There's no business like show-business, and this year's Grammys proved that. Nearly fifty songs were performed, and the award ceremony took over three and a half hours to get through. But it's not all glitz and glam.
Behind the sequined outfits and belted out tunes, there is a change shifting through the Grammys. As people fight for the representation and recognition that they deserve, the Grammys are struggling to keep up with the modern world.
Why did Drake get cut off from finishing his speech? Why was it so momentous that Cardi B won her award? And why is it so important that Alicia Keys didn't wear make-up?
The Grammys are the biggest night in music.
via: GettyStars gathered in Los Angeles this weekend for the Recording Academy's celebration of the last year's best music. From the startling outfits, to the crazy performances, it's always one of the most talked about nights in showbiz.
But all is not as it seems.
via: GettyAs Rolling Stone put it: 'Music's biggest night isn't big enough to get music's biggest names.' This is mostly due to a lack of equal representation. A lot of people have felt slighted in the past.
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The stars of R&B have felt slighted for years.Again, R&B stars usually feel relegated to a lesser status, as their songs so infrequently win overall. In a show of disparagement, Kendrick Lamar, who had eight nominations, didn't even turn up.
There were a lot of people missing, but those who showed up were powerful.
via: DrakeThe list of people who didn't go to the Grammys this year is a long one. Jay Z, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Bradley Cooper are just a few of the people who didn't show up. But in a move that surprised nearly everyone, Drake was there. And what an impact he made.
Drake made it clear what he thinks of the Grammys, and the Grammys didn't take it well.
via: GettyDrake made a heartfelt speech after winning a Grammy for best rap song, God's Plan. He encouraged anyone who is out there working hard at their music. In particular, he said that it is more important for your music to reach people and to have them attend your shows, than to win an award. In a move of petty passive aggression, the Grammy's cut his speech short. Sure the show was pushed for time, but surely they could have got back the time from somewhere else.
Could Childish Gambino have mended some of the issues?Childish Gambino won Best Rap/Sung Performance, Best Music Video, Song of the Year and Record of the Year for This Is America. He got the joint highest number of awards, alongside Kacey Musgraves, but he wasn't there. Was it a statement that he is unhappy with the way the music industry has treated rap and R&B music over the years? Or is it too little too late by the Grammys now? When the awards haven't cared about them, why would they care about these awards?
But it was Dua Lipa who really highlighted what was different at this award ceremony.
via: GettyDua Lipa won two Grammys this year, for Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording. The only other two British female artists who have achieved that are Adele and Amy Winehouse, so she is good company. According to Vogue, she said 'Being in the new artist category and having so many female artists nominated is a big change and it's a change we want to see for many years to come.'
Yes, this was indeed the year of the women.
via: GettyOver the last couple of years, the world is finally realising that half its population is being ignored, mistreated and held down. But now the women are starting to be recognised as they deserve to be. Could this change in the balance explain Alicia Keys' lack of make-up?
Alicia Keys replaced James Corden as this year's Grammy host.James Corden is a funny guy, and a good host, but it doesn't really make sense for him to be hosting the Record Academy Award show. In contrast, Alicia Keys is the Grammy Queen. She has won the joint fourth most for a female artist with a huge fifteen Grammys under her belt.
Alicia won her first batch of awards back in 2002.2002 was the year when the Euro became the EU's official currency, and George W. Bush had only recently become president. It was also the year that Alicia Keys took the world by storm. These days we all know the song, but back then she won the award for Best New Artist, as well as Best Female R&B voice, Best R&B album and Best Song. We bet you can't help but sing along to Fallin.
Despite winning 4 in 2005, John Mayer wanted her to have more.In 2005, Alicia Keys won another 4 awards, including best R&B song for You Don't Know My Name. But that wasn't enough for her. When John Mayer went on stage and accepted his award for Best Song for Daughters, he split his award in half. He said he wanted to share it with Alicia for her song If I Ain't Got You. It's hard to argue with him when this is such a classic.
