The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Grammy Review: Same Awards, New Winners


Starting off on the “Highway to Hell” might not have been the best idea for music’s biggest night. As most of the world’s talented musicians gathered in the Staples Center for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards waited to be awarded for their achievements, viewers tuned in for world’s greatest concert with 23 performances on the roster..

Wasting no time, flames and energy blazed as iconic rock band AC/DC, gave an energetic performance as they graced the Grammy stage for the first time in their nearly half a century career.

Emcee for the evening was none other than rapper-turned-actor LL Cool J, who remained calm, cool and collected the entire night. Although he never changed from his navy and black tux with signature hat, he managed to stay neutral amongst the crowd as he avoided the typical opening monologue and played it safe by only appearing on stage a few times throughout the night.

Taylor Swift in an aqua Ellie Saab dress, presented the first award of the night, best new artist to her BFF Sam Smith, who went on to win in three other categories before the night was over (best pop vocal album, record of the year and song of the year).

Never one to come up short vocally, Ariana Grande belted out her song, “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart.” The performance was a huge switch up from the flashy pop style that she has adapted over the years. Grande’s “Bang Bang” collaborator Jessie J jammed on the stage as well, singing a duet with Tom Jones.

Country powerhouse Miranda Lambert took home the award for best country album, but not before she hit the stage with a fun performance of her song “Little Red Wagon.”

Switching genres, Kanye West made his re-Grammy debut after a six-year boycott to perform his new song “Only One.” While the song has very powerful lyrics, West’s delivery was a little lackluster and did not translate over well.

But his shortcomings made room for 56-year-old Madonna who brought the house down as she released her inner devil and gave a fiery performance of her single “Living for Love.” Madge held back nothing, giving it her all with every dance step. This earned her the first standing ovation of the night.

There were a ton of artist collaborations on the stage, from Ed Sheeran being joined by John Mayer, Quest Love and Herbie Hancock for a rendition of “Thinking Out Loud,” to Adam Levine with Maroon 5 and Gwen Stefani. However, the best collaboration of the night can only go to one duo, and that was Hozier and Annie Lennox for their electric performance of “Take Me to Church” and “I Put A Spell On You.”

While most of the world may be tired of “Happy,” the Grammy’s were definitely not as Pharrell Williams performed a rendition of the song featuring a piano solo and took home three trophies for the über popular song including best pop solo performance, best music video and best urban contemporary.

Viewers also got a chance to hear from Grammy-winner, President Barack Obama as he discussed the #ItsOnUs campaign followed by spoken word poetry, which all set the tone for Katy Perry to sing “By the Grace of God.”

Other big performances of the night included Usher singing “If It’s Magic” paying homage to a lively Stevie Wonder, who joined him onstage playing his harmonica.  And everyone’s favorite bad gal Rihanna along with Sir Paul McCartney and Kanye who shared an undeniable chemistry as they performed “Four Five Seconds.”

Ending the night with a seemingly odd bang, in true “Yeezus” fashion, Mr. West made his way back to the stage as rock star Beck took home his second award for album of the year (best rock album). Apparently, it was too much for West to handle as he flashed back to his infamous 2009 VMA moment with Taylor Swift, and took the stage once again unannounced. Except this time, he held his comments to himself until the E! after show where he expressed that Beck should have handed over his award to Beyoncé.

After much controversy surrounding her pending performance, Beyoncé hit the stage singing her version of Mahalia Jackson’s “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.”  Decked out in all white, Queen Bey sang her heart out as many criticized her for supposedly stealing Ledisi’s shining moment as she portrayed Jackson in the  movie “Selma.” This caused many to overlook the fact that she took home three awards (best surround sound album, best R&B performance and best R&B song) becoming the second-highest Grammy award-winning woman in history.

Closing the show was John Legend and Common, with a stellar performance of their Oscar-nominated song “Glory” shining light on the Civil Rights heroes and the ongoing racial tensions in America.

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Briawnna Jones, Entertainment Editor
Briawnna is a junior communications major who intends to bring student life to lifestyle.
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