Music’s night of nights, the Grammy Awards graced the Staples Centre last night and featured warm tributes to Kobe Bryant and Prince. It also had record breaking wins, phenomenal performances and a few surprises.
Before we can even process the record breaking night that was the 2020 Grammys, we have to show you the absolute looks that we were obsessing over at FIB:
You can bet the first thing asked when we got in the office this morning was: “Did you see what Ariana Grande was wearing?!”
Let me explain. In a bombastic tulle Giambattista Valli ballgown she channelled her rightfully crowned Princess of Pop title and basically lived out all our fairy tale dreams.
But, as if that was the only thing Grande wore last night, she is the Princess of Pop after all! Keeping with the silver/grey theme and her iconic, signature ponytail she dressed herself in a very Grande-esque two piece.
Fairy tale vibes turned into Old Hollywood Glamour when Lizzo stepped out with perfectly coiffed hair, a fur wrap-around and stunning white Versace dress. The only thing we were slightly disappointed with? The regular sized bag. (If you want to know what I’m talking about, check out her tiny Valentino bag she rocked on the AMAs red carpet last year.)
Lil Nas X, after his totally green outfit at the AMAs, walked the Grammys red carpet in my absolute favourite colour: fuchsia. We’re not kidding. His entire outfit was a leather, hot-pink inspired cowboy look that definitely turned heads.
Shawn Mendes, my generic-looking-white-boy daydream wore this maroon-ish Louis Vuitton suit that honestly stole my heart (the two tend to go hand-in-hand in my dreams) and had me wishing I could trade places with the equally beautiful Camila Cabello.
Billy Porter resembled a kind of bluey silver lampshade, but I mean that in the best way possible because this shimmery ensemble took me to the galaxies and back.
View this post on Instagram
Get on my nerves, and the curtain closes! ? Living for my @recordingacademy / #GRAMMYs custom @bajaeast lewk and custom hat by @sarahsokolmillinery styled by @sammyratelle. ??? #grammys2020 . . Styling and Creative Direction by @sammyratelle for @rrrcreative agency | @thewallgroup⠀ Make-Up by @nellichristine Cut by @johncotton3 Styling Assistants: @ashleymarienyc, @ashleydai1, @alexandra.bucokova Custom Look by @scottstudengerg of @bajaeast ⠀ Custom Hat by @sarahsokolmillinery ⠀ Mechanically enhanced by @smooth.technology ⠀ Jewelry by @alexisbittar ⠀ Custom handbag by @judithleiberny⠀ Boots by @coach | Crystalized by @amorirstudio⠀ Crystals provided by @preciosacomponents⠀ Nails by @nailzbyvee | @cndworld ? by @santiagraphy & @gettyentertainment
Even though Grande, Lizzo and Mendes’s outfits brought some light to my eyes, Maggie Rogers made them sparkle. In her vintage, 2013 Chanel dress (yes, apparently in designer-brand world anything from more than a season ago is ‘vintage’) she radiated literal stars, wholesomeness and joie-de-vivre (she took her best friend as her date, alongside matching flasks!).
View this post on Instagram
cried twice already / smiling ear to ear. wearing the ultimate dream dress today – vintage @chanelofficial from 2013…the summer i was in alaska ✨ it’s been an incredible 4 years of work. my team looks dapper af, my parents are here, my best friend is my date. WE’RE READYYYYYYYYY ? GRAMMYS HERE WE COME
FIB’s ultimate favourite, Lana Del Rey probably had the perfect story behind her dress. Typically, artists nominated for the biggest award of the night, Album of the Year wear impressive, expensive, and larger-than-life gowns but Lana, always doing her own thing, confessed it was a “last-minute purchase from the mall!” That doesn’t mean she didn’t look any less beautiful or elegant, and we loved her even more for how down-to-earth she is.
Not to low-key drag the woman who absolutely dominated the entire night and broke a couple of records, but I have no idea what Billie Eilish was wearing. I mean, that’s her thing; weird, oversized outfits that allow her to express herself. But…what exactly was she expressing here?
Yesterday morning, the world awoke to the news that basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his thirteen year old daughter Gianna, and seven others had died in a helicopter crash in Southern California. Many have released heartfelt condolences as the loss swept across the world.
My heart is in pieces hearing the news of this unimaginable tragedy. I can’t fathom what the families are going through. Kobe meant so much to me and to us all. Sending my prayers, love, and endless condolences to Vanessa and the family and anyone who lost someone on that flight.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) January 26, 2020
There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/pigHywq3c1
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
So, it was only fitting that the Grammys, which was held at his home ground featured special tributes to the 41 year old NBA star. Lizzo kicked off the night with a tribute to Kobe as squillions of his fans gathered outside the venue and a spotlight shone on his retired jerseys the entire night.
Lizzo can heal broken hearts and encourage you to love yourself, so anyone who dares say something derogatory about my girl will be faced with her bold, striking positivity (and probably her ass). I mean, how can you not love someone who refuses to bend to societal expectations and criticisms?
She performed her song, “Like A Girl” which is the kind of powerful anthem that one listens to as they defy the patriarchy, “throw it like a girl,” “work [their] femininity” and “run the whole damn world!” Was this song also a subtle clapback at the Grammys and their label of sexist?
The first major award of the night was for Best Pop Solo Performance and it was between Beyoncé for Spirit, Ariana Grande: 7 Rings, Lizzo: Truth Hurts, Taylor Swift: You Need To Calm Down and Billie Eilish for Bad Guy. Lizzo, who is “100% that bitch” took out the award for Truth Hurts and men everywhere were in tears because how could someone who looks and preaches like Lizzo ever win a Grammy?!
Well, thank God for Deborah Dugan the new female CEO (stay tuned for more on that later).
Do you remember Usher? Yeah, neither do I. Well, last night, he appeared at the Grammys despite not being eligible for a Grammy…I’ve lost count of how long it has been since he released a song that was on the radio. Maybe OMG when I was 12? Anyway, he performed a tribute to Prince with his medley of Little Red Corvette, When Doves Cry and Kiss as FKA Twigs pole danced alongside him.
The next performance was by Ariana Grande, and if angels sung, I imagine they would sound like her. Her voice has often been described as sweet and lovely, but that does not do her any justice. She was powerful, soulful and raw. She was breathtaking. Unfortunately for Grande, despite the five nominations, she lost out to Billie Eilish and Lizzo every time. If it was any other year, we’re pretty sure it would have been her night.
The Grammy award for Best Rap Album went to Tyler, The Creator, for his album Igor. He also took to the stage to perform alongside Boys II Men (if you’re thinking “who?” that’s okay. Pretty sure their audience are all boomers) in what I can only describe as a cacophony.
The following award and performance was for the song that no one could get out of their head for all of 2019: Old Town Road. Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, K-Pop group BTS, and that yodelling-kid-from-Walmart went onto the stage to collect the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (sorry Shawn and Camila) and Best Music Video. They also burst into song as they performed the hit single to the irritation of anyone who finally got the song out of their heard.
The next major award of the night was for Song of the Year, but don’t let that confuse you with Record of the Year. Song of the Year celebrates the songwriters and the lyrics, the latter recognises the track’s production. This year’s nominations were Always Remember Us This Way, Lady Gaga’s song from A Star Is Born, H.E.R’s Hard Place, Lana Del Rey’s Norman F***ing Rockwell, Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved, Lizzo’s Truth Hurts and Taylor Swift’s Lover.
Interestingly, there were a total of 27 songwriters on those tracks combined, but Lover was written solely by Taylor Swift and I think that song deserves more recognition than it got last night. Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell won the award for Triple J’s Hottest 100 Number 1 Bad Guy. Their acceptance speech was really sweet and Finneas dedicated it “to all the kids making music in their bedrooms.”
Billie Eilish just kept winning, taking out Best New Artist and beating favourites Lizzo and Maggie Rogers. Honestly, there should have just been one big award titled Billie Eilish, You Won and then she could have had a seat for at least fifteen consecutive minutes throughout the show, and it wouldn’t have been over two hours long!
The final two awards, the biggest awards of the night, were Record of the Year and Album of the Year. The artists that were up for these were Lizzo, Bon Iver, Ariana Grande, Vampire Weekend, Lana Del Rey and Lil Nas X. At eighteen years old, the unique and mega-talented Billie Eilish accepted these with so much grace and appreciation that everyone who watched knew it was her moment to shine, and were glad of it. She also broke records, especially in her claim of the top four awards: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Best New Artist.
But, Where Were All The Major Celebs Who Were Also Nominated?
Of course, it isn’t the Grammys without at least one elephant in the room. So here’s a little context:
After 2018’s travesty, where only one woman won a major award in Pop, Rock, Country and RnB categories, and the Recording Association President Neil Portnow declared women just needed to “step up,” the Grammys hired its first female president and CEO, Deborah Dugan.
Her primary role was to resolve the voting board’s diversity problems and bring in more transparent voting processes and selections to the praise of many artists and producers. However, days before the 2020 ceremony, the Recording Academy publicly revealed that she was on ‘administration leave’ (basically she is in the process of being fired). She has since accused them of harassment, sexism, racism, bullying and favouritism, which, incidentally are all the things the Academy have been labelled, time and time again.
This was the major elephant in the room, and is the reason many major artists pulled out last minute. Taylor Swift, who was nominated for three Grammys and was set to open the night with a performance of her new single The Man didn’t even attend the show, or make any comments about the night. Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Adele, Lady Gaga and many more didn’t attend, despite some being nominated for awards.
To Sum Up:
The 2020 Grammys was probably the first time that people didn’t shake their heads in confusion, anger or frustration. The words “snubbed” and “rigged” didn’t inundate social media (unless you follow lots of Taylor Swift fan accounts like I do), and this is most likely because of the new voting processes that Debora Dugan has put into place. Perhaps this can be the start of a new era of diverse Grammys that recognises all talents; not just white men’s. Or not. It is the Grammys after all, and they did basically just fire the person who has attempted to do so.