60th Grammy Awards: Win Some, Lose More

Zenobia Johnson, Contributing Writer

In the city that never sleeps, the 60th Annual Grammy Awards were held at Madison Square Garden Sunday (Jan. 28) night. There had been much talk about the nominations stemming from Best New Artist to Album of the Year. Although people expected a somewhat exciting and thrilling show with the string of nominees for each award, it was clear that no one seemed to care much for the winners after some point, predicting who would win in which category.

The night’s biggest winners were Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars, and not just with the string of awards they took home. Lamar opened the show with an ode to our America, performing XXX. with accompaniment from U2 along with small transitions led by comedian Dave Chapelle before leading into his newest single King’s Dead, ending with his usual calm demeanor. Along with this, he took home every award in the Rap genre, displaying how the apparent versus battle between Lamar’s DAMN. and Jay’s 4:44 had a clear and knock out winner. Regardless, in his acceptance speech, Lamar made sure to give gratitude where it was due, stating that he wouldn’t be where he is without rappers like Jay-Z and that the win was “one for hip-hop.” Bruno Mars swept every category he was nominated in, including Song, Record, and Album of the Year along with nominations in the R&B categories. It was clear that it was Bruno Mars’ night and it could best be summed up by his anticipated performance of the Finesse remix. Tagged along by rapper Cardi B, everyone was decked out in colorful and retro clothes while doing moves straight out of the 90s. Mars’ upbeat and contagious energy continued to warm the audience throughout the evening, down to when he gave his final acceptance speech.


Besides the highs for both artists, there were also quite a bit of lows for others. SZA, who had been the female artist with the most nominations of the night, hadn’t been awarded any, including in the Best New Artist category, which had been awarded to Alessia Cara. Fans couldn’t help but wonder if there had been some clear mistake that the Recording Academy had made with the rising star’s snub, and continued to question the process of choosing winners when Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album were both awarded to Ed Sheeran where many believed either Lady Gaga or Kesha would be sure winners to the overplayed Shape of You. Of course, this isn’t the first time the Academy has chosen winners many weren’t in favor of, and it surely won’t be the last. Regardless of any of these women winning awards, each gave performances that could’ve been considered wins themselves. Lady Gaga’s heart-wrenching ode “Million Reasons” dedicated to her late aunt Joanne gave a bit of emotional whiplash to the audience following Lamar’s opener, but nevertheless gave a performance worth tearing up over. If it wasn’t Gaga, then it may have been Kesha’s presentation of “Praying,” accompanied by a wide array of female artists decked out in white like a flock of angels, displaying her weaknesses and her strengths. SZA performed her single “Broken Clocks,” her soulful and alluring voice captivating the crowd before her, showing those who may still doubt her influence to rethink their view of her.

All in all, the 60th Grammys seemed to be another year of amazing music performances with many unwanted award wins. Childish Gambino gave a soulful and chilling performance of his song “Terrified” (with help from JD McCrary, Young Simba in the 2019 Lion King) while Logic gave a meaningful speech during his song “1-800-273-8255” that brought the audience to their feet. At this point, many people only watch the Grammys for the amazing performances; it’s what we remember the most, followed by the people who won (or didn’t). Although it seems as though the Recording Academy has a method to their decisions, they will continue to deal with the incoming onslaught of negative remarks from viewers until the next year, where the cycle repeats itself.

For a list of all the winners, check here.