Highlights of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards

“The creative arts are subjective and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most. It’s like a song or an album is made and it’s almost like it has a radar to find the person when they need it the most.”

Jon Batiste

Music is a universal language that can both uplift and connect people. I know that when I’m driving, and a song comes on, it might bring back memories good or bad, or even make me cry if it’s on point and on time. Whether you agree with the winners of Sunday’s Grammy Awards or not, keep in mind that the academy voting members are made up of their peers (artists, musicians, songwriters, and producers). If a song or album touched them at a specific time in their life, that connection could influence their voting decision.  

While Sunday’s award event was calm compared to last week’s Oscars award show, which sparked a lot of discussion and debate, it did what it was supposed to do: focus on the artists’ achievements. It also offered plenty of comedic relief with remarks from the host, Trevor Noah, and Questlove.

“Don’t even think of it as an award show. This is a concert where we’re giving out awards. We’re going to be listening to some music, we’re going to be dancing, we’re going to be singing, we’re going to be keeping people’s names out of our mouths.” Noah said at the end of his monologue, referencing Smith’s unexpected and much-discussed Oscar night decision to slap presenter and comedian Chris Rock. In case you haven’t heard, Rock compared Jada Pinkett’s buzz haircut (caused by a medical condition known as Alopecia) to Demi Moore’s shaved head from GI Jane.

Questlove, the Roots Drummer and now Oscar winner for best documentary feature, joked, “I’m going to present this award, and I trust you people will stay 500 feet away from me.”

The slap occurred over a week ago, but it remains a hot topic that everyone is joking about but also debating, attempting to understand, and taking sides on. We hope that these two successful, talented guys can sort it out personally and that this week’s discussion will be about the artists, nominations, winners, and incredible performers at this fantastic award event viewed by millions.

Let’s talk about stand-out performances, wins, and, of course, fashion!

Performance Highlights and Wins from the Night

Saving my best (preference) for the last, I will begin with those special performances and wins that stood out for me. I think many of you will agree that these moments stood out as special. Let’s take a ride together!

  • John Legend’s “Free” Performance Alongside Ukrainian Artists 

John Legend delivered a memorable performance of his new single, “Free,” to highlight the impacts of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. This tribute performance began with a virtual speech from Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, who urged artists and viewers to assist and support through their music and in any other way possible. 

In his own words, “The war—what is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people. We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs—the dead silence. Fill the silence with your music.”

Then, John Legend appeared before a grand piano with a soulful rendition of “Free,” delighting guests present and viewers at home like myself. Later on, the EGOT winner was joined by three Ukrainian artists: Siuzanna Iglidan of Odessa, singer Mika Newton of Burshtyn, and poet Lyuba Yakimchuck of Donbas. The first artist played a native instrument, the other sang a verse, and the poet presented a spoken word piece.

This moving performance also featured a choir that sang before a collage of images of Ukraine’s war crisis. This segment ended with a call to donate and #StandUpForUkraine. What a moment! Performances like this make a true Legend! 

  • Lady Gaga’s Display of Versatility

Lady Gaga’s performance at the 64th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday put her versatility on display. She performed “Love for Sale” and “Do I Love You” from her album “Love for Sale.” She recorded the latter with long-time pal and duet partner Tony Bennett.

It was beautiful seeing Bennett offer a videotaped introduction for his duet partner. With modest sincerity, he announced, “Hi everyone, please welcome Lady Gaga!” 

Lady Gaga then brought the house down with a high-energy performance of “Love for Sale” featuring a big band arrangement of the Cole Porter standard. As for the glam, she rocked a mint strapless gown adorned with a large bow.

Later on, she slowed things down to render a jazzy piano-filled performance of “Do I Love You.” Beyond being another breathtaking performance, this was a terrific display of Lady Gaga’s vocal range and versatile ability to flawlessly perform the classics as well as her more pop-based style.

  • A Special Solo from Nas 

Backed by a band, Nas unloaded the clip with his first solo Grammy performance, a year after he won Best Rap Album for King’s Disease at the 2021 Grammys.

This performance was Nas’ victory lap on the awards night. The 64th Annual Grammy Awards viewers will remember his first-time solo performance at that ceremony, wearing a gray suit while he seamlessly eased through select hits. Accompanied by band, including Robert Glasper on piano, he started with “I Can.” Then, he performed “Made You Look,” “One Mic,” and “Rare,”before singing a snippet of “New York State of Mind” from his 1994 classic debut Illmatic. This didn’t feel like the first time for Nas at all.

  • The Star-Studded Performance by H.E.R. with Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Travis Barker, and Lenny Kravitz

Personally, the 2022 Grammys got all sensational for me when H.E.R. took the stage in a star-studded company to deliver a special performance (my favorite of the night). After she took home a win for Best Traditional R&B Performance with her Oscar-winning single, “Fight For You” during the show’s premiere telecast, the spotlight was on her. Trust me, she didn’t disappoint. 

