By: Samantha Illenz
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.- The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards was a night filled with fashion, musical performances and several tributes. Hours before the show, news broke about basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others had passed away in a helicopter crash. The award ceremony’s venue happens to be the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, the home of Bryant’s basketball career. It was only right that the night began with a tribute to Kobe. The first performance of the night was by singer-songwriter, Lizzo. “Tonight is for Kobe,” she said before she began her performance of a mash-up of some of her most popular singles. Most of the performers, hosts and presenters had also taken moments to honor Kobe Bryant and the other individuals who had lost their lives that morning.
As the night progressed, we saw performances from artists such as the Jonas Brothers, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X; but there were three major standout performances that had viewers buzzing after the show. Demi Lovato makes an emotional and beautiful return to performing live with her newly released song, “Anyone.” Lovato recorded the heartfelt anthem only four days prior to her overdose back in 2018. The choked up vocalist had to collect herself before beginning over again and delivering one of the most powerful performances of that night, and arguably of her career. The song is a nearly four minute plea for relief and help from the struggles she was facing at the time. Demi Lovato sharing her story and journey through her substance abuse and recovery is of great significance to the music industry and the population overall.
Next to provide a touching performance was Camila Cabello with her song “First Man.” Directed towards and dedicated to her father, Cabello sings about how much her father means to her and how much she loves him. As she is singing, a slideshow of home videos of her and her father played over the curtains behind her. Her father Alejandro, was sitting front row during the performance to which she walks up to him and serenades him as they both shed tears and share smiles.
Lastly a tribute to late rapper, Nipsey Hussle, was given by Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, John Legend, Roddy Rich, YG, and Kirk Franklin. The performance was composed of verses from Meek Mill, Roddy Rich, YG, and Kirk Franklin all expressing the power Nipsey had on the rap and music community and how hard Hussle’s death had impacted their lives. DJ Khaled and John Legend gave a performance of their song “Higher,” that Nipsey Hussle was featured on. Emotions ran high throughout the entire performance and to continue the theme of honoring late loved ones, the end of the tribute included a nod to Kobe Bryant.
The night began with emotion and ended with nothing less; the performances from the 2020 Grammy Awards left the audience and viewers at home with a better appreciation of life.