by Cai Trefor Contributor | Photos by Still

Tags: Lady Gaga, Metallica, Adele, Kanye West, Rihanna, Beyonce 

11 things we learned from the Grammy Awards 2017

A boundary and taboo smashing extravaganza with some deserving winners

 

Grammy awards 2017 Adele David Bowie Lady Gaga Metallica Photo: Still

The 2017 Grammys Awards were handed out at a star-studded event in the Staples Centre in Los Angeles last night (12 February).

Carpool Karaoke star James Corden was presenting what is the most incredible live music event for television in the world. The show was a remakable exhibition of the highest musical talents with some awe-inspiring performances. Some emotional political anti-fascist ones, some more abstract conceptual. Either way there was no shortage of freedom of expression and diversity.

In terms of the awards given, as usual Adele comes out pretty well off and should be needing to get more polish on her way home. But there were some suprises including the fact Chance The Rapper beat Drake and Kanye to get Best Rap Album. David Bowie was quite rightly awarded five Grammys for his fantastic work and for the first time earned awards in a category that was strictly music.

But nothing every quite goes straight to plan and there's always a few characters that get remembered for unexpected reasons. Read below to see what some of the biggest talking points are and watch some of the amazing footage ahead of the broadcast tonight on 4Music at 8pm GMT.

Lady Gaga nailed ‘Moth Into Flame’ with Metallica

Despite showing off a new Moth tattoo on her back via Instagram shortly before her set with the heavy metal icons, the ‘Poker Face’ star isn’t exactly a natural match for a metal band. Many Metallica fans on Twitter still resent the collaboration, but all-in-all it was a massive success - Gaga looked every bit the part in her Metallica T-shirt and suitably rock chick get-up, and had the stage moves to boot. She fearlessly crowd surfed mid-song, moshed into a bemused Lars Ulrich as he was playing, and matched the brute force of Hetfield’s vocals far better than you’d expect. It’s hard to imagine another pop star taking to the occasion as well as Gaga did

James Hetfield was rightfully pissed off after the gig

Sure, people will blame Hetfield’s post-performance tantrum on the fact that his mic didn’t work for the opening part of the song, but this is live music and naturally things do go wrong. But on a well-drilled Metallica tour, things as simple as a microphone working don’t happen. So it’s understandable that Hetfield was angry - he kicked down his mic after the song ended before lobbing his guitar towards the technician in a manner that wasn’t joking about. Someone’s got the sack.


Kanye West shut out

Despite being up for five awards Kanye West didn’t take home anything for the display cabinet. Hopefully, he was only judged on his musical merit but it’s quite hard to believe that all the negativity surrounding him in the headlines hasn’t had an impact on the judging process this year. The pro-Trump move was divisive, and one that he’s come to regret. But that aside, the competition was strong and there have been deserved winners. He chose not to attend the ceremony because of a big fashion show in New York. 


A Tribe Called Quest ramp up anti-Trump sentiment, celebrate resistance to power

With President Donald Trump’s having the lowest approval rating for a new president in recent history and the highest number of protest since the Vietnam war, the momentum towards impeachment is gathering. A Tribe Called Quest, along with the help of some special guests including Anderson .Paak and Busta Rhymes, used the Grammy’s global stage to add fuel to the anti-Trump fire.
During ‘We The People’ Busta referring to Donald Trump as “president Agent Orange” and quite rightly accused him of perpetuating evil throughout the USA as ordinary people of all races joined him to protest the construction of walls between people. This was most essential performance at a Grammy awards ceremony possible at this sensitive political time. As Q-Tip chanted at the end, “Resist! Resist! Resist!


No-one wears the pants in Twenty One Pilots’ house

While Cee-Lo Green came as his new alter-ego Gnarly Davidson – imagine Jonah Hill playing C-3PO – and Blue Ivy Carter upstaged Bruno Mars’ Prince outfit in her own miniature pink version, Twenty One Pilots won the award for Most Startling outfit by collecting their Best Pop Duo/Group award in dinner jackets, shirts and bow ties, but no trousers. Presumably they thought the Grammys was a panel show and only their top halves would be televised.

Unsigned Chance The Rapper beats Kanye West and Drake to win Best Rap Album

Chance’s victory marks a changing tide in record label dominance - if a Grammy can be won by someone without a huge label, then the options of doing business differently and not signing to a label could become a far more popular choice. 2017 is the first time the Grammys has accepted a submission for music released via streaming only, as Chance The Rapper’s album was, and given his seven nominations it’s likely the move was made to accommodate him. Still, to beat Drake and West, and also win Best new Artist and Rap Performance, is a historic achievement, and the 23-year-old Chicago gospel rapper gave a rousing performance with the power of the most energized Pentecostal sermon during a rapid-fire medley of 'How Great', 'No Problems', 'Blessings', and 'All We Got'. 


Bowie’s son approved, at last

After criticising Lady Gaga’s tribute to David Bowie at the Grammys as “overexcited or irrational” on Twitter last year, Bowie’s son Duncan Jones was rather more favourable about his dad’s five wins at this year’s ceremony. He Tweeted a photograph of himself as a teenager, carrying Bowie in his arms, with the caption “so proud of you dad! Would hold you up forever”.

Adele: “I need to start again. I f**ked up”

Adele delivered a haunting orchestral version of George Michael’s ‘Fast Love’ beneath screened footage of the late, great pop pop icon, completely transforming it from the upbeat original. It was so important to Adele to get right that the perfectionist signer, who reportedly “cried every day” in the wake of her technically marred 2016 Grammys performance, stopped the song after an unsatisfactory start, holding back tears. The beauty of her starting again, as well as showing her deep respect for George Michael, is that it shows all our imperfections even at the highest level and can prove to be a resourceful message to young people starting out in the business that it’s ok to have false starts.

Adele thinks Beyoncé deserved Album Of The Year

The ever-emotional Adele has become the first person ever to win Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year twice – she had the same fortune in 2012 with her album 21. But the 25 star, who beat Beyonce in all three of the above categories, tried to give the Album award to Queen Bey. “I can’t possibly accept this award,” she said from the podium, “I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful and gracious, but my artist of my life is Beyoncé, and this album to me, the Lemonade album was just so monumental, Beyoncé.”
 “All of us artists f—ing adore you,” she went on. “You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you. I always have. And I always will.” Beyonce had tears in her eyes and seemed humbled by Adele's wonderful speech. She proceeded to break her award in half in humble honour and may just have made the Recording Academy think they might have made the wrong move in not recognising Lemonade as the Album of the Year.

Katy Perry hasn’t quite reached full Britney

If it wasn’t bad enough that she had to sing ‘Chained To The Rhythm’ in front of a clearly cardboard picket fence, Katy Perry also managed to upset Britney Spears fans by joking that she was saving her last hair-styling option of shaving her head “for a really public breakdown”. Britney famously shaved her head after reportedly leaving rehab in 2007.

Beyonce's show was so immaculately conceived and perfectly executed

Dressed in regal clothing and with her pregnant bump proudly on show, the former Destiny Child star performed ‘Love Drought’ and ‘Sandcastles’ from Lemonade. She was joined by a stunning choreographed group of female contemporary dancers who beautifully portrayed notions motherhood. The sampled words of poet Warsan Shire at the beginning and end of her pop performance created an eerie otherworldly feel and showed Beyonce's appreciation for more experimental performances at this stage in her career. There's no limit as to where she can go from here, the ideas she's coming out with at the moment are truly something special.


Cai Trefor

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