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2020 Grammy Awards promote unity through music

| Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Claire Kopischke | The Observer

The 2020 Grammy Awards took place on Jan. 26 shortly after the death of basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash that occurred in Calabasas, California.

Lizzo opened the ceremony in a beautiful glittery black dress with a set consisting of “Cuz I Love You” followed by “Truth Hurts.” Both performances took on a different spin, live with a flute dropping down for Lizzo to play and a classical break of violin and ballerinas being employed in “Truth Hurts.”

Host Alicia Keys took the opportunity to remind the audience that music brings people together, especially in times like these. After Keys’ initial acknowledgement that music’s biggest night would be taking place in “the house that Kobe built” (Staples Center), many presenters, nominees and performers echoed that with dedications and remembrances of the talented professional athlete.

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton’s performance set a romantic tone for the night. The performance openly exhibited their love for one another, and when Stefani came out in her white dress speckled with red rose petals, I almost thought for certain that Shelton would propose to her.

Lizzo won the first award of the night with “Truth Hurts” for Best Pop Solo Performance. She also won for Traditional R&B Performance with “Jerome” as well as Urban Contemporary Album with “Cuz I Love You (Deluxe).”

The Jonas Brothers took the stage next with “Five More Minutes” and their newest song, “Whatta Man Gotta Do,” the best part of which may have been the camera panning to show their three wives sitting together and cheering them on from the crowd.

Dan + Shay won the Grammy for Country/Duo Group Performance with “Speechless.”

Camilla Cabello’s performance of “First Man” for her father sparked all kinds of emotions. She sang with a grace that complimented her polished pink outfit.

Dave Chappelle won the Best Comedy Album Grammy for “Sticks and Stones.”

Usher channeled the power of Prince in his tribute to The Purple One with smooth dance moves as well as vocals.

Billie Eilish’s performance of “when the party’s over” showed off her strong vocal range along with supporting piano accompaniment from her brother and producer Finneas O’Connell. Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C. amped up the atmosphere with “Walk This Way.”

Following his earth-shaking performance of “EARFQUAKE,” Tyler, The Creator won the Grammy for Best Rap Album with his record “Igor.”

Lil Nas X’s performance of “Old Town Road” established itself as a top highlight of the night because it brought so many different artists together in celebration of a song that challenged its country roots and identity. Featuring BTS, Mason Ramsey, Diplo and Billy Ray Cyrus, the rotating stage and bright colors created quite a fun spectacle.

Demi Lovato’s performance of “Anyone” proved admirable in her courage to get back up on the stage and sing such a raw song. She did so with passion and pose in an elegant white dress.

Rosalía’s performance showcased careful attention to sonic detail with close-ups on hands clapping into microphones as well as against bodies. She and Billie Eilish both sported multiple inch acrylic nails, a seeming theme of the night.

Eilish stole the show, dominating in the final four categories, winning Album, Record and Song of the year as well as Best New Artist. She is only the second person in history to accomplish this and the first woman to do so.

If I were to list the top three elements of the 2020 Grammys, I would praise Lil Nas X’s performance (as well as his pink Versace suit), Alicia Keys’ steady hosting as well as talented involvement (especially in her performance of “Underdog”) and, finally, the humility with which Billie Eilish accepted her “Big Four” awards.

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