The Grammy Awards aren't your typical award show. Where most focus on that second word — awards — the Grammys are all about epic performances, over handing out trophies. And the 59th Annual Grammys were no exception, with show stopping numbers from Beyonce, Adele, Lady Gaga and more.
But not all performances are created equal... So even though the songs don't get awards, we decided to rank 'em, anyway; from the subