On Sunday evening, the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards event was held outside the Los Angeles Convention Center. Like many of its kind, it was a record-making event that featured some of the music entertainment industry’s biggest stars. Here are key moments from the event.
Cardi B Performs WAP With Megan Thee Stallion
According to the New York Post, “Cardi B channeled her stripper past” into this performance alongside Meghan Thee Stallion.
With WAP being a hit song currently certified 5x platinum, its performance defied expectations, with Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B making it ready for prime time. Megan Thee Stallion first performed Savage. Cardi B joined to perform Up before performing WAP together for the first time.
With its explicit video and lyrics, the song received mixed reactions upon release. It was pretty controversial with lyrics such as “bring a bucket and a mop for this wet-a** p****,” “Wet-a** p**** make that pull-out game weak”, and “I want you to park that big Mack truck right in this little garage.”
Describing the performance at the Grammys, Variety reports:
“The duo performed a strip club-themed version of the song, featuring a pole on a massive high heel and ending with the two rappers writhing together on a giant bed. Even though the chorus was changed to ‘wet wet wet’ to pass network muster, the song’s message of sexual empowerment remained clear.”
Describing the reaction of fans to the performance, the Huffington Post wrote:
“The oh-so-steamy performance had fans on social media getting hot and happy at home.”
In a tweet, Justina Valentine described one of the moves in the performance as “too FIRE.”
The New York Times wrote on the supposed political implications of their performance, saying:
“If you needed any more evidence that Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion remain unbowed by the conservative pearl-clutching that followed the release of their raunchy due WAP, the Grammys had it.”
No matter how much criticism it received, it was performed at the Grammys.
Women Making History – Beyoncé and Taylor Swift
Beyoncé made Grammy history, with her now having 28 Grammy awards to her name. Before that Sunday evening, she had 24 of them. She bagged the 28th award in the Best R&B Performance category for BlackParade.
According to the Washington Post, she is the “first artist, male or female, to notch that many wins, though producer Quincy Jones has amassed as many in his decades-long career.”
After receiving her 28th award, Beyoncé said:
“As an artist, I believe it’s my job, and all of our jobs to reflect the time and it’s been such a difficult time.”
She also won Best Music Video for Brown Skin Girl and Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for Savage with Megan Thee Stallion.
Taylor Swift also made history, becoming the first woman to win album of the year thrice. She won her third album of the year award for Folklore. It was the highest-selling album of 2020. According to the Washington Post, she is the “fourth artist” to win such after Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, and Paul Simon.
After accepting her award, she said:
“Joe, who is the first person that I play every single song that I write, I had the best time writing songs with you in quarantine. I want to thank James, Inez, and Betty, and their parents, who are the second and third people that I play every song I write. But mostly, we just want to thank the fans. You guys met us in this imaginary world that we created, and we can’t tell you how honored we are forever by this.”
Harry Styles Comes With Extra Style
Harry Styles opened the event performing his song Watermelon Sugar. Yet, much of the attention was on his choice of clothes: a full leather suit adorned with a sage-green feather boa. This was his first Grammy performance, during which he also won the Grammy award for Best Pop Solo Performance.
Entertainment Tonight describes his outfit in detail:
“The 27-year-old singer opened the virtual/in-person hybrid event with a performance of his hit song, Watermelon Sugar, wearing a black leather suit from Gucci. To complete the look, Styles – with the help of his stylist, Harry Lambert – accessorized with a bold and playful green faux fur boa. The artist made sure to take full advantage of this head-turning accessory during his performance, eventually tossing it to the side before finishing the song and showcasing his iconic chest tattoos.”
On the Grammy Awards website, there were allusions to believe that that Styles’ “vintage-inspired style… would make his inspirations, Elton John and Mick Jagger, proud.”
Ever since he appeared on the front cover of Vogue Magazine wearing a dress, his wardrobe has become a subject for discussion. This incident prompted a response from Candace Owens at the time. In a tweet, she described it as an ‘outright attack’ and concluded her tweet with the words, “Bring back manly men.”
Trevor Noah Hosted The 63rd Grammy Award Ceremony
Trevor Noah of The Daily Show on CBS hosted this event. As always, he had an arsenal of witty comments and jokes ready. He even made jokes about the US Capitol attack when he said:
“Tonight is gonna be the biggest outdoor event this year besides the storming of the Capitol.”
Even Buckingham Palace was not left out with recent events that could be brewing tension within the royal family. Noah said:
“This year’s Grammy’s is going to look a little different. The whole thing is going to be different. But it’s going to be even more exciting because our nominees will be sitting at those tables for their awards. So right now, there is more tension in that tent than at a family reunion at Buckingham Palace.”
He also mentioned how the Grammy event could be a moment of hope during this Covid-19 pandemic. In his exact words to Billboard:
“Hopefully this can be a respite from that for a moment, and then we’ll be like, ‘Oh yeah, that was the beginning of when we got to start living our lives again.”
As for precautions taken against Covid-19, he said:
“Rest assured everyone here is following all Covid 19 protocols and guidelines.” From videos of the event, it seemed that those protocols and guidelines did not include social distancing and mask-wearing. Noah did say though that “this is going to be the rare awards show where the white stuff going up people’s noses is cotton swabs. Pretty safe.”
There is even a video of Megan Thee Stallion and Billie Eilish hugging at the event.
Whatever Noah meant by “protocols and guidelines” is unclear, but you might have been able to guess what was done before the event.