By Chloe Steinig
LOS ANGELES-The 59th Annual Grammy Awards were held on Feb. 12 at the Staples Center. Referred to as “music’s biggest night,” the award ceremony recognizes excellence in music of all genres. Hosted by comedian and late night host James Corden, the show drew millions of viewers. As prestigious as the award is, performing during the show is impressive in it’s own right. This year’s show featured 17 performances in total, but only a select few stood out.
Adele opened the ceremony with “Hello.” Her impressive vocal range never failing to wow audiences. It was a simple performance, with the singer standing on a stage with no props beside a black and white LED screen with a live feed of her singing, but it let the powerful song grab viewer’s attention. She received a standing ovation.
The singer came back out later in the show to do her own rendition of “Fast Love,” a tribute to singer George Michael who passed away Christmas day. After a quick flub at the start of her performance, she quickly stopped the performance to restart, stating “I have to do it right for him.” A montage of the late singer’s notable moments, from his time with Wham! to his successful solo career played behind Adele and a live orchestra. It was an emotional piece that had members of the crowd, including J-Lo, teary eyed.
Despite being pregnant with twins, Beyonce put on a stunning visual performance. Revolving around the theme of birth and highlighting her bump, daughter Blue Ivy danced around the acclaimed singer as she went into “Love Drought,” off of the best urban contemporary winning album “Lemonade.”
With a golden headpiece fit for a saint, surrounded by flowers and a light illuminating her from behind, she was nothing short of a goddess. The outfit simply accentuated her gift from above: her voice. Receiving a standing ovation like Adele, the audience seemed to love the ethereal presentation from the most nominated female artist in Grammy history.
Clad in a vinyl tracksuit, Bruno Mars crooned out “That’s What I Like” accompanied by two back up dancers in similar attire. Coming from the stage during the song’s bridge, he went right up to fans in the pit. A smooth R&B influenced song, Bruno got the audience to like. Friend and fellow performer John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen were shown dancing throughout his performance. He also returned to participate in a tribute to the late Prince. With a purple suit, white guitar, and ‘eyeliner-ed’ eyes he covered “Let’s Go Crazy,” encapsulating the aura of Prince himself.
Katy Perry performed her new single “Chained to the Rhythm” alongside Skip Marley. A tease to her highly anticipated new album, the song was released Feb. 10, making this performance it’s debut. With a catchy dance beat and Marley’s verse, the song lead up to a political message. Backdropped by a picture of the Constitution, the singer and Marley held their hands up and shouted “No hate!”.
One week after her Superbowl appearance, Lady Gaga played alongside Metallica. This may seem like an unexpected pairing, but Gaga has cited Iron Maiden and other metal bands as major influences. Singing “Moth into Flame” from Metallica’s newest album “Hardwired,” the performance was full of flames and adrenaline, despite frontman James Hetfield’s microphone being off for the first half of the song. Gaga, with her Metallica shirt and fishnets, complimented the band and brought a spark to the show that many thought couldn’t work, despite having a song titled “Heavy Metal Lover.”
Other performances included Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, Chance the Rapper with Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann, and a politically charged performance by Anderson .Paak, Busta Rhymes, and A Tribe Called Quest.
Watch clips from all performances here.