Pop, Politics Dominate 60th Annual Grammy Awards

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The 60th Annual Grammy Awards were awesome if you were either Bruno Mars, a Patti LuPone fan, an admirer of sign language, a supporter of the #MeToo movement, or that hot chick dancing to “Despacito.” They were also pretty good for everyone else, except for maybe the losers. (At least they got puppies, though.) The Grammys telecast also had its fair share of inherently queer moments, such as when Miley Cyrus looked like she was about to make out with Elton John, a la Britney and Madonna at the VMAs. But we’ll get to those.

Our host for the night was James Corden, who is essentially every great diva of the stage and screen presented in the form of a portly British man. After zipping through some platitudes about diversity and the power of music or whatever, Corden introduced the first act of the night, Kendrick Lamar, who wowed with a politically charged performance of “XXX” followed by “King’s Dead.” Rapping in front of an American flag and surrounded by young black men dressed as American soldiers, Lamar made an evocative commentary on American society’s ongoing violence towards black men. We were even willing to ignore the presence of Dave Chappelle, who recently made headlines for his ignorant, sexist, homophobic jokes about Harvey Weinstein and Anthony Rapp.

And then Lady Gaga swooped in to save us with a double performance of “Joanne” and “Million Reasons,” just before falling into a pair of angel wings as if metaphorically putting her Joanne phase to rest. Like, we didn’t hate Joanne, but we definitely think it’s #TimesUp for Country Gaga.  

Lady Gaga 60Th Grammys GIF by Recording Academy / GRAMMYs - Find & Share on GIPHY

Oh, and there was Sam Smith, dressed in full R. Kelly white robe realness, as if he were in a music video for “No Longer Trapped in the Closet.” To be honest, we were unimpressed by his lack of energy. Like, Sam, honey: If a waddling 70-year-old (Elton John) can bring the drama better than you, then maybe you should consider something more fresh than a backup choir.

Sam Smith 60Th Grammys GIF by Recording Academy / GRAMMYs - Find & Share on GIPHY

Anyway, yes, we loved Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” duet with Miley, even though they didn’t actually make out. And speaking of Elton John, what was with that tired Jim Gaffigan joke about Elton being his mom? Like, omg, so edgy: You made a joke comparing a gay man to a woman. You should totally win the Grammy for Best Comedy Album. (Oh, you didn’t? You lost to an even more flagrant homophobe, Dave Chappelle? Sad!)

Miley Cyrus 60Th Grammys GIF by Recording Academy / GRAMMYs - Find & Share on GIPHY

And speaking of ending sentences with “Sad,” there was much trolling of President Donald Trump in this telecast. Trump, who childishly feuded with Jay-Z this past weekend after Jay-Z confronted Trump’s lies about black unemployment, must have been infuriated when a series of celebrities including Cardi B and fucking Cher narrated outlandish segments of Fire and Fury in an effort to win the job of “Fire and Fury Audiobook Narrator.” The winner? None other than Hillary Clinton, who garnered the longest cheer of the night after saying only two words.  

Hillary Clinton He Had A Longtime Fear Of Being Poisoned One Reason Why He Liked To Eat At Mcdonalds GIF by Recording Academy / GRAMMYs - Find & Share on GIPHY

Another political moment came in the form of Kesha, who made a triumphant and tearful return to the Grammys after a well-publicized legal battle with producer Dr. Luke, who allegedly emotionally, sexually, and physically abused her. Surrounded by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Julia Michaels, and Bebe Rexha and the Resistance Revival Chorus (a collective of performers who sing protest anthems), Kesha pretty much owned the performance of her hit single “Praying,” which is about seeking grace for your abusers and finding strength within your battered heart. It was as devastatingly emotional as it sounds, and it caused basically everyone on the Internet to cry. And yet, Kesha still lost the Grammy for Pop Vocal Performance to fucking Ed Sheeran.

Grammy Awards 60Th Grammys GIF by Recording Academy / GRAMMYs - Find & Share on GIPHY

Less political was Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s performance of “Despacito,” which made the revolutionary creative choice of filling the stage with writhing, half-naked women. It was truly a brave move for a song that illustrates the plight of writhing, half-naked women. Did this seem tone deaf to you considering the overall theme of the night? #MeToo.

In other news, Sting is still a major daddy, and Ben Platt is a phenomenal singer whose album cannot come out soon enough. (But seriously, when will he officially come out already?) Oh, and Carrie Fisher won a posthumous Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for her recording of her own memoir, The Princess Diarist.

As mentioned earlier, Bruno Mars won like every major award, but we figured you weren’t here for that. You can check out the full list of winners here, if you’re interested.


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