Whew. So, the Grammys took place last night in Los Angeles, and not without controversy. Jennifer Lopez polarized the Internet with her performance, which was intended to salute Motown ahead of its 60th anniversary–but created a ball of confusion. Why was a woman who was Latina, not from Detroit, and never signed to or ever known to have recorded anything Motown leading this tribute? Failing to understand the connection, but appreciating Lopez’s skill as an entertainer, we waited. We saw. And we’re still unclear. More Vegas than Motown, we’re not #hereforit overall, but we still love you Jenny From The Block. Moving on…
From Miss On The 6 to the 6 God…Drake accepted his award for Best Rap Song and let the Grammys have it at the same dayum tahm. Talk about “God’s Plan”!
“If you have people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here, I promise you, you already won,” he intoned. Drake was among many artists including Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar who declined to perform this year. Gambino won for Video of the Year with “This Is America”.
But be clear: Black women kept this train from being completely derailed and on track throughout the night. It began with our #ForeverFLOTUS Michelle Obama making a surprise appearance at the top of the show. Alicia Keys was a a lively and entertaining host, wowing the audience with her dual piano playing–a nod to piano master Hazel Scott (Google her–it IS Black History Month, after all). Cardi B. electrified the crowd with her burlesque revue performed to “Money”–and then made some history of her own winning the Best Rap Album award–a first for a woman rap artist. And then…The Boss came out and showed everyone how it’s done. All power red gown, flowing hair, style grace and regal presence, Diana Ross told the crowd “don’t be lazy!” and had a moment with Jaden Smith during her performance. She is truly #aginginreverse at 75 years amazing!
Cap the show off with Vallejo’s own H.E.R. taking home two trophies (Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance for “Best Part” f/Daniel Caesar), and Ella Mai snagging Best R&B Song with “Boo’d Up”, Beyoncé winning with her husband for Best Urban Contemporary Album for Everything Is Love, Janelle putting it down as only she can on stage, and jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller securing her first nomination–and it’s clear why the ratings are showing an early uptick. Black women are rainmakers. We’re convinced: all those crowns shining last night were the difference.