ha, Sting and Shaggy and SZA.
Lucille Littlefield is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.