The music industry’s elite gathered at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles to celebrate musical excellence and outstanding achievement in the arts.
There were a number of things that stood out last night – from Sam Smith’s big haul and Kanye West’s stance on the legitimacy of the Grammys to the numerous tributes to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. So if you want to know what everyone will be talking about today, we’ve got you covered with all you need to know below.
Sam Smith was the night’s big winner.
The 22-year-old English singer/songwriter entered the night up for six awards and scored four wins, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version) as well as Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album for In the Lonely Hour. In fact, Smith would have become only the second male artist to sweep the four general categories if not for an upset by Beck in the Album of the Year category (more on this later).
“Before I made [In the Lonely Hour], I was doing everything to try to get my music heard,” Smith said while accepting the award for Best Pop Vocal Album. “It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen. So thank you, guys, for accepting me to be just me.”
Beyoncé and Pharell Williams also walked away with their hands full, both winning three Grammys after also being nominated for six awards each.
Kanye West almost had another “Imma let you finish” moment.
At awards shows, there is no artist more unpredictable than Kanye.
Last night, Kanye gave viewers flashbacks of the 2009 Video Music Awards when he faked like he was going to interrupt Beck during his acceptance of the Album of the Year award for Morning Phase. The moment brought out a priceless reaction from Jay Z and Beyonce, who couldn’t believe what Kanye was about to do again. But it was all just a harmless joke, right?
After the show was over, Kanye stopped by E!’s after show to explain what was on his mind.
“I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more,” he said. “And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé and at this point, we tired of it. Because what happens is when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration.”
To Beck’s credit, he handled it well. In his response after the show, he said that he still respects Kanye and even admitted that he too was shocked at beating out Beyoncé.
“You can’t please everybody, man,” he told US Weekly. “I still love him and think he’s genius. I aspire to do what he does.”
Icons used the platform to further the “Black Lives Matter” cause.
The unjust deaths of Michael Brown and numerous other black men sparked the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which increased national dialogue about the racism and discrimination that is still widely prevalent across the country.
During performances by Beyoncé and Pharell, the background choir and dancers rose their hands in the air, a gesture that originated from the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” demonstrations after Brown’s death at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO.
And during Prince’s presentation of the Album of the Year award, he added, “Albums still matter. Like books and black lives, albums still matter.”
Notable Grammy winners
– Album of the Year: Beck, Morning Phase
– Best New Artist: Sam Smith
– Record of the Year: Sam Smith, “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”
– Song of the Year: Sam Smith, “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”
– Best Rap Album: Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP2
– Best Rap Performance: Kendrick Lamar, “i”
– Best Rap Song: Kendrick Lamar, “i”
– Best Pop Vocal Album: Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
– Best Pop Solo Performance: Pharell Williams, “Happy”
– Best R&B Album: Toni Braxton & Babyface, Love, Marriage & Divorce
– Best R&B Song: Beyonce ft. Jay Z “Drunk In Love”
Check out the full list here.
What do you think was the biggest standout from the show last night? Let us know in the comment section.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images