On the Scene: The 57th Annual Grammy Awards

Newcomer Sam Smith lost out on Album of the Year but took home four other Grammys (Photo Credit: Variety.com)

By Bailey Outerbridge, Contributing Writer

This past weekend, in Los Angeles, the Staples Center filled to the brim with celebrities and spectators alike, grabbing the attention of the nation as the 57th annual Grammy Awards commenced. The media frenzy covered the stars’ red carpet entrances, and CBS televised the event, allowing America to watch the highlights of music’s biggest night. However, the day neither started nor ended here.

The Grammys Pre-Show event (not televised) began at noon on February 8th at the Nokia Theater, across the street from the Staples Center. In this ceremony, 74 awards were presented, from Best Metal Performance (won by Tenacious D) to Best Blues Album (won by Johnny Winters) to best Reggae Album (won by Ziggy Marley), and everything in between. The ceremony was hosted by country artist Hunter Hayes, who was a nominee for Best Country Solo performance.

While few of the big- name winners attended the pre-show to accept their awards (the absent included Carrie Underwood for Best Country Solo Performance, Pharrell Williams for Best Urban Contemporary Album, Paramore for Best Rock Song), the show featured an immense amount of the industry’s key players in both performance and production (engineers, producers, mixers, etc.), including winner of Producer of the Year, Max Martin.

The Pre-Show, like the televised event, was filled with inspiring and moving moments. Perhaps the most memorable of such moments was the acceptance speech of the Best Music Film award, which was awarded to the film 20 Feet From Stardom. The children of the late producer, Gil Friesen, accepted the award on their father’s behalf, earning a standing ovation from the entire theater.

Other big Pre-Show winners included Chick Corea, earning his 21st and 22nd Grammy awards, as well as the film Frozen, earning awards Best Song Written for Visual Media as well as Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.

Following the Pre- Show, the red carpet dazzled as per usual, as Rihanna swept through the tent in her bright pink baby doll gown, Beyonce stirred her BeyHive (once again), posing in a custom black Proenza Schouler gown, and Madonna commanded attention in a black matador getup.

The televised award show opened with a fiery performance by AC/DC, following a brief introduction by the show’s host, LL Cool J. The show featured more musical performances than ever, packed with big-name artists from Katy Perry to Ed Sheeran. Some notable collaborations were featured throughout the show as well, including Chris Martin and Beck, Sam Smith and Missy Elliot, and Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

The show also featured some controversial moments, including Beck’s surprising win for Album of the Year, beating out Beyonce, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Pharrell Williams. Kanye West reacted to this win, as he feigned rage and began to mimic his microphone abduction from Taylor Swift of the 2009 Video Music Awards.

While defeated for Album of the Year, newcomer Sam Smith swept up four wins, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, and best Pop Vocal Album. Sam Smith was a clear crowd favorite among the audience, earning roaring cheers at his name’s mention throughout the show.

Concluding the televised event, John Legend and Common performed their gospel-inspired song “Glory,” written for the film Selma. Following the televised event, the official after-party was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, also in the vicinity of the Staples Center and Nokia Theater. Performers at the after-party included Jessie J and Gloria Gaynor, both performing crowd favorites including “Bang Bang,” and “I Will Survive.”

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Author: Isabel Gibson Penrose

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