Over three hours and 45 minutes of this Sunday's (Feb. 10) broadcast, the Grammys hit on a formidable number of reside performances — wanting backwards to the historical past of soul, nation and rock, and pushing ahead into the way forward for all these genres as effectively.
Not each artist proved a knockout, however even with plenty of massive 2019 names conspicuously absent from the stage, the expertise and star energy on show was formidable. Here's how we rank the 18 performances on the night, from worst to first.
18. Post Malone & Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Stay" / "Rockstar" / "Dark Necessities"
Fun for a minute, with Post Malone performing his better-than-you'd-think Beerbongs & Bentleys solo acoustic ballad "Stay" — a facet he's by no means dropped at an award present stage earlier than. But then, it was mainly a lesser redux of his efficiency from final yr's VMAs, doing a halfhearted "Rockstar" (sans 21 Savage, in fact) after which becoming a member of up with a legacy rock band — on this case Red Hot Chili Peppers — for a mildly compelling run by "Dark Necessities." (Why "Dark Necessities," a now-three-year-old RHCP single whose existence you've most likely already forgotten about? Fair query.)
17. Shawn Mendes & Miley Cyrus, "In My Blood"
Considering what number of award exhibits Mendes had already trotted "In My Blood" out at previously yr, it was refreshing to see him giving it a unique sound this day trip — beginning solo on the piano, then being joined on stage by Miley Cyrus as soon as it was time for the complete band to kick in. Still not probably the most resounding efficiency or pure duet vocal, although: "Lost in Japan" (or Cyrus' "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart") would've been rather more enjoyable selections for the collab.
16. Chloe X Halle, "Where Is the Love?"
A nice tribute to the late nice Donnie Hathaway from finest new artist nominees Chloe X Halle, however the duo's sturdy rendering of Hathaway's signature duet with Roberta Flack was sadly undone by a weird association, giving the tune a booming, nearly dubstep really feel that was fully inappropriate for the fragile soul traditional. Good vocal showcase, however no motive it shouldn't have been a greater efficiency.
15. Jennifer Lopez & Co., Motown Medley
J-Lo + Motown: uh, certain? She wouldn't have been anybody's first selection of performer to guide a tribute to the legendary pop and soul label, however nobody may ever query both Lopez's ardour for widespread music or her irrepressible vibrancy as a reside performer. Better showcased her Video Vanguard efficiency eventually yr's VMAs, however this one nonetheless had some enjoyable surprises, like Lopez dipping into Teena Marie's '80s Motown hit "Square Biz" or Ne-Yo displaying up for a fast detour into Stevie Wonder's Songs within the Key of Life traditional "Another Star."
14. Diana Ross, "The Best Years of My Life" / "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)"
Never a nasty time to rejoice the good Diana Ross, and it's comprehensible if the Grammys noticed the ceremonies close to sufficient to her 75th birthday as a chance they couldn't move up. But whereas Ross' efficiency was sturdy, it didn't really feel prefer it actually captured her greatness or launched any new facet of it, and her lifetime achievement medley on the 2017 American Music Awards — a brief 15 months in the past — towers over this two-song medley a bit.
13. Dan + Shay, "Tequila"
Dan Smyers + Shay Mooney performed it good for his or her efficiency of Grammy-winning nation smash "Tequila," stripping it all the way down to largely simply the 2 of them splitting vocal duties and offering their very own guitar and piano accompaniment, respectively. The association highlighted the power of the core tune, and made it all of the extra memorable when Shay stepped out from behind the ivories to belt out the tune's closing energy notes.
12. Alicia Keys, Medley
Straddling two pianos, host Alicia Keys confirmed a number of the abilities that initially introduced her 15 Grammys, performing quite a lot of mini-covers from the previous (Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song" and Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable") proper as much as modern-day (Ella Mai's "Boo'd Up" and Drake's "In My Feelings"). It felt a bit scattershot and rambilng at instances, however that was a part of its appeal, and the by strains Keys discovered by pop historical past — hitting on each Juice WRLD and Kings of Leon — had been extremely pleasurable.
11. Lady Gaga, "Shallow"
We're removed from the Ally days now, with Lady Gaga displaying no real interest in replicating her overwhelmed pop proxy from A Star Is Born on the Grammys stage, and as an alternative performing that film's signature energy ballad very a lot as Lady Gaga. Wearing a silver bodysuit, Gaga spent your entire efficiency — which included her performing each her and Bradley Cooper's elements — gesticulating and thrashing and vamping with the mic stand like she'd simply watched Bohemian Rhapsody once more backstage earlier than performing. Didn't fairly match, however "Shallow" remains to be "Shallow."
