On Sunday, January 28, the 60th annual Grammy Awards aired live on CBS from Madison Square Garden in New York City, marking the first time since 2003 that the event has been held outside of Los Angeles. Hosted by James Corden, the music-filled evening saw Bruno Mars sweep the biggest categories, including Record of the Year.
There were a few noteworthy moments, starting with Dave Chappelle’s colorful commentary throughout a moving and politically-charged opening performance by Kendrick Lamar – who swept the rap categories – along with U2. “The only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America,” said Chappelle before the artist continued to sing, “is being an honest black man in America.”
Other notable performances included a tribute to Chuck Berry and Fats Domino by Gary Clark Jr. and Jon Batiste; Sting singing his hit Englishman in New York alongside his new collaborator Shaggy; a country-themed tribute to those we lost in the Las Vegas shooting by Eric Church, Maren Morris, and Brothers Osborne who sang Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven; and 1-800-273-8255, the suicide hotline rap by Logic, featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid.
The most passionate performance, however, was Kesha belting out her hit Praying, accompanied by Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha, Andra Day, and a team of female vocalists called the Resistance Revival Chorus. The song may just become the unofficial anthem for the #metoo and #timesup movements. Chances are, many a tear were shed by those watching at home as they witnessed the raw emotion of the singer. She posted a Tweet after the performance, thanking the women who joined her on stage, the Recording Academy, and everyone who has supported her through difficult times.
“after everything you’ve done I can thank you for how strong I have become”
thank you to the @RecordingAcad, the women on stage with me tonight, and everyone who has supported me through this whole journey. pic.twitter.com/43gOsofL0S
— kesha (@KeshaRose) January 29, 2018
While Chappelle offered more on-stage comic relief than host Corden, the British talk show host did bring the laughs with a few sketches, including a New York take on his smash hit segment Carpool Karaoke. Joined by Sting and Shaggy, the trio attempted to sing on a New York subway, but were met with typical New York resistance, including an angry construction worker, and an elderly lady not afraid to shoo Sting away with her purse.
In celebration of the Best Spoken Word Album category, Corden held a mock casting for next year’s category, with various celebrities reading passages from the book Fire and Fury. While it was hilarious in this politically tinged segment to hear artists like DJ Khaled, Cher, and Cardi B read about President Trump, it was the final person who had the audience erupting in applause: Hillary Clinton.
Want more? Apple Music is exclusively offering a look at some of the best past performances from the last 60 years of the Grammy Awards.