“More than anyone, my grandmother taught me to dream, dream, dream… [a Grammy] isn’t just a shiny trophy to hold onto…but a dream come true,” LL Cool J proclaimed in his introduction, after Taylor Swift’s Cirque du Soleil-esque performance of “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards took place at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10. Rapper LL Cool J was an excellent second-time host. Several musicians gave incredible live performances, namely Mumford and Sons, Maroon 5, Frank Ocean and Ed Sheeran.
Winning Best Album, Mumford and Sons have certainly come a long way with their album “Babel.” The English alternative folk band delivered a stellar performance of “I Will Wait.” Adele took home her ninth Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance. Best Song went to “We Are Young” by Fun. The song, dramatic, powerful with indie and alternative influences, climbed the charts last year. Fun also performed their single “Carry On.” Best Country Solo Performance went to Carrie Underwood for “Blown Away.” Gotye and Kimbra won Record of the Year for “Somebody That I Used To Know,” a song that was played continuously on the radio during 2012. Kelly Clarkson won Best Pop Vocal Album, against greats like Florence and the Machine, Maroon 5 and Pink. Best Rap Song went to “No Church in the Wild” by Jay-Z. Best Dance/Recording went to “Bangarang” by Skrillex, and many more awards were handed out throughout the course of the night.
The performances themselves varied greatly; some were definitely more theatrical than others. When Fun sang “Carry On,” water fell onto the stage to make it look like it was raining. When Frank Ocean performed “Forrest Gump,” it appeared as though he was running; a projector behind him played a video of runners, one of them was Frank himself (well, half of him, anyway). It was a riveting visual effect.
Other artists were more traditional, such as Mumford and Sons and Bruno Mars when he sang “Locked out of Heaven.” Afterward, Mars, Sting, Rihanna and Ziggy Marley sang a tribute to Bob Marley. The Grammys were attended by many other celebrities and musicians including Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry.
The “most honorable” awards ceremony for music, according to LL Cool J, this year’s Grammys certainly exceeded everyone’s expectations, even if it was a bit long. Viewers were able to watch their favorite bands and musicians not only win awards for their hard work, but also watch many artists perform.
As LL Cool J said, “For me, the Grammys equals music. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an equation that has been proven true for 55 years.”