posted on: Thursday January 30, 2020
by Grace Whitman ’22 A&E Staff
Hours after the tragic passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter, Gianna, the Recording Academy started the 62nd annual Grammy Awards with a tribute in their honor. Host Alicia Keys took the stage somberly saying “We’re all feeling crazy sadness…because Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero” and continued to say, “We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” referring to the Staples Center where Bryant played for 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers. Both of Bryant’s retired jersey numbers were illuminated in the Staples Center rafters, which the cameras focused on during Keys’ opener.
“The one thing that has the power to bring all of us together…is music,” said Keys. Music is the healing force of the universe and this year’s Grammy Awards attempted to show just that.
But the show had to go on. “We’re gonna sing together, laugh together, dance together,” said Keys later. “Celebrating this music because I know how much Kobe loved music. I know how much he loved it, so we gotta make this a celebration in his honor.”
Per usual, the show was filled with astonishing musical performances by artists like Demi Lovato, Lil Nas X, Aerosmith, and H.E.R.
Camila Cabello brought her dad and the rest of the world to tears with her emotional rendition of her song “First Man” off of her new album Romance. For “the first man that really loved me” as the song goes, Cabello belted out the heartfelt ballad to her father in the front row.
The Grammy’s tribute to Nipsey Hussle, whose death stunned the entire world last year, was a reminder of another LA legend gone too soon. John Legend, Meek Mill, DJ Khaled and others performed a tribute to Hussle with their song “Higher.” The song by DJ Khaled, which features Nipsey Hussle and John Legend, was recorded before Hussle’s death in March of 2019.
“Higher” was awarded Best Rap/Sung Performance. As he accepted the award on behalf of Hussle, Legend said, “We all love him, and we all miss him. Thank you for allowing us to use his legacy and lift it up in song tonight…let’s love each other, let’s love our families, let’s hold each other tight.”
As for the biggest awards of the night, Billie Eilish humbly stole the show, taking home all four of the most prestigious awards. Eilish won the Grammy for Best New Artist, Album of The Year for her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, and Song of the Year and Record of the Year for her hit “Bad Guy.” With these victories, Eilish became the first woman and the youngest individual to sweep the major awards.
Additionally, Lizzo took home her first Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance, Dan + Shay won Best Country Duo/Group Performance for their song “Speechless,” and Tyler The Creator won Best Rap Album for his album Igor.
The 62nd Grammy Awards was a night of inspiration and perseverance. The celebration reminded viewers and the audience how precious life is. May we live our lives in the moment and continue to lift each other up.