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Grammy's: Harmony in a Divided World

This ain’t your Grandma’s music awards. The 59th Annual Grammy Awards hit CBS on Sunday, February 12, 2017 with coverage of the red carpet starting at 2pm central time. This celebration of music and its cultural power dates back to 1959 when the 1st Annual Grammy Awards was held in both New York City and Los Angeles. While famed singer Frank Sinatra was set to sweep with his six nominations, “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)” by Domenico Modugno took home Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The 2nd Annual Grammy Awards was also held in 1959, later in the year. Since then, the Grammy’s have been a cultural tradition, drawing in millions of viewers each year.

With over 80 categories and around 5 nominees per category, the 59th Annual Grammy’s were a star-studded event with much anticipation over who will take home some of the biggest awards, like “Album of the Year” and “Record of the Year.” According to a poll on the Grammy’s website, 52% of people believed that Beyonce would take home Album of the Year for her sixth album “Lemonade.” However, it was Adele that swept, winning “Album of the Year” and “Record of the Year,” as well as “Song of the Year.” Other notable winners were Chance the Rapper, winning “Best New Artist,” “Best Rap Performance,” and “Best Rap Album,” and Beyonce, winning “Best Urban Contemporary Album.”

Between the award presentations, many artists performed new songs, nominated songs, and tributes to other artists. Adele gave a moving tribute to George Michael, actually starting over half way through her performance due to a mistake, saying how much George Michael meant to her and how she “could not mess this up.” Bruno Mars paid tribute to Prince--dressed exactly like him--causing the audience to get on their feet and dance along. Beyonce’s performance echoed her album and film “Lemonade,” complete with spoken word poetry, vibrant colors, backup dancers, and her songs “Love Draught” and “Sandcastles.”

Of course, there were political undertones throughout the award show, with artists taking a stand, stating that their voices needed to be heard “now more than ever.” It is unsurprising that in a room full of creative minds of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and backgrounds that a dialogue about the current political climate was opened.

Overall, the 2017 Grammy’s were a celebration of music, diversity, and life. There was a feeling of love and inclusion, ending on a high note with Adele wanting to share her “Album of the Year” award with Beyonce, citing her music as life changing to her and her black friends. The friendly vibe and positivity was a lovely break from a world that always seems so divided.


Natalie DeRoche

March, 2017