Sunday, April 11, 2021

Artists steal spotlight at Grammy Awards

Natalie St. Denis

Celebrities like Post Malone, Harry Styles and Cardi B were finally able to gather together for a night of music, masked up of course. The 63rd annual Grammy Awards Ceremony took place March 14. Since 2000, The Grammy’s have been held at The Staples Center located in downtown Los Angeles. This year was no exception, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The host, comedian Trevor Noah, opened the night with a lengthy mention of the rough year it’s been and how the night ahead would provide musical performances that the world missed out on. Per usual, the awards ceremony presented only a handful of awards and focused mainly on the variety of musical performances. Some could argue that the performances lacked diversity.

The night began with Harry Styles’ first ever Grammy’s performance. Styles performed “Watermelon Sugar,” in a leather jacket and matching black pants. Instead of wearing a shirt, he styled it with a green boa. The no-shirt look was a bold move for his Grammy’s debut, but no one is complaining. Styles also won best pop performance for his song “Watermelon Sugar.”

Due to the pandemic, performances were held inside the venue on a bigger stage and awards were presented on a smaller stage built outside. This seemed to allow for the performers to have more flashy stage set ups.

Taylor Swift took advantage of this in her performance. A cottage-core setting was clearly evident. The performance began with her laying on a mossy roof of a cottage, which she eventually migrated into. Billie Eilish also had a lavish set. She stood on a car that resembled the illusion of it sinking. It was eerie, dark and foggy as Eilish sang her hit “Everything I Wanted.”

Megan Thee Stallion took to the stage with a few of her own songs, while Cardi B joined her to perform “WAP.” This rather lengthy performance was certainly flashy. The fact that it was performed later in the night, after most of the kids watching at home had gone to bed, was probably for the best. It wasn’t the most G-rated performance of the night.

Stallion won her first Grammy for her remixed version of “Savage” that featured Beyoncé. Stallion had explained how much she always looked up to Beyoncé. It was heartwarming to see her turn to Queen B and thank her for the constant support as they accepted the award together.

Beyoncé walked away far-from empty handed. In fact, she made history that night. She had nine nominations, which was the most of any artist at the 2021 Grammy’s. She also received her 28th Grammy Award, the most of any female or male artist ever.

The 63rd Grammy Awards Show may have served as a source of musical entertainment for concert-goers who have been missing that thrill. But the Grammy’s took heat from artists on Twitter, which often happens every year leading up to the ceremony. Racial bias has seemed to be an issue. Deserving and talented artists aren’t getting nominated for their work due to racism.

Despite having multiple smash hits this year, The Weeknd wasn’t nominated for any awards.

“The Grammy’s remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency,” he tweeted.

Other artists joined The Weeknd in the Grammy’s slander.

Zayn Malik, former One Direction member, commented on the corrupt nomination process.

“F*** the grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations. Next year I’ll send you a basket of confectionary,” Malik tweeted.

The Grammy’s have long been attacked for not being diverse and inclusive. Toward the conclusion of the ceremony, Harvey Mason Jr., the Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of The Recording Academy, spoke in a recorded video about supporting the need for diversity.

The Recording Academy is an organization of musical professionals dedicated to improving the music culture. These professionals include musicians, producers, recording engineers, and other musical professionals. The Grammy Awards is presented by The Recording Academy every year.

“Tonight I’m here to ask the entire music community to join in, work with us, not against us as we build a new Recording Academy that we can all be proud of,” Mason said.

The Grammy’s may be able to put on a decent production for people to watch on a boring Sunday evening, but they need to actually follow through with promises of social change and welcome more diversity and inclusion. The musical performances are entertaining to watch, but there is a dark, desperate need for change hiding behind the flashy ceremony.

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