Last night’s 2021 Grammy awards finally took place at the Staples Center in Las Angeles after being postponed due to COVID. In case you missed it, we have the full list of winners and the best…and the worst of the live performances.
I have to start by giving props to Trevor Noah. Hosting an awards show is hard enough as it is. He did it with NO audience. Just a few cameras in his face and the nominees sitting at socially distanced tables with masks on. It felt a bit awkward at the beginning, but he found his groove and he did an incredible job.
Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar
Harry Styles kicked the show off with his hit, Watermelon Sugar. It was pretty cool to see the performers just performing for each other like a jam session. Here is Harry and his feather boa.
Billie Eilish – Everything I Wanted
Billie took the stage with her bother, Finneas O’Connell to perform Everything I Wanted. I’m not gonna lie…I am a Billie Eilish stan. She’s incredible. Check out a short snippet here.
Haim – Steps
This is my first experience with Haim, and I gotta say…I’m a fan. There’s only a 38 second clip, so here it is!
Black Pumas – Colors
I love the Black Pumas. So soulful, so unique compared to everything that’s currently out there. They were up for 3 Grammys last night, including Record of the Year
DaBaby ft. Roddy Rich – Rockstar
It was a pretty dope performance. It’s a shame there’s only a 38 second clip to this one. I’ll give you an interview with ET Canada, which shows a bit more of the performance, and some 2 of my favorite Tweets from it.
Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez – Dakiti
This performance was pretty awesome. It felt like a music video. I have no idea what they said, but I enjoyed it.
Dua Lipa – Levitating ft. DaBaby/Don’t Stop Now
Dua Lipa is a crazy-good performer. Every movement is choreographed, from her steps to her fingers wrapping around the microphone. Precision at it’s finest. She’s a badass on that stage.
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak) – Leave The Door Open
This was probably my favorite performance of the night. That could be my bias showing, as I’m a huge fan of both of these guys. They really go back to the 70’s with this one. I love it.
Taylor Swift – Medley
Taylor Swift was doing Taylor Swift things on stage. Not my cup of whisky, but she is great at what she does and I respect the hell out of her. She looked great, sounded great, and the set was beautiful. Here is 6 minutes of Tay Tay.
Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak – Good Golly, Miss Molly (Little Richard Tribute)
These guys can do no wrong. A great tribute to the late Little Richard.
Lionel Richie – Lady (Kenny Rogers Tribute)
In a beautiful tribute to the late Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie sings a great rendition of Rogers’ hit, Lady.
Brandi Carlile – I Remember Everything (John Prine Tibute)
There is no video of this performance online yet, so I’ll give you Brandi’s interview about the performance.
Brittany Howard – You’ll Never Walk Alone (Feat. Chris Martin) Tribute to Gerry Mardsen
Brittany Howard is an absolute powerhouse. The Alabama Shakes singer teamed up with Chris Martin on the keys with this beautiful tribute to Gerry Marsden.
Mickey Guyton – Black Like Me
Sending a powerful message at a time we need it most, Guyton has a stunning voice and she really showed it last night.
Maren Morris and John Mayer – The Bones
Morris on vocals and Mayer on guitar…that’s a nice sound. I’m not a huge fan of the song, but Morris does have a beautiful voice and you can never go wrong with John Mayer on guitar.
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion – WAP
Here’s where things get weird. Look, I respect both of these women and their art, and I congratulate them both on their achievements…but cancel culture has me a bit confused. You want to get rid of Dr Seuss books and Mr. Potato Head…but WAP (Wet Ass P*ssy) is cool to play on primetime television? I’m just confused where that line is for you cancelers out there. Personally, cancel culture is a bunch of bullshit and it’s getting out of hand.
Don’t get me wrong. They performed the shit out of this song. The choreography was on point and the set was dope. It also provided the GIF of the night, thanks to Post Malone. I laughed SO hard at his reaction.