And she has made hit after hit.In 2008 and 2009 she won another 3 Grammys, including Best R&B song for No One. Then in 2011 she won another 2 awards for Empire State of Mind, with Jay-Z. But this year she was back as the host, and people loved her.
Alicia Keys has revealed what is different about this year.Alicia went make-up free this year, and people have been trying to read into it. But the reason is simple. As she said; 'I want to express myself, and that's what it's all about.' She also said in her introduction to the awards that 'When you really want to say something, you say it with a song.' It looks like Alicia is trying to take back control and put the focus back on music. And she's not alone in her efforts.
Alicia Keys opened the show with a star-studded line-up.
via: GettyLady Gaga was the first of her guests to speak, encouraging people to be themselves in pursuit of their dreams. She said: 'People said I was weird; that my look, my choices, my sound, that it wouldn't work. But music told me not to listen to them.'
Lady Gaga was her true self on stage.In a crazy, shimmery outfit, Lady Gaga looked more similar to the version we saw at the start of her career. She performed Shallow, from the film A Star Is Born. And she certainly seemed like a star as she sang.
J Lo reminded us all of her roots.Jennifer Lopez showed us that anyone can make it in this world. Music can do that. She said: 'Back in the Bronx, music gave me a reason to dance. From hip-hop to free-style, to pop, soul, and salsa. It kept me moving from the block to the big stages and the even bigger screens…. Music has always been the one place we can all feel truly free'
Although her performance was a little more controversial.J Lo performed a tribute to Motown medley. It was a little different to the Motown you may remember, as it involved twerking and salsa among other things, as well as her fantastic voice. But Smoky Robinson pointed out that Motown is music for everyone. The great thing about it is that it is open to anyone.
There were some very encouraging words to help us through this bleak winter.
via: GettyJada Pinkett Smith was also involved in the opening of the award ceremony. She reminded us all that; 'We express our pain, power and progress through music.' It is a powerful tool that can help us as we strive to create the future.
And they even managed to get one of the coolest women on the planet to speak.Michelle Obama was involved in the opening too. She shared with the audience that; 'Music has always helped me tell my story… Music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another… It shows us that all of it matters.' Well if she says it matters then it must be true.
But it was Alicia who really stole the show.
via: GettyThere has been a lot of drama in the run up to this year's Grammys, but Alicia managed to save it completely. She was a chilled, laid-back host with nothing but love for everyone. With her lack of make-up, and lack of ego, she reminded us that these awards should be about the music.
And her performance was a show-stopper.
via: GettyRather than trying to boost her own career, Alicia Keys practiced what she preached, by performing a medley of songs that she said; 'she wished she'd written.' It included Kings of Leon's Use Somebody and Lauryn Hill's 'Doo Wop (That Thing).' She even managed to play two pianos at once. She was just oozing cool.
It's been a hard year for the Grammys.Last year, the viewing figures for the Grammys suddenly dropped by 20%. In a world where young people increasingly watch Netflix, rather than live broadcastings full of adverts, it seemed like people felt the Grammys were somewhat obsolete. Particularly as so many popular music genres are underrepresented.
Is it women's fault that they don't win as many awards?Somehow oblivious to the rising backlash against patriarchal misogynists in power, Neil Portnow, the president of the Recording Academy, last year suggested that the reason for the lack of female representation amongst the nominees was their own fault. In fact, he said that in order for their talent to be recognised, women needed to 'step up.' It was as if he didn't think that he was in the exact sort of position of power that could help make the world more equal.
This year the women reclaimed the spotlight that they deserved.
via: GettyIn an almost direct response to the faux pas of their president, the Recording Academy made an on-point decision to have a woman hosting this year's award ceremony. It is a decision that they should have taken years ago, as Alicia Keys was the first female host since Queen Latifah, back in 2005.
It was a big night for Kacey Musgraves and Lady Gaga.
via: GettyCountry music star, Kacey Musgraves, won the joint most number of awards this year, including best album. Although they did spell her name wrong at the beginning. Meanwhile Lady Gaga, who had already won six Grammys in the past, won another three this year, including Best Pop Solo Performance.