Awards were accepted, performances and politics combined, and the music of 2017 was celebrated Sunday evening at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards were broadcast on CBS and millions of viewers tuned in to see which artists would be causing controversy and grabbing Grammys.
The evening began and ended with the soulful English singer-songwriter, Adele.
Adele opened the program with a seemingly appropriate performance of her quad ruple platinum hit, “Hello,” and ended the evening accepting the two biggest awards of the night, Record of the Year for “Hello,” and Album of the Year for “25.”
Adele went five-for-five winning every category she was nominated for, including Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year.
After this year’s Grammy Awards, Adele has proven herself to be Grammy royalty, bringing her total award count to 15 and establishing herself as the first person to win Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year twice.
However, Adele was reluctant to accept her awards over Beyoncé’s single “Formation” and album “Lemonade,” stating that “Lemonade” was monumental, beautiful and soul bearing.
“We all got to see another side to you that you don’t always let us see,” Adele said. “We appreciate that and all of us artists adore you and you are our light.”
Adele wasn’t the only one disappointed with The Recording Academy’s lack of recognition for “Lemonade,” with many artists, fans and critics taking to social media to voice their disappointment.
Sophomore English and Spanish major Kate Robb was one Beyoncé fan disappointed in the “Lemonade” appreciation at the Grammys.
“I just think that the album spoke for so much more,” Robb said. “It wasn’t just catchy songs.
“It was a statement about uplifting women and African-American power and it stood up for topics that are so important right now.”
Although Queen B didn’t win as many awards as anticipated, the expecting mother did win the category for Best Urban Contemporary Album, and delivered one of the most talked-about performances of the evening.
At the beginning of the month Beyoncé turned to Instagram to announce that she was pregnant with twins, sparking much excitement and wonder about what she would have in store for her Grammy performance.
Beyoncé delivered a colorfully ethereal performance of her songs “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles,” celebrating her heritage and motherhood with elaborate stage choreography and visual graphics.
While Beyoncé didn’t choose to use the Grammy stage for a political performance, other artists did.
Katy Perry, an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton, performed her newest single “Chained to the Rhythm” in a Clinton-like pantsuit with a band around her arm that said “resist.” At the end of her performance Perry shouted “no hate” as an image of the Declaration of Independence flashed across the stage.
Perhaps more political than Perry’s moment was a collaborative performance from A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, Consequence and Anderson Paak that included songs “Award Tour,” “Movin Backwards” and “We the People.”
During the performance members referred to President Donald Trump as “President Agent Orange” and addressed Trump’s controversial travel ban by knocking down a symbolic wall and inviting people of all different races onto the stage.
Offsetting these politically charged performances were an abundance of predictable numbers from artists like The Weeknd, Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood, Ed Sheeran, Maren Morris and Alecia Keys, Metallica and Lady Gaga, Little Big Town and Lukas Graham.
In addition to these performances, the Grammys kept with the tradition of honoring past artists with a number of tributes throughout the evening.
Adele honored the late George Michael with an emotional performance of “Fastlove,” and not wanting to botch his memorial, restarted the song to give the singer the tribute he deserved.
A slew of stars including Demi Lovato, Andra Day, Tori Kelly and Little Big Town joined together to pay tribute to the Bee Gees, singing hits like “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever.”
The tribute of the night went to Prince, with The Time and Bruno Mars collaborating for an energetic celebration of the late pop legend. Mars dressed as Prince and performed “Let’s Go Crazy,” guitar solo included, creating a pageant of purple passion worthy of Prince’s legacy.
Sophomore industrial engineering major Maggie Rutkowski said that she thought Mars’ tribute to Prince was well-done.
“I think it’s always great when artists of our time look back and honor artists before them,” she said. “I think kids in our generation forget to appreciate great artists like Prince.”
After honoring Prince, the performances transitioned from the past to the present as the winner of the Best New Artist category, Chance the Rapper, displayed his talents with a powerful, gospel-infused performance of “How Great is Our God” and “All We Got.”
Zachary Hall, a senior radiological science and health science major, thought Chance the Rapper’s performance was heartwarming and beautiful.
“You could truly feel the love and enthusiasm he laced into every word he spoke,” he said. “This was not just another meretricious performance staged at the Grammys.”
Chance the Rapper made Grammy history Sunday evening as the first artist to win a Grammy with not a single song sold.
This Chicago-native indie artist has built a reputation for remaining unsigned to any record label, making music his own way and releasing it for free via streaming services like SoundCloud and Apple Music.
Blessings were certainly falling in his lap as Chance the Rapper scooped up three Grammys, two in, of course, rap categories.
Besides Chance and Adele, other big winners of the night included Morris, Twenty One Pilots and the late David Bowie.
Morris won her first Grammy in the category of Best Country Solo Performance.
A pant-less Twenty One Pilots also accepted their first Grammy award in the category of Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, sharing a story of while “nobodies,” they joked about receiving first Grammy award in their underwear.
Bowie scored five posthumous awards for his final album “Blackstar,” including Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song and Best Alternative Music Album.
For a full list of winners for the 59th Annual Grammy Awards visit www.grammy.com.