Is there anyone on Earth with more grace and poise than Alicia Keys? On a difficult day of worldwide mourning she somehow managed to say the perfect thing in her beautiful opening tribute to the memory of Kobe Bryant and his daughter who tragically passed away this morning along with seven others.
https://www.cbs.com/shows/grammys/video/JWThExn6TFIj3VuKAnu_A8QHDsl7did9/alicia-keys-pays-tribute-to-kobe-bryant-in-2020-grammy-awards-opening/ – EDIT: the video I had got removed, so here is the official link.
It’s been a hard day, and it’s not like this makes it any easier. But she somehow managed to make us feel good about watching this show and enabled us to enjoy the music, and maybe even feel a bit more unified in our hurt by the end of it. There were times during the GRAMMYs this year where I didn’t want to look away because I didn’t want to miss a single moment or notion regarding Kobe, and I’m glad I didn’t. Lizzo kicked off the night with a heart-wrenching shout out leading into Truth Hurts which you can catch in the first 15 seconds here:
John Legend and DJ Khaled also showed love, along with love for the late Nipsey Hustle in their acceptance speech and performance for Higher (feat. Nipsey), which was later emotionally performed.
Also can I just say, DJ Khaled’s cadence amazes me. Sometimes when he talks I find myself bobbing my head like that Chinese reporter who thought Desiigner was rapping that one time in one of my favorite videos of all time:
I would love to see DJ Khaled do some voiceover work if he wasn’t busy manufacturing bangers like faster than Nabisco does cookies.
It was an amazing show, held down by the one and only. We can go down the rabbit hole of Alicia’s past hits another time, but I’ll save this post for a dedication to tonight’s show.
If you haven’t heard it check out Alicia’s newest song Underdog you should check it out, it’s a heater.
If you haven’t heard Billie Eillish won most of the major awards, full list of winners here. Camilla Cabello gave a stunning tribute performance to her dad which felt much needed. The show in general was emotionally fueled (the clear exception being Old Town Road which was featured in our top 50 tracks of the year), with other touching performances including Bonnie Raitt’s Angel From Montgomery tribute to John Prine for his achievement award, Bring My Flowers Now by Tanya Tucker which was featured on our weekly playlist, and Demi Lovato with her first performance since being hospitalized for an overdose in 2018 doing her new song Anyone.
H.E.R. was also awesome, that girl can shred.
My Favorite Moment:
Introduction aside, this was my favorite moment of the night:
What a far way this man has come, from eating a cockroach on camera and making some of the most offensive music I’ve ever heard:
To a an even darker perspective on Wolf, to a more fun and unapologetically energetic on Cherry Bomb, to a genre-ambiguous adventure on Flower Boy:
To the production masterpiece that is Igor:
I don’t know Tyler but I’m proud of him (that’s chill right??). Plus look at these expressions from Tyler and his mom:
Isn’t this what it’s all about? There’s nothing better than seeing extremely hard work convert into sheer unbridled joy right in front of your eyes. I’m so happy for all of the winners tonight, and hope they enjoy a much deserved celebration.
Afterword (or whatever the blog equivalent of this is)
Music is so important to me, as I’m sure it is to you if you’re reading this. It’s with us for the highs when we need something to celebrate to, and it’s with us for the lows when dead silence would be unbearable beyond belief. Seeing the music community come together to collectively mourn the Kobe Bryant tragedy reminds me of how important community is, whether it be a larger community of music listeners or a tight community of friends. There are no takeaways from a tragedy like this, but if there’s one thing this reminded me of (especially via Jay Williams) it is to live life to the fullest and spend time with the people you love and doing the things you love, because you never know what could happen. I love music and writing, and I’m grateful that I get to do this, especially with my friends who help make it happen. Not quite as elegant as Alicia said it but true nevertheless. RIP Kobe Bryant and thoughts and prayers to his family.