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Grammys 2017: 20 Best and Worst Moments

Highlights and lowlights, including Beyoncé, Adele and A Tribe Called Quest

At the 59th iteration of Music's Biggest Night, Beyoncé performed a dreamy meditation on motherhood, Adele performed an emotional tribute to George Michael and MetalliGaga performed through technical errors and bad ideas. Here's the best and worst of a night where A Tribe Called Quest took on the president and Twenty One Pilots took off their pants.

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Best: William Bell and Gary Clark Jr. Muscle Through “Born Under a Bad Sign”

Gary Clark Jr. has become the big awards shows' on-call shredder, and we're not complaining. Clark may be an underwhelming songwriter, but as a guitarist and wingman, he's lethal, a fact demonstrated last night alongside Stax survivor William Bell, who had taken home a Best Americana Album trophy earlier in the day for 2016 comeback LP This Is Where I Live. Clark was more than happy to play a supporting role here, tossing out stinging leads on his yellow SG as the 77-year-old Bell growled through a version of his immortal blues classic "Born Under a Bad Sign," made famous by Albert King. In a night plagued by contrived, awkward team-ups, this one felt sleek and natural, a virtuoso display courtesy of a young gun and an industry vet finally getting his turn in the spotlight.

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Best: Sturgill Simpson and the Dap-Kings Class Up the Joint

Last night's show was heavy on high-concept set pieces – Katy Perry's cubist suburban home, Beyoncé's trippy avant–dinner party – so the understated old-school class of Sturgill Simpson's performance was all the more welcome. Teaming with the Dap-Kings, there to honor their late, great front-marvel Sharon Jones, who died just months ago, Simpson turned in a gripping rendition of "All Around You," his Sailor's Guide to Earth tale of uplift in the face of adversity. The result was big, brassy Americana at its finest, like The Last Waltz gone Grand Ole Opry, and a reminder that timeless elegance always plays better on TV than gimmicky bombast.

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