10. St. Vincent & Dua Lipa, "Masseduction" / "One Kiss"
Though lots of the Grammys performances on Sunday night time succeeded by scaling again, it was barely disappointing to see St. Vincent's slithering title observe to her industrial pop masterpiece Masseduction stripped all the way down to a solo ballad, although the tune's unmistakable grit nonetheless shone by. Things bought extra awkward from there, although, with Dua Lipa's emergence giving method to a weird "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" interlude, and a "One Kiss" duet that feigned chemistry between the 2 performers and tried to shoehorn Annie Clark's riffing right into a throwback dance jam that actually had no room for it. Good songs, although.
9. Travis Scott, James Blake and Earth, Wind & Fire, "Stop Trying to Be God"
Beginning with James Blake and Verdine White earnestly crooning the Astroworld observe "Stop Trying to Be God" was kind of a wierd selection for a performer as electrical as Travis Scott. Luckily, that was adopted with dozens of our bodies dashing the metal cage during which Scott was all of a sudden performing for a riotous run by "No Bystanders," which truly did a reasonably spectacular job of translating the distinctive mania of the rapper's reside present to music's largest stage.
eight. Yolanda Adams, Fantasia & Andra Day, "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"
Three powerhouse singers taking up one of many signature numbers from the powerhouse singer to finish all of them, and acquitting themselves admirably. Nothing majorly revelatory, however nothing lower than what you'd anticipate or hope for.
7. Camila Cabello, Arturo Sandoval, Young Thug, Ricky Martin & J Balvin, "Havana"/"Mi Gente"
Camila Cabello began the present with a usually energetic, elaborately staged and color-coded rendition of her Hot 100-topping smash "Havana." But it'd be laborious for Camila alone get the suitable pleasure for a Grammys-opening efficiency with a tune so outdated they needed to discover a reside model only for it to be eligible for nomination this yr. Good factor she introduced alongside an all-star supporting forged, together with a white-suited and fleet-footed Ricky Martin, and a permachill J Balvin, who mixed to make the efficiency one of many largest events of the night.
6. Cardi B, "Money"
Only Cardi may make a proclamation like "Welcome to the Grammys!" practically 90 minutes into the telecast and have it not sound ridiculous. Even on a night of spectacular performers from ascendant pop stars, her vitality stays singular, writhing and kicking on high of a grand piano whereas spitting about morning intercourse and getting checks. As legit and mainstream as her stardom will get, Cardi B nonetheless by no means looks like something however Cardi B.
5. Kacey Musgraves, "Rainbow"
Just a microphone, a piano and a few ROYGBIV lighting was all Kacey Musgraves wanted for one of many night's extra affecting performances, a stunning rendition of the Golden Hour ballad highlighted by an impressively pristine Musgraves vocal. "That was attractive!" remarked Alicia Keys afterwards, and that's actually that wants be stated.
four. H.E.R., "Hard Place"
H.E.R. may've been nominated within the R&B classes for this yr's Grammys, however her efficiency confirmed her to be one of many night's largest rock stars as effectively. Armed along with her signature sun shades and a translucent six-string, the singer-songwriter exuded pure cool and charisma for a efficiency of her anthemic "Hard Place," even earlier than she stepped out in her silver onepiece swimsuit to do some informal shredding and lead the viewers in a call-and-response. Her dramatic pause earlier than the tune's closing lyric was undoubtedly well-earned.
three. Brandi Carlile, "The Joke"
If anybody was unfamiliar with Brandi Carlile's not-quite-yet-household title earlier than the Grammys and questioning why it was all around the ceremonies this yr, they'll bear in mind it after her fiery efficiency of tune and report of the yr nominee "The Joke." Her efficiency was each masterful and informal, thrilling each in each verse lyric she spit out like an statement she was making for the primary time, and in each hovering notice she held twice as lengthy and robust as you anticipated her to have the ability to. In the viewers, even Post Malone was enthralled.
2. Janelle Monae, "Make Me Feel"
Center stage in a plastic outfit with a guitar draped round her neck, it's honest to surprise why Janelle Monae wasn't tabbed for the night's St. Vincent collaboration, quite than Dua Lipa. Not like Janelle wanted an help from anybody, although: Her "Make Me Feel" was maybe the night's most explosive efficiency, a ripping rendition during which Monae was flanked by dozens of fellow soiled computer systems. She rolled on the ground, she toggled between gender pronouns, she even briefly mimed masturbation — however it by no means felt extra like shock worth than self-expression. As at all times, Prince would've been proud.
1. Kacey Musgraves, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Maren Morris, Little Big Town & Dolly Parton, "Here You Come Again" / "Jolene" / "After the Gold Rush" / "Red Shoes" / "9 to five"
A worthy tribute to the Queen of Country, from Kacey Musgraves' line-perfect rendition of the opening verse to "Here You Come Again" to Miley, Maren and Dolly taking part in Trio for a stunning run by Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush," to Dolly herself proving her new Dumplin' observe "Red Shoes" to be a deserving entry in her private canon. The solely flaw was Katy Perry doing fully an excessive amount of as Kacey's duet companion on "Here You Come Again," however everybody was having a lot enjoyable it's laborious to actually blame her for getting a bit over-excited.