Pull up a seat and have a steaming cup with me as we discuss issues central to the west-indian community, the african-american community and the LGBT community.

Monday, February 11, 2008

My Top Ten Grammy Moments

The Grammy Awards turned 50 in grand style last night with a show that dazzled and thrilled audiences with many highs and very few lows. The Grammy’s haven’t been this good in years! Before the show started my girlfriend and I were reminiscing about when as children we would count down the days ‘til the Grammy’s with great anticipation, gathering around the T.V. to watch with delight as all our favorites brought the house down. We also remarked about how, as we grew, the Grammy’s, and awards shows on the whole just got …well, stale. It’s like the powers to be in the awards show hierarchies just stopped caring and so the Grammy’s suffered. Boring performances, long, drawn out speeches from people you’d rather not hear from or who shouldn’t have won in the first place and overall yawn-dom. But, in honor of half a century in existence, last night’s stellar show really raised the bar and brought restored the former glory of the Grammy’s. I enjoyed virtually every moment of the three and a half hour show and could find very little flaws… so here are the top ten moments that made me smile.

10) Stevie Wonder Introduces Alicia Keys – Seeing Stevie always makes me smile and last night was no exception as he introduced Alicia Keys’ second musical number of the night. He’ll always be my favorite artist of all time not only because of his exceptional talent but because of his outstanding spirit. Whenever I see him he’s smiling and has this magnetic energy about him. Despite being a living legend and a twenty-five time Grammy winner himself, he’s always been one to give the younger artists their due. I’m sure Alicia was smiling behind the curtain as Stevie belted out the chorus of ‘No-One’ and of course played a little of the harmonica to go with. What a tribute.

9) Frank Sinatra – The show opened with Frank in a room full of the first Grammys back in 1958. He talked about what good music means to us and how Grammys were created to reward that. “…It’s called a Grammy. They’re voted once a year by the members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; not for selling a million records mind you, you get ‘bread’ for that; this is for contribution to the art of recording.” I’m a sucker for stuff like that...looking back ‘from whence we came’. Always touches me. He and Alicia Keys then performed a duet afterwards that didn’t really get me going but to each his own.

8) Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and John Foggerty – Since the general theme of the night seemed to be, ‘remembering our roots’ , it seemed only fitting to have some of the living founders of Rock and Roll perform some of their greatest hits. They were good too. The old guys still got it!

7) WOW Gospel – I love Gospel music and you just can’t get much better than Aretha Franklin who is the queen of soul but also a gospel veteran too, combined with fellow Gospel vets BeBe Winans and the Clark Sisters. Israel Houghton and his crew represented as well as Madison Bumblebee who I had never heard of until last night but they brought the horns, I mean they really brought the horns! Awesome! I have no idea who invited Trinity 5:7 to the party, seemed like they were just thrown in at the end and I could barely hear them over the powerful voices of the others, but hey, good for them.

6) Rihanna and Morris Day and the Time’s performance – I heart Rihanna, it’s no secret. The girl is gorgeous, talented and a fellow West-Indian! The fact that she keeps her nose clean in the dirty world of Hollywood makes me very proud. I hope she keeps it up. Her performance with Morris Day and the Time was one of the ones that really got me rockin’ in my seat. When they broke out the Michael, “Ma ma se Ma ma sa Ma ma cosa …” I was like, whattttttttt, those old guys still have energy and almost outshone Rihanna you could be their daughter! Very good performance.

5) The Beatles Tribute – No one can deny the enormous contribution the Beatles have made to music. Talk about still being relevant today? They are truly a band our kids and grandkids will be listening to long after we’re gone. Their tribute last night was good….it could’ve been better but good. I loved at the end when some of the members of the Across the Universe cast came out to sing ‘Let it Be’ . I think that song chokes everyone up. They did a wonderful job in the movie and a wonderful job last night.

4) Josh Groban/ Andrea Bocelli performance – ‘The Prayer’ is one of my favorite songs. I can see why it’s been re-recorded by artists of various genres, it’s so beautiful and inspirational. Andrea Bocelli does it best though. His voice is so angelic. Josh Groban sang with him and they dedicated the number to everyone we’ve lost in the music industry last year and especially to Pavorotti.

3) Kanye/Daft Punk – Kanye’s performance of ‘ Stronger’ is always one to watch. His energy is unmatched and that cockiness, although annoying off-stage, really captivates onstage. Daft Punk joined him in their first live performance of the song. They all wore glow in the dark outfits which was also pretty tight. But it was Kanye’s emotional tribute to his mom that really struck a chord. He slowed down his song ‘Mama’ and really belted it out. Can you say, Pass the tissues?

2) Beyonce and Tina – My ex-baby’s mama Beyonce really never lets me down. She’s beautiful, talented, sexy as all hell and I’m really digging her new hair…. But last night she and Tina really performed! It was so good to see Tina back on stage and besides missing one or two minor steps, she was in great form. It doesn’t seem like she’ll be ‘passing the torch’ any time soon, she’s still such an energetic performer. Wonderful!

1) Amy Winehouse – Amy’s performance via Satellite was by far the show-stopper in last night’s show and that’s saying a lot since the show was such a good one. They’d been hyping her performance all night and deliberately kept it until the very last so I was a little worried that it would be severely overrated. I think many of us were even more worried that Amy wasn’t quite ready to hit the stage again since she’s still in recovery – no one wanted to see another “Britney at the MTV Awards- like Debacle” . But Amy proved she’s no Britney. Her performances of ‘Rehab’ and ‘You know I’m no good’ killed! Sure, she wasn’t 100% the Amy we all know she could be but it’s really promising to see her on her way back. I was so proud of her and happy she took home her five Grammys. She deserved them; ‘Back to Black’ is a fierce album. Now let’s all say a prayer that the props she was showered with last night helps Amy finish cleaning up her act and get back to giving us incredible music.

So the Grammys this year pleasantly surprised me and I really enjoyed it.
*SideBar* Wouldn’t it have been nice to see Whitney perform though?
Hmm, maybe next year. Until then, we hope.

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