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Grammys drop the ball on chief awards again

Written By Amanda Myers, Staff Writer

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The 60th annual Grammy awards aired Sunday night, the Recording Academy aiming to right the wrongs they have committed against acclaimed artists in the past. 

Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar remain at the top of those who have been snubbed, with the latter up for a bevy of awards.  His 2017 album “DAMN.” was at the top of many year-end lists, with smash singles like “HUMBLE.” high in the charts.

Lamar’s opening performance at the Grammys felt like a sign he was going to take the top prize of the night.  Dancers in military uniform dynamically moved around him as he started the show.  Bono and the Edge slowly strutted out to bring some fine-tuned political prose to his satire on police brutality and racial injustice.  While Dave Chappelle’s comedic interludes within the performance made for a stronger message on racial strife and the landscape of the media.

This was an artist laying out all his grievances and gratitude on the stage, only to be shut out of the top categories.  Lamar took home awards for Best Rap Song and Rap Album but was denied the more mass-appealing awards.

Instead, the Grammys went the safe and predictable route crowning Bruno Mars with gold gramophones for song, record and album of the year.  His record, “24K Magic,” had dominating singles while producing an innovative, yet likeable sound for a wide array of audiences.  Bruno had it in the bag, even if the critics didn’t want to admit it.

Beyond this major shocker, the rest of the night played out as your typical awards show.  It lagged on for over three hours with a goofy host attempting to relate to its not-so-keen artists. It seems fair to say we won’t see James Corden and Jay-Z hanging out anytime soon.

Jay-Z went home empty handed, earning none of his staggering eight nominations,, and so did creative chameleon Donald Glover in another upset.  His performance as Childish Gambino singing “Terrified” – with assistance from upcoming “Lion King” co-star J.D. McCrary – made for a standout moment of the night, though.

Kesha’s emotional performance of “Praying” also exuded grace.  Backed by female musicians like Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello, she gave us the #MeToo moment we needed.

Sir Elton John singing with Miley Cyrus was another fitting collaboration.  The musician, who just announced a three-year farewell tour, was in tip top form to deliver one of his many classics, “Tiny Dancer.”  Cyrus’ fusion into the song proved she can sing nearly anything with any legend in music.

John’s and U2’s patriotic performance were the only rock acts to be featured, with all the awards in the category given away during the premiere telecast.  Pop and hip-hop were among the most favored, with country also on the backburner.

A collective group of country musicians attempted to pay their respects to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, but faltered.  Their rendition of Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” felt like an odd throwaway moment when it could have helped address the issue more efficiently.

All and all, the Grammy’s were your typical, long-winded award show fanfare.  It seems critics and music fans regard every year as the year the Academy will finally get their act together and give the awards to the artists that “deserve” it.  They reminded us they will continue to hand out accolades as they please.

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