When you put the biggest names in music under one roof, you’re bound to make history. That’s what this year’s 52nd Grammy Awards set out to do. No expenses were spared and the stars came out in their finest.
Never one to disappoint the fashion world, Lady Gaga wore a glitzy purple and silver gown covered with rings to give off a planetary effect. Another show-stopping look was Pink in a gray, mermaid-style gown. As far as fashion flops, Rihanna’s all-white, feather-laden gown was a far cry from her usual rebel-chic look and failed to impress.
Opening the night was comedian Stephen Colbert (who also won later that night for Best Comedy Album) making typical jokes about religion and politics. In a hilarious move, Colbert started the show announcing the “Song of the Year” award. After a few awkward moments looking for the envelope, Colbert then gave a mysterious look to the audience and reached into his coat pocket.
“Oh I know, it’s on my iPad,” Colbert said, holding Apple’s new device.
He looked smugly at Jay-Z, joking, “Did you not get one of these in your gift bag?”
But the most anticipated part of the award show was the performances.
Lady Gaga took the stage in a glittering turquoise outfit, flanked by dancing fame monsters. After singing “Poker Face,” the singer was thrown into a flaming pit, only to reappear moments later seated at a grand piano. On the other side was none other than the tiny dancer himself, Sir Elton John, donning a glitzy pair of oversized silver sunglasses.
“Take my picture, Hollywood. I wanna be a star!” Gaga yelled into the mic as the two launched into a duet of Gaga’s ballad, “Speechless,” eventually flowing into Elton’s classic love song, “Your Song.”
In a later performance, Beyoncé stormed the stage in a fierce black mini, flanked by a small army of SWAT soldiers. She belted out “If I Were A Boy,” which turned into a cover of Alanis Morisette’s angsty hit song, “You Oughta Know.” It worked in that so-wrong-it’s-right way and set the bar higher for the night.
Another performer who absolutely outperformed was pop rocker, Pink. Although she didn’t win that night, the singer looked stunning in a long white robe, singing her slow love song, “Glitter In The Air.” She then stripped down to a glittering nude bodysuit and proceeded to do a breathtaking trapeze act — while wet.
In one of the most anticipated performances of the night, Celine Dion, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood and Smokey Robinson sang Michael Jackson’s nature ballad, “Earth Song.” The 3-D video in the background featured a little girl walking through a lush green forest. Each singer was better than the next, each imitating Michael Jackson’s screams and lifting falsettos. The song was heartfelt, providing another reminder of why Michael Jackson was the King of Pop; even with all the legendary singers onstage, none could out-sing Jackson, whose voice was played during certain parts of the song. Afterwards, his children Prince Michael and Paris took the stage to thank the fans and accept his Lifetime Achievement Award.
In perhaps the second most important award of the night, Taylor Swift won Album of the Year, which brought the total to four Grammys for the singer. Beyoncé won six, setting the record for most awards won in a single night by a female artist. Lady Gaga won two — one for her single “Poker Face” and the other for her debut album “The Fame,” both before the ceremony. Breakout stars MGMT and Kings of Leon also scooped up an award each that night.
Countless other awards were won by music vets, such as Judas Priest, while longtime musicians Imogen Heap and Jason Mraz won their first ever Grammys. As usual, there were awkward moments and performance fumbles, but the show went on as smoothly as it could have. Here’s hoping next year will be even better.