On Saturday night, Whitney Houston died. It’s hard to explain how sad this makes me, other than to simply tell you I was a huge fan. As a kid, I loved big voices. I still do, but my tastes are more varied now. Whitney was one of the first artists I actively chose to be a fan of. I played her version of the Star Spangled Banner over and over again, even though I’m Canadian. In the 80s and early 90s she was so glamorous and fashionable, in an of-the-moment way that looks so dated now. She had so many struggles, and it’s heartbreaking to know that one of the most talented voices the world will ever know was silenced so soon, in such a tragically wasteful way.
Whitney died at a hotel, before she was scheduled to attend her mentor Clive Davis’s annual Grammys party. So of course, the mood at the Grammy’s the following evening would be drastically different than usual. Some handled it well, like host LL Cool J. His words and his prayer were the best anyone could have done. Others, like a particularly skinny woman who makes a living out of asking awkward questions on red carpets, didn’t fare so well – asking every celebrity what they thought the “mood in the room” was was not the right way to handle things. Frequent updates from the red carpet on the status of Whitney Houston’s autopsy were also in bad taste, as were the questions Ryan Seacrest asked of Whitney’s friend Kelly Price that brought her to tears.
There was a lot of black on the red carpet, and I’m guessing a lot of people toned it down following the tragic news. Fergie did not. Nicki Minaj showed up as Little Red Riding Hood with her date, the Pope.
Now, we need to talk about Chris Brown. I turned off my TV when he was on, as I will continue to do until the end of time. I do not believe Chris Brown has shown any remorse over what happened leading up to the Grammys three years ago, and I don’t believe he’s shown any improvement in his anger management issues. Sadly, I would not be surprised if he hit another woman one day. Sickeningly, there are women out there who welcome such a fate. I’m infuriated with what a spokesman for the Grammys said regarding Brown’s scheduled performance:
“We’re glad to have him back. I think people deserve a second chance, you know. If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened.”
The reason Chris Brown has been missing from the Grammys for two years is because the Grammys needed time to get over the fact that they were the victim of what happened.
Chris Brown beat the living daylights out of Rihanna in 2009, and after both artists had to cancel their performances (one was busy turning himself in to the LAPD, the other looked like this) the Grammys consider themselves the victims.
I’m getting angry, so I’ll just say that this piece on HelloGiggles.com pretty much sums up how I’ve always felt about Chris Brown apologists, and now The Grammys. I hope the producers of the show noticed how many smart people tweeted that they were turning off their TVs or leaving the room during Chris Brown’s performances (plural – they let him on stage TWICE!) last night.
The Grammys are about celebrating music, and this year that means they were about celebrating Adele. And so it was so wonderful that her award-filled night at the Grammys also marked her first performance since having throat surgery. The world was waiting to hear her sing, and she freakin’ knocked our socks off.
Adele’s performance of “Rollin’ In The Deep” was one of two major moments that night. The other, of course, was Jennifer Hudson’s tribute to Whitney Houston by singing “I Will Always Love You”. Now, I know they didn’t have a lot of time to pull something together. I won’t lie – I was really hoping for a medley that included lots of singers who’d been influenced by Whitney, like Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and, yes, Jennifer Hudson. But I know that wasn’t necessarily possible, and Jennifer did a beautiful job. (And then the Grammys had the poor taste to follow it with Chris Brown’s second appearance. But I digress…)
The show opened with Bruce Springsteen which, you know, just isn’t really my bag, and same goes for the performance from the Foo Fighters. Then there were the trainwrecks – I’m looking at you, Nicki Minaj. What the hell was that? Is everyone trying to be Lady Gaga these days? I would have preferred if she brought those two tutu-wearing kids up on stage for a performance of “Super Bass” and I’ve been over those kids for months.
There were some average performances. Tony Bennet and Carrie Underwood were lovely, though a little dull. Katy Perry was herself, and that was enjoyable though not surprising. The Beach Boys reunion with Maroon 5 and Foster the People was fun in some parts, awkward in others. Rihanna killed it on “We Found Love”, but her duet with Coldplay was a little bit of a let down.
But there were a lot of great performances, on top of the ones from Jennifer Hudson and Adele. There was a lovely tribute to Etta James from Alicia Keys and Bonnie Rait. Early in the evening Bruno Mars sang, and as always I dug his retro vibe, his vocals, and his performance style. I also really like his backup singer with the glasses. (Call me?) I tremendously enjoyed Blake Shelton, the Band Perry and Glenn Campbell. I will never stop loving Taylor Swift, and her live rendition of “Mean” is so, so charming. Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson (who looked fantastic) really classed up the joint. And we were also treated to two performances from Paul McCartney – no complaints there.
So, did you guys watch the show? Have any Whitney memories you’d care to share? Take to the comments section – unless you love Chris Brown, in that case you’re not welcome here.