Earlier today we learned that the relatively unknown artists Esperanza Spalding (Best New Artist) and Arcade Fire (Album of the Year) took home two of the biggest awards at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards last night … but right now, we get to check out some photos from some of the other Grammy attendees and winners from last night’s show. The big winner of the night was Country act Lady Antebellum. They walked away with two of the most prestigious Grammy Awards of the year — Record of the Year and Song of the Year — and won 5 of their 6 nominations. BUT, there were other winners as well. It was a big night for music here in LA last night.
Pop provocateurs Lady Gaga and Eminem may have brought more compelling career stories to the 53rd annual Grammy Awards, but on a shocking night the big trophies went home Sunday with Southern trio Lady Antebellum and Montreal indie-rock band Arcade Fire. Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” a harmony hit of closing-time yearning, was named record and song of the year (the former is for best overall track; the latter is specifically for song writing), while the best album honors went to Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs,” the third studio album from the seven-member band led by the married couple Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. A dizzying string of envelope surprises at Staples Center began with perhaps the biggest shock of all: Esperanza Spalding, the 26-year-old jazz bassist and vocalist from Portland, Ore., was named best new artist, beating out far more famous nominees, among them kid-pop sensation Justin Bieber and rapper-singer Drake. Spalding is the first jazz artist to win the coveted best new artist award, but her win recalled the 2008 show when Herbie Hancock took home the album of the year honors. “I take this honor to heart so sincerely, and I’ll do my damnedest to make great music for all of you. It’s such an honor, and God bless,” said a shocked Spalding, who released her third album, “The Chamber Music Society,” last year. Taken collectively, the honors for Spalding, Arcade Fire and Lady Antebellum were vivid reminders that the 13,000 voters of the Recording Academy aren’t marching to the same beat as music consumers or even music critics. The Antebellum victories — they won in five of the six categories in which they were nominated — show the consolidated power of the industry’s country-rooted constituency that has powered major category upsets in recent years for the Dixie Chicks, Taylor Swift and the twang-informed duo of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Formed in Nashville in 2006, the trio of Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley saw a bookend quality to their Staples Center success on Sunday. As they pointed out during their acceptance speech, their performance of “Need You Now” on last year’s Grammy Awards was a key turning point in the single’s success. “We just cried our eyes out backstage,” Kelley said … In a couple of other historic benchmarks, a Grammy for the first time went to a composition written for a video game: Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu,” which was named best instrumental recording; and the version of Train’s song “Hey, Soul Sister” that won best pop performance by a duo or group was from the iTunes Session EP, the first time iTunes original content has won a Grammy … As far as performances, the show was a mix of major stars of the past, present and, perhaps, the future. All five nominees in the best new artist category performed, and three icons whose recording careers date to the early 1960s took turns at the microphone: Bob Dylan sang “Maggie’s Farm,” Barbra Streisand performed “Evergreen” and Mick Jagger tore through a version of “Everybody Needs Somebody” as a tribute to the late Solomon Burke. The show opened with a squadron of siren voices — Christina Aguilera, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride and Florence Welch — performing a medley of hits associated with Aretha Franklin, the soul queen who has been ailing in recent months. A video message from Franklin followed the number, and the 68-year-old said she hoped to make it to the show in person “next year.” The final surprise was an unprecedented encore at the end of the show. After their acceptance speech, Arcade Fire members returned to their instruments and launched into “Ready to Start,” their second number of the night. Some in the audience thought that it was a punk-spirited coup of the microphone, but Grammy executive producer Ken Erhlich said in recent days that he would let the band do an extra song if the show was running ahead of schedule.
Here are some photos from the show itself. Christina Aguilera, as part of the tribute to Aretha Franklin, sang beautifully … but then fell on stage afterward — whoops!
I, personally, thought the show was fun to watch … primarily because it was all about the musical performances. There were a few hits and deffo a few misses (duh, the cones go on your boobs, NOT your shoulders) but overall … the show was pretty fun to watch. Last night’s Grammy Awards telecast was the highest rated show in 10 years. And I loved that there was no host. If the Grammy Awards keeps this up, they might actually be good again. Keep honoring NEW talent, Grammys … I think you’re on to something there ;) Click HERE for a full list of last night’s Grammy Award winners. Did your faves win? What were YOUR fave parts of the show?