Grammys 2017: The Best Performances of the Night
The biggest music night, the 59th annual Grammy Awards, took place on February 12, and the performances are still on a loop in our heads. The night kicked off with this year’s host, James Corden, creating quite the spectacle as he stumbled down the stairs and ended up rapping about the Grammys.
But more than comedy, this show was a night of tributes paid to the greats, from George Michael to The Bee Gees to Prince. While the Grammys always guarantees star-studded performances, this year was full of unexpected moments: We’re talking Lady Gaga and Metallica; and Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Andra Day and Little Big Town taking on the Bee Gees tunes.
If you missed these, and more, check out the best Grammys 2017 performances below.
The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk
Paris Jackson introduced the Weeknd and Daft Punk’s performance warmly and graciously: “A legend once said that a star can never die, it just turns into a smile and melts back into the cosmic music, the dance of life. The artist about to take the stage is a shining star whose cosmic style has embraced the very roots of music, from R&B to soul to hip-hop and now pop music. Joined by his genius collaborators and robot friends, Daft Punk, we have here tonight a real starboy.” Though there was a “Starboy” beat that came through at some points, The Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye, performed “I Feel It Coming.” Despite the futuristic-looking set and the fact that Daft Punk were there doing their synthesizer thing, Tesfaye’s voice was soft and the focus really was on his singing talent more than anything else.
Katy Kat performed her brand-new single, “Chained to the Rhythm,” and she got people talking for reasons beyond the catchy tune. Political undertones underscored the performance: An armband with a bedazzled “Resist” accessorized her white tux, and she held hands with Bob Marley’s grandson, Skip, in front of a projection of the Declaration of Independence. She’s also making headlines for another reason: On the red carpet, Perry threw shade at Britney Spears when she told reporters on two separate occasions that while she took a break to care for her mental health, she didn’t go and shave off her hair.
There are so many things that Beyoncé could’ve done to surprise us—well, the fact that she performed despite being pregnant with twins is reason enough to watch in awe. But even in our wildest dreams we couldn’t have imagined such an intricate show. She performed two songs from Lemonade, “Sandcastles” and “Love Drought,” with a chilling understatedness in the vocal department. Dressed like a goddess, in a sheer golden gown and elaborate crown, she spent much of the songs seated in a chair—which, at one point, tipped all the way backward and had her parallel to the floor in midair. (Don’t worry, this was planned.) According to the LA Times , the complex production included thousands of flowers, two dozen backup dancers and a live band offstage. The poetic performance also featured a video montage of her dancing around with her pregnant belly and much of her body exposed, and the lyrics to Warsan Shire’s poem for Lemonade were recited.
Wearing a tracksuit, Mars opened his performance singing “That’s What I Like,” with his backup singers giving the performance an added old-school-boy-band dimension. Mars was visibly sweating by the end, and given the belting that went down, it’s not surprising. And while he was a joy to watch, perhaps more enjoyable were the celebs singing their hearts out in the audience, including J.Lo, Chrissy Teigen and Keith Urban.
Tribute to George Michael
Singing George Michael’s 1996 hit “Fastlove,” Adele proved that even a Grammy-award-winning singer can make a mistake on live television. To some, it may have been a diva move to stop mid-song to begin again, but given that it was a tribute to her idol, the late George Michael, she asked the audience for forgiveness because she “can’t mess this up for him.” Although it wasn’t perfect to her, she was perfect to our ears, and every single person in that audience would agree. And really, Adele can do no wrong, right?!
Lady Gaga x Metallica
Only one question comes to mind when watching Lady Gaga’s heavy metal performance with Metallica: Where does she get her energy, and how do get some of that? There may have been some technical difficulties in the beginning in the mic department, but that didn’t stop them from giving their all—you know, flames and crowd-surfing, NBD. Lady Gaga, we bow down.
The “Saturday Night Fever” Tribute
You would think that the pressure of singing the best hits from Saturday Night Fever with OG Bee Gees member Barry Gibbs sitting in the audience would add some serious pressure to the Grammys performance. But judging from the joint performance from Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Little Big Town and Andra Day, they didn’t break a sweat. (Well, they probably did since they were decked out in sequins from head to toe, but isn’t that the essence of disco?)
Salute to Prince
There is probably nobody more fitting to sing Prince’s best hits than The Tymes and Bruno Mars. While the American soul group got the audience out of their chairs dancing, Mars took it to the next level by channelling Prince via an iconic purple sequinned suit (and requisite haircut and smudged eyeliner). So good.
Now let’s watch (and rewatch) them again, shall we?