February 5, 2024
Trish Arab

66th Annual Grammy Awards - Music's Biggest Night (2 minute read)

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I guess I have to start this post by stating a random yet relevant fact: I'll never get over Staples Center being renamed Crypto.com Arena. I understand how naming rights work, and I'm sure crypto.com paid a fortune, but it just doesn't feel right, and I don't think it ever will (of course, I still call the Rogers Center, Skydome and it's been almost 20 years so I guess I'm stuck with Boomer energy on this one.

Ok, back to the awards. This was a very interesting production. The Grammys were a hot mess, unlike the Emmys, which were precise and perfectly done. The audio was off, the vibe in the room was off, the sporadic table seating was off. The presenters, at times, needed clarification. Meryl, I love you; what are you doing presenting and doing a schtick with your son-in-law Mark Ronson? What is happening? Like seriously. And what typically is the most moving part, the "in memorium," was so long and contrived that it was hard to believe that some of the greatest musicians were on the stage honouring all we've lost in the industry this past year. From Annie Lennox's pitchy and offbeat cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U" to Oprah cheerfully talking about her dead friend Tina Turner, it was beyond cringe. Needless to say, the Grammys won't be winning any Emmys next year for this performance.

Ok, we are starting with what I didn't like; let's move on to all the great stuff that happened in last night's show. First off, Miley Cyrus was well deserving of this win, and her performance, although criticized by some, was actually refreshing.   She was genuinely excited, and I was totally there for it. 

Also, can we talk about how she changed her outfit four times tonight? Legend.

Tracey Chapman and Luke Combs. This performance gave me all the feels, "Fast Car" is still as relevant today as it was in the 80s, maybe even more so given the state of the world and Tracey Chapman sounds and looks amazing still.

Jay Z is probably the most significant musical genius of our generation. This honour could be given to  Kanye West. Still, unfortunately, his instability is hard to overcome, especially since what I love the most about Jay Z, beyond his talent, is how real he is. For example, instead of feeling threatened by his famous and influential wife, he loves the fact that he's married to such a boss. This elevates him so much in my mind. It's not the norm for men in their positions and backgrounds.  

Joni Mitchell is a Canadian icon. I love that she was on that stage performing - I can't believe it was her first time. Jay Z alluded to this: there are a lot of people who get overlooked and a lot of people who get recognized without deserving it. Music, though, as he pointed out, is subjective, but there needs to be more representation to get an accurate cross-section of who and what people want.

Most often, the accountants and the Presidents of the Academy are the most tedious part of an awards show. Not at the Grammys, though. CEO Harvey Mason Junior ended up having the most beautiful and powerful political statement of the night, showcasing a string quartet who, as he pointed out, separately sounds good but who is better when played together than explaining that these musicians are all of Israeli, Palestinian and Arab descent.

Music can change the world. "Now is the time for humanity to come together with empathy and love."

I got a sneak peek at Billy Joel's new record - the first new album in 30 years and I'm not sure why I'm surprised, but it is gorgeous. I don't know why Billy Joel decided not to write music for 30 years, but I've decided to start writing again.

Maybe it was because I was falling asleep or was snowbound all weekend, but seeing Celine Dion on stage made me tear up. It's so sad to think that this woman will never sing again. To have a massive part of your life taken away from you can't help but cause a huge hole in your life. How does she go on?

And just like that, Taylor Swift became the only artist in history to win Album of the Year four times, on the same night she announced the release of new music in two months.