New year, same old Grammys.
The 60th Annual Grammy Awards were held at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 28, and you could not be blamed for feeling like it hadn’t changed in 60 years.
I am someone who actually really gets excited for awards shows, but I could not help feeling that this year’s event was a letdown.
The show seemed out of touch and way too safe.
All of the controversy surrounding the show was the bad kind — not a shocking onstage kiss or scandalous mid-speech interruption, but a lack of female winners and performances from loads of older acts who were not nominated for any awards.
The problem wasn’t actually the celebrities; there were lots of amazing performances and politically charged speeches, but it was kind of the same as every other year.
Album of the Year went to “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars, who also took Song of the Year with “That’s What I Like.”
Then the same album and song also won Record of the Year, Best R&B Performance, Best R&B album and Best R&B Song — a total of six awards that were pretty much all the same thing.
Kendrick Lamar was just behind with five and Ed Sheeran took home two awards for Solo Performance and Pop Vocal Album.
Admittedly they are all good artists, but frankly it’s really, really boring to watch the same three people win all the big awards.
The Grammys made a big show of being supportive of women in the current political and social climate, but literally gave one major award to a woman.
Yes, one. It went to Alessia Cara for Best New Artist, which was weird in itself considering that she has been releasing music since 2015, so she isn’t really a new artist.
To add fuel to the fire, Variety reported days before the show that Lorde, the only female artist nominated for Album of Year, was not offered an opportunity to perform at this year’s
ceremony, while the other four male nominees — Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Childish Gambino — were all offered solo spotlights.
I’m not saying there were no notable moments. Kesha’s performance of “Praying” was beautiful and inspiring, Rihanna owned the stage as she always does, Kendrick Lamar didn’t hold back with his political message and Blue Ivy showed everyone who’s boss.
There was an emotional tribute to the victims of mass violence at concerts in Las Vegas and Manchester, and of course dozens of celebrities walked the red carpet with a white rose to show solidarity and support for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Hillary Clinton’s surprise appearance was fantastic, I’ll give them that.
But “Despacito” was robbed of Song of the Year for me.
Finally, the cutoff date for nominations is also an issue.
The Recording Academy required albums to be released before Sept. 30, 2017, to qualify, so albums from Taylor Swift, Pink, Sam Smith, Maroon 5 and Eminem all couldn’t be considered.
It’s harsh to say the Grammy Awards didn’t get anything right.
There were a lot of good moments peppered throughout the show, but there was nothing that will stand out 10 years from now, let alone 60.
For such an iconic award ceremony and such an impressive anniversary, the show just fell flat.