Anyway, here’s WAP.
Post Malone – Hollywood’s Bleeding
I need to know what was in that red solo cup he was drinking out of during WAP. Post put on a great show. He didn’t miss a note and it was an emotional performance.
Lil Baby – The Bigger Picture
In the wake of the trial for the death of George Floyd and the anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s tragic death, this performance was poignant.
Doja Cat – Say So
I’m a fan of Doja Cat and her performance last night was off the hook.
BTS – Dynamite
BTS always puts on a show. K-Pop artists are trained and groomed for years before they even hit a stage. Everything has to be spot-on. There is a dark side to that part of K-Pop, but that’s another story. These guys are dope and seeing K-Pop blow up in the US makes me really miss Korea.
Roddy Rich – Heartless / The Box
The final performance of the night provided great ending to a fun night of live music that I needed.
Record of the Year
“Everything I Wanted” — Billie Eilish — Winner
“Black Parade” — Beyoncé
“Colors” — Black Pumas
“Rockstar” — DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
“Say So” — Doja Cat
“Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa
“Circles” — Post Malone
“Savage” — Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé
Album of the Year
“Folklore” — Taylor Swift — Winner
“Chilombo” — Jhené Aiko
“Black Pumas” (Deluxe Edition) — Black Pumas
“Everyday Life” — Coldplay
“Djesse Vol. 3” — Jacob Collier
“Women in Music Pt. III” — Haim
“Future Nostalgia” — Dua Lipa
“Hollywood’s Bleeding” — Post Malone
Song of the Year
“I Can’t Breathe” — H.E.R. — Winner
“Black Parade” — Beyoncé
“The Box” — Roddy Ricch
“Cardigan” — Taylor Swift
“Circles” — Post Malone
“Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa
“Everything I Wanted” — Billie Eilish
“If the World Was Ending” — JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels
“Copland: Symphony No. 3” — Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)
“Lutosławski: Symphonies No. 2 & 3” — Hannu Lintu, conductor (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)
Best Opera Recording
“Gershwin: Porgy and Bess” — David Robertson, conductor; Angel Blue & Eric Owens; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus) — Winner
“Dello Joio: The Trial at Rouen” — Gil Rose, conductor; Heather Buck & Stephen Powell; Gil Rose, producer (Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Odyssey Opera Chorus)
“Floyd, C: Prince of Players” — William Boggs, conductor; Keith Phares & Kate Royal; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Florentine Opera Chorus)
“Handel: Agrippina” — Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor; Joyce DiDonato; Daniel Zalay, producer (Il Pomo D’Oro)
“Zemlinsky: Der Zwerg” — Donald Runnicles, conductor; David Butt Philip & Elena Tsallagova; Peter Ghirardini & Erwin Stürzer, producers (Orchestra Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin; Chorus Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin)
Best Choral Performance
“Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua” — JoAnn Falletta, conductor; James K. Bass & Adam Luebke, chorus masters (James K. Bass, J’Nai Bridges, Timothy Fallon, Kenneth Overton, Hila Plitmann & Matthew Worth; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus & UCLA Chamber Singers) — Winner
“Carthage” — Donald Nally, conductor (The Crossing)
“Kastalski: Requiem” — Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Charles Bruffy, Steven Fox & Benedict Sheehan, chorus masters (Joseph Charles Beutel & Anna Dennis; Orchestra Of St. Luke’s; Cathedral Choral Society, The Clarion Choir, Kansas City Chorale & The Saint Tikhon Choir)
“Moravec: Sanctuary Road” — Kent Tritle, conductor (Joshua Blue, Raehann Bryce-Davis, Dashon Burton, Malcolm J. Merriweather & Laquita Mitchell; Oratorio Society Of New York Orchestra; Oratorio Society Of New York Chorus)
“Once Upon a Time” — Matthew Guard, conductor (Sarah Walker; Skylark Vocal Ensemble)
