On January 26, the Grammy Awards honored some of the industry’s best and most popular music makers. As usual, there were some performances that made it worth sitting through more than three hours of lights and action. Below, six performances that should be seen (or seen again and again).
1. Lizzo, and flute, opened the show
“Tonight is for Kobe,” Lizzo said, before belting out ”Cuz I Love You” to the accompaniment of a complete orchestra. The shoutout was in reference to the news that 41-year-old basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others died the morning of the awards show in a helicopter crash. Keeping the energy up, a ballet dancer in a white tutu then performed en pointe, before being joined by five more dancers and Lizzo to perform the flutist’s chart-topping single “Truth Hurts.”
Watch Lizzo’s full performance, courtesy of Twitter account Opinionated Me:
2. Alicia Keys’ and Boyz II Men’s Kobe Bryant tribute
Host Alicia Keys told the audience, “We never imagined in a million years we would have to start the show like this.” To pay homage, Keys noted that they were in the Staples Center, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers and the arena Bryant played in for 20 seasons. Then she, along with Boyz II Men, performed an a cappella version of Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday.”
Watch the tribute below, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter:
THR) January 27, 2020
3. Lil Nas X shares the stage with Nas, Billy Ray Cyrus, BTS, Mason Ramsey and Diplo
Lil Nas X brought his friends and collaborators onstage for an “Old Country Road” party. Moving through rooms of a “house” that hid a new person behind each new door, the rapper’s performance was a who’s who of all who have been lucky enough to have been part of Lil Nas X’s chart-topping world. From Billy Ray Cyrus to BTS, it was a full-on celebration. The surprise, however, was the appearance of his idol, legendary Queens rapper Nas, who stepped onstage to literal fireworks to assist with the “Rodeo” performance.
Watch his performance with BTS here, courtesy of Time:
4. Usher honors Prince with Sheila E. on the drums:
In advance of the star-studded “Let’s Go Crazy: The GRAMMY Salute to Prince” event, which will take place on January 28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Usher channeled the icon at the awards show. With Sheila E. on drums and FKA Twigs in full body motion, the performance moved from “Little Red Corvette” to “When Doves Cry” to “Kiss.”
Watch the full performance below, courtesy of Twitter account Opinionated Me:
5. Tyler the Creator made the “Earfquake”
Tyler the Creator gave fans a medley performance of “Earfquake” and “New Magic Wand,” that began with Boyz II Men and Charlie Wilson crooning smooth R&B over a fiery trash can. Soon, Tyler the Creator clones were marching around onstage as the camera shook, simulating shaky ground, and the rapper, in a pink and magenta color blocked suit and blonde bowl cut wig, put his entire body into the performance.
Watch below, courtesy of Grammys:
6. Nipsey Hussle honored
In addition to Bryant, rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was killed on March 31, 2019, at age 33, was memorialized by some of his collaborators. DJ Khaled joined John Legend for a performance of “Higher” as a choir danced in white zurias, a nod to Nipsey Hussle’s Eritrean roots; rappers Meek Mill and YG provided love rhymes; and Kirk Franklin brought the church to the stage. Videos of Nipsey Hussle (and Bryant) played in the background.
Watch a clip of the performance below, courtesy of Bippity Boppity, via Twitter: