Lady Gaga's homage to David Bowie
David Bowie's unexpected death last month shook the music world to its core. Lady Gaga, who is perhaps the most Bowie-like figure working today (at least in mainstream pop), honored the late musician with a compilation of his greatest hits that included "Space Oddity," "Changes" and "Ziggy Stardust." It was fast, furious and appropriately out there.
Kendrick Lamar's incendiary performance
Kendrick Lamar might've gotten snubbed in the Album of the Year category (sidenote: WTF?), but his Grammys performance was on fire (literally). He opened with "The Blacker the Berry" while in chains and prison garb with his band locked inside jail cells. He followed that banger with "Alright," which was accompanied by a giant bonfire on stage. Lamar's performance was a compelling break of the watered-down, controversy-shy performances the Grammys typically favor.
The closest most people will come to seeing Hamilton
Getting a ticket to Hamilton is about as difficult as finding a unicorn (unless you have the kind of money that could buy you a unicorn). The musical is set to tour nationally later this year, but most people will never have the chance to see the original Broadway cast perform. The Grammys gave us a little taste of what we're all missing, with Lin Manuel-Miranda and company performing the show's opening number. Later in the night, Hamilton (unsurprisingly) won for Best Musical Theater Album, and Miranda appropriately rapped his thank you speech.
Bonnie Raitt, Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark Jr.'s B.B. King cover
Blues legend B.B. King passed away last May, but his spirit was certainly present at the Grammys on Monday night. Chris Stapleton, Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt performed a rendition of King's "The Thrill is Gone," which was powerful enough to bring a tear to the eye of any avid (or even casual) blues fan.
Taylor Swift firing back at Kanye
Kanye West took a shot at Taylor Swift in his new album The Life of Pablo, claiming that he made her famous during his infamous interruption of the pop star at the 2010 VMAs. Swift fired back in her acceptance speech for Album of the Year, saying "I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work and you don't let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you're going, you'll look around and you will know that it was you and the people love you who put you there. And that will be the greatest feeling in the world." Cue Taylor death stare.
Ellie Goulding and Andra Day's lovely duet
Andra Day's "Rise Up" was the first firecracker performance at the Grammys (sorry T-Swift, your "Out of the Woods" was a bit of a flop), and when Ellie Goulding came in to join her for a duet of her Oscar-nominated song "Love Me Like You Do," we got the tingles.
Justin Bieber's performance (really!)
Goddamn you, Bieber (and we're sorry Jus for taking His name in vain). We try so very, very hard to dislike you for all the myriad reasons you’ve given us, but then you go and do a flawless version of “Love Yourself” and join Skrillex and Diplo for a “Where Are Ü Now” that had us thrashing about joyously in our living room. What’s with the Chris Martin–esque stage-hopping, though?