Still, when she took the stage in the company of legends to give tribute to some of her biggest mentors, she knocked the socks off everyone watching, including me.. It was an unusual and extraordinary medley. She was joined by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to deliver a live rendition of the Grammy-nominated track “Damage.” With this sultry ballad, they took us, the fans, back to the early days of H.E.R. This performance exemplified that trademark R&B sound her fans adore.

Later on, Jam and Lewis took to Twitter to praise the award-winning phenomenon, with the tweet, “@HERMusicx, What can you say when there’s too many good things to say about a person? How do you encapsulate their impact on music? Their impact on women. Their impact on greatness. Sometimes you just have to use God’s language and let the song speak.”

Finally, the Academy also got swooped by the six-minute set, tweeting, “Can’t wait to brag to our grandkids about how we were at the #GRAMMYs where @HERMusicX, @jamandlewis, @travisbarker, and @lennykravitz all performed together.”

Now, to the big spotlights with nominations and wins. 

  • Recognized Severally

This year’s event had many nominees due to the two new categories added: Best Global Music Performance in the Global Music Field and Best Música Urbana Album in the Latin Music Field. These bring the total number of Grammy Award categories to 86.

This year was a milestone for Jon Batiste, who had the most nominations: a whopping 11. They spanned seven different fields (General Field, R&B, Jazz, American Roots Music, Music For Visual Media, Classical, and Music Video/Film). Then, Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, and H.E.R. all came second with eight nominations each. Finally, Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo all came in tied as the third-most nominated artists with seven nominations each.

  • Big Winners 

Jon Batiste went home with a haul of five different awards, including big wins like the Album of the Year for “We Are” and Video of the year. Right behind him was the duo Silk Sonic, who also ended the night with four of their own. These included two other big categories: Record and Song of the Year, both for “Leave the Door Open.”

Then came Olivia Rodrigo at age 19 with Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Pop Solo Performance awards to her young name. Three awards from a possible Seven is very impressive. Other big winners of the night include Chris Stapleton with the Best Country Album, Best Country Song, and Best Country Solo Performance.

The Glam and Style Highlights from the Night

The night was nothing short of special in every realm. We got a few shots of cheers, wins, performances that will go down in history, as well as some special references. However, we were not also short on looks and style. The 64th Grammy had it all!

  • Bruno Mars and Silk Sonic Kicking It Off in Style

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s soul, and R&B project Silk Sonic, got us on the way at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night with “777.” With .Paak on drums and Mars on guitar and vocals, this duo took us through the Vegas casino life rocking ’70s inspired costumes reminiscent of an Elvis residency on The Strip. Their stage production was spectacular, but their fashion also wasn’t to be ignored. 

Other fashion highlights from the red carpet include:

  • Jasmine Sullivan

Jazmine Sullivan was the 13th time lucky as she won Best R&B Album of the Year after 12 previous failures. She did so in style in a strong-shoulder, geometric-print faux leather suit by Christian Siriano with a pendant necklace adding grace to the stunning outfit.

  • H.E.R

H.E.R. paid homage to one of her musical influences on the 64th annual Grammy Awards red carpet, rocking a custom yellow and orange ombré chiffon Dundas jumpsuit. The look featured a beaded and sequin embellished Phoenix motif. Her outfit design was inspired by Aretha Franklin’s outfit at the 1976 American Music Awards, where she won best female soul artist.

  • Mickey Guyton (Country Artist)

Mickey Guyton rocked a beaded fringe mini in shades of silver and gold, giving us Tina Turner vibes. She also added velvet Stuart Weitzman pumps to make a completely stunning outfit.

  • Saweetie

Saweetie came dressed in a cropped bra top and full skirt by Valentino, opera gloves, and oodles of jewels. She changed into a black Oscar de la Renta gown halfway down the carpet to give us another shade of her high fashion.

  • Chloe Bailey

Chloe Bailey stunned in a mirror-effect gown and cape with white platform sandals on the red carpet. 

  • Doja Cat

She chose a custom seafoam Atelier Versace gown and radiant jewelry for a grand entrance.

  • Megan Thee Stallion

She stormed the red carpet in a one-shoulder gown with a high slit and three different animal prints, adding lots of gold jewelry and Giuseppe Zanotti heels to kill off the look.

  • Billy Porter

Billy Porter rocks hot pink Valentino ruffles with a purple lip and silver shoes to create an elegant contrast.

  • Olivia Rodrigo

She gives us that major Y2K prom queen energy with her body-hugging trompe l’oeil Vivienne Westwood gown with layered chokers and opera gloves.

  • Jon Batiste

Our grand winner stunned in a harlequin-pattern sequin Dolce & Gabbana suit with Christian Louboutin shoes for a true gentleman look.

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