Grammys 2016: King Kendrick Lamar Steals the Show
The Weeknd’s solo spot made more sense with the explanation that Lauryn Hill didn’t show, and let’s just say that not feeling one’s face is a theme we all can relate to. (Rihanna was also a late-breaking cancellation, for medical issues.) Justin Bieber, Skrillex and Diplo performed, though no Bieb-tears this time. Miguel, presenting Best Rock Song, sounded a little confused why he was giving a speech about Michael Jackson. Alabama Shakes did “Don’t Wanna Fight,” with Brittany Howard doing a lot more to explain what guitars are for than Tori Kelly and James Bay could. (Way down in the fine print, the Grammys gave out an award for Best Rock Album – apparently Muse are still at it.) Pitbull did the final medley with Sofia Vergara dressed as a taxi, although the moment Thicke appeared, the producers desperately ran the credits and pulled the plug.
The most controversial moment of the night? Gaga’s Bowie tribute, which began with her in Aladdin Sane close-up, doing a brief snippet of “Space Oddity.” Then she began a hectic medley of Bowie songs with Nile Rodgers, rushing through nine or 10 of the man’s hits, sometimes doing little more than singing the title. Gaga evoked the spirit of his immortal 1975 TV duet with Cher, where they took the same irreverent approach to a crazed oldies medley. It was a blasphemous mess, yet that’s just what made it a worthy Bowie tribute. And as for the side of Bowie that Gaga didn’t have time to cover – the raging, intense, visionary, dangerous, fearless side – you could just go back and re-watch Kendrick.