From Beyoncé to Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons to Madonna, the Grammys this year were highly anticipated, with some of the best live performances of the season and surprises around every corner. Originally called “The Gramophone Awards,” the Grammys are an annual celebration of a year in music. A signed artist can be nominated by their record label. The label must submit an inline and physical copy of the work to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The work is then viewed by more than 150 experts and the nominees are then announced. There are over 50 categories that an artist can be in, and each artist can be in multiple categories. As well as being a night of awards, it’s also a night of live performances. This year, the performances ranged from Beyoncé on a chair and Jay-Z emerging from the smoke, to Katy Perry performing a Salem witch trials version of “Dark Horse.” Imagine Dragons performed an outstanding collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, and 33 couples got married during Macklemore and Madonna’s performance of “Same Love.”
Some of the most coveted awards are that of Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and, Best Pop Performance. This year Daft Punk swept the two highest honors with the Grammy for Album of the Year and Record of the Year. As well as Lorde, the 17 year old artist from New Zealand, was rewarded with two Grammys for the same song. She won Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year for “Royals.” She is the second youngest artist ever to receive a Grammy, right behind LeAnn Rimes who won two Grammys at age 14.
As new music debuts every year, to be nominated for Best New Artist is one of the highest honors a new musician can receive. Out of five nominees, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took the Grammy for Best New Artist as well as Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Song. This was a controversial win for many of the fans of rap music, seeing Macklemore and Ryan Lewis unfit for these honors. Macklemore himself later tweeted that he thought Kendrick Lamar should have won Best Rap Album. As well as winning four Grammys, Macklemore also performed his recent hit, “Same Love” with Madonna while 33 couples in the audience were married by ordained minister Queen Latifah.
Amongst other performances, Beyoncé opened the Grammy celebration with a simple yet electrifying act of “Drunk in Love” featuring her husband Jay-Z. As well as Beyoncé, Katy Perry performed her new hit “Dark Horse” featuring Juicy J. Katy Perry’s performance rivaled with the Imagine Dragons performance, prop wise. Katy Perry’s performance was a play on the Salem witch trials, and near the end of the song was “burned” at the stake for an amazing finale. Although both Beyoncé and Katy Perry executed dramatic performances, non compared to the collaboration between Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons. Performing “Radioactive” the two artists stole the show with their passionate performance featuring many drum hits and a lot of smoke.
Altogether the Grammys this year definitely celebrated the year in music. Many thought, and still do think, that the Grammys are too much a celebration of pop music, nothing else. Yet as well as Best Pop Performance, Album of the Year, etc. there are over 50 more categories for one to explore. The attention falls on the big names in music, the ones who are worldly known, but the Grammys also provide a place for one to explore new music. You can explore the tens of others of categories and find what suits your taste, and hopefully find a new group or artist. The Grammys provide a place for all of the artists and their fans to get together and explore and celebrate quite a year in music.
-Sam Van Pykeren