The Good, the Bad and the Sad: Grammys 2020

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Even for an awards show, a lot happened at the Grammys last night, which took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. From some runaway wins to some lackluster performances, the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by Alicia Keys, had some polarizing moments amidst scandal and tragedy. 

The sad 

We’re actually going to start with “the sad,” considering the significance of the event. Going into Sunday, the media was buzzing about the scandal surrounding the controversial ousting of Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan. However, the focus quickly shifted to an event much more important, the death of former NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant.  

The event had even more significance considering it was hosted in his home court of almost 20 years. Stars and fans alike banded together to honor Bryant after he shockingly passed away in a helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of eight other passengers, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men collaborated on a tribute for the star with an a cappella rendition of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye.” Many artists, such as Lizzo, paid respects to Bryant in their acceptance speeches and performances. 

The late Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, who passed away last March, was also paid tribute with a collaborative performance from John Legend, Meek Mill, Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch and YG. He posthumously won Best Rap Performance for “Racks in the Middle.” 

The Good 

Despite the somber mood of the night, there were definitely still some high points. A star among stars, the young Billie Eilish managed to sweep not just any four awards, but the Big Four: Record, Song and Album of the Year, as well as Best New Artist. That’s not to mention her wins for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. By her final award, Eilish sheepishly said a short “thank you” for her acceptance speech and quickly left the stage. However, despite others’ belief that the awards are rigged, no one could deny the deserved wins. 

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Lizzo, the most nominated artist of the night, stole the show in her own right, from her performance to her win. She opened the ceremony with a dynamic performance of songs from “Cuz I Love You,” including “Truth Hurts” and an iconic flute solo. The breakout star took home Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best Pop/Solo Performance. 

Demi Lovato made her first live musical debut since 2018 with a stunning and emotional performance of her original song “Anyone,” which she “wrote days before her overdose, calling it a ‘cry for help,’” according to NBC News. The pop singer became so emotional that she had to restart the song after the first few words, but managed to pull off a powerful performance for the audience, who granted her a standing ovation. 

The bad 

To be completely honest, most performances of the night felt out of place. Normally, I watch the Grammys just for the performances. I was surprised by my disappointment in some of them, and instead, was engrossed by the award portions. 

I love Lil Nas X and his Twitter presence, however, his performance of “Old Town Road,” featuring BTS, Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo and the yodeling boy, A.K.A. Mason Ramsey, fell flat for me. There was just too much going on, even for an “Old Town Road” performance. 

Similarly, Ariana Grande, whose stage presence and live quality are normally undeniable, didn’t wow with her medley of songs. I’m not sure if it was an off day, but we know how talented she is, so I wouldn’t put one against her. 


Hollie Lao is a staff writer and the social media manager for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hollianne.lao@uconn.edu.

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