By: Meghan Hudson, Ars & Life Editor
The Grammy Awards are one of the biggest nights in award show season for musical artists. Winning a Grammy is a sought after achievement as it serves as a milestone award for artists seeing success in their careers.
This past Sunday night premiered the Grammy Awards 2020. Let’s recap some of the night’s performances.
Opening up the award show was Lizzo, an artist who has seen much success over the past year. With chart topping singles “Truth Hurts,” and “Good as Hell,” as well as seeing other achievements such as being the first black female in 2019 to score a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, I expected for her to bring the energy to her performance. Needless to say, she delivered as always. Like many artists of the night, Lizzo began her performance with a dedication to Kobe Bryant, a former Lakers basketball player who recently passed away in a devastating helicopter crash. Vocally, she nailed it. She has shown an incredible amount of consistency with her ability to belt lyrics, and even after having seen dozens of her performances from the past year, I still found myself getting chills from her incredible range.
Next up was one of Hollywood’s more recent power couples, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, who also dedicated their performance to Kobe Bryant. This somber song really brought all the feels. Not only was the connection between this duo incredibly personal and emotional, the context for which the words to their latest collaboration song, “Nobody but You” were sung, made it hard to hold back the tears.
The Jonas Brothers, who announced their surprise comeback in early 2019, followed by their first single “Sucker” which debuted number one on the Billboard Hot 100, were not by any means a surprising option performance wise for the 2020 Grammy Awards. They sang two of their more recent singles, “What a Man Gotta Do,” and “Five More Minutes.” As usual, they had a high energy performance with even more energetic attire. I think gold suits are officially their staple look. Despite the food stuck in Nick’s teeth, they had a wonderful performance.
Tyler the Creator, in my opinion, is an artist who is truly in it for the artistic expression, and not for vocal ability. While I do believe he is a great artist, vocally, I feel that the most captivating part of his performances is the artistry and experience he brings to the viewer. I actually found this performance, even though I viewed it through a camera lense, to be even more captivating then when I saw him live last year. The way that he rotated and shook the camera to the music, and danced as rigorously as the beat of his music, made it hard to blink throughout the entirety of the performance.
One performer I didn’t expect to see in this decade, was Usher. He paid tribute to the late singer, Prince. He performed “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry,” and “Kiss.” Honestly, I was convinced he was lip synching at first. His falsettos and general vocal ability throughout the performance were really impressive considering his musical hiatus the past few years. However, he indeed was just singing very well. There was a lot of controversy around this performance, as FKA Twigs, who is also a musical artist, was not asked to sing alongside Usher, but instead dance for him throughout his performance. The general consensus seemed to be that she has so much more to bring than just being a dance partner, and I’d have to agree.
While there were so many amazing performances throughout the rest of the night, in favor of not going on forever, I’ll only recap one more. The return of Demi Lovato. After suffering a near fatal overdose in 2018, which subsequently led to her decision to remove herself from social media and spend time focusing on her own health, fans were left wondering when next they would hear from the singer. After over a year of rehabilitation, and an outpouring of support from other celebrities and fans online, Lovato decided it was time for her to return to music on none other than the Grammy stage. She debuted her brand new single, “Anyone,” which was actually written and recorded just days before her overdose. The song depicts someone in a really self-deprecating and low time in life, and Lovato became overcome with emotion during the performance. Vocally, however, she did outstanding. For all of the nerves and feelings she must have been experiencing, her vocal range was just as impressive as I remember it to be, and she pushed through with strength in her voice that many artists can’t achieve on a normal basis.
Overall, while the mood of this Grammy Award show was more somber and tribute-filled, I think the lineup of artists and content that they brought to the table made it one of best Grammy shows I can remember. It’s nice to pay homage to those who have been lost once in a while, and just get in the feels to some good music.