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
“Contemporary Voices” — Pacifica Quartet — Winner
“Healing Modes” — Brooklyn Rider
“Hearne, T,: Place” — Ted Hearne, Steven Bradshaw, Sophia Byrd, Josephine Lee, Isaiah Robinson, Sol Ruiz, Ayanna Woods & Place Orchestra
“Hynes: Fields” — Devonté Hynes & Third Coast Percussion
“The Schumann Quartets” — Dover Quartet
Best Classical Instrumental Solo
“Theofanidis: Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra” — Richard O’Neill; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony) — Winner
“Adés: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” — Kirill Gerstein; Thomas Adès, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)
“Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas” — Igor Levit
“Bohemian Tales” — Augustin Hadelich; Jakub Hrůša, conductor (Charles Owen; Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks)
“Destination Rachmaninov – Arrival” — Daniil Trifonov; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor (The Philadelphia Orchestra)
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album
“Smyth: The Prison” — Sarah Brailey & Dashon Burton; James Blachly, conductor (Experiential Chorus; Experiential Orchestra) — Winner
“American Composers at Play – William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, John Musto” — Stephen Powell (Attacca Quartet, William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, John Musto, Charles Neidich & Jason Vieaux)
“Clairières – Songs by Lili & Nadia Boulanger” — Nicholas Phan; Myra Huang, accompanist
“Farinelli” — Cecilia Bartoli; Giovanni Antonini, conductor (Il Giardino Armonico)
“A Lad’s Love” — Brian Giebler; Steven McGhee, accompanist (Katie Hyun, Michael Katz, Jessica Meyer, Reginald Mobley & Ben Russell)
Best Classical Compendium
“Thomas, M.T.: From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke” — Isabel Leonard; Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Jack Vad, producer — Winner
“Adès Conducts Adès” — Mark Stone & Christianne Stotijn; Thomas Adès, conductor; Nick Squire, producer
“Saariaho: Graal Théâtre; Circle Map, Neiges, Vers Toi Qui Es Si Loin” — Clément Mao-Takacs, conductor; Hans Kipfer, producer
“Serebrier: Symphonic Bach Variations; Laments and Hallelujahs; Flute Concerto” — José Serebrier, conductor; Jens Braun, producer
“Woolf, L.P.: Fire and Blood” — Matt Haimovitz; Julian Wachner, conductor; Blanton Alspaugh, producer
“Adès: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” — Thomas Adès, composer (Kirill Gerstein, Thomas Adès & Boston Symphony Orchestra)
“Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua” — Richard Danielpour, composer (JoAnn Falletta, James K. Bass, Adam Luebke, UCLA Chamber Singers, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra & Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus)
“Floyd, C.: Prince of Players” — Carlisle Floyd, composer (William Boggs, Kate Royal, Keith Phares, Florentine Opera Chorus & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)
“Hearne, T.: Place” — Ted Hearne, composer (Ted Hearne, Steven Bradshaw, Sophia Byrd, Josephine Lee, Isaiah Robinson, Sol Ruiz, Ayanna Woods & Place Orchestra)
Best Music Video
“Brown Skin Girl” — Beyoncé, Saint Jhn & Wizkid Featuring Blue Ivy Carter — Winner
“Life Is Good” — Future Featuring Drake
“Lockdown” — Anderson .Paak
“Adore You” — Harry Styles
“Goliath” — Woodkid
Best Music Film
“Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” — Linda Ronstadt — Winner
“Beastie Boys Story” — Beastie Boys
“Black Is King” — Beyoncé
“We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” — Freestyle Love Supreme
“That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” — ZZ Top
Congratulations to Beyonce for breaking the record for most Grammy awards by a female artist. Congrats to The Weeknd, who is a Grammy winner in my eyes. Seriously though…what’s with the snub? Dude’s been in the top 10 all year. Number 1 for a good chunk of the year. Get it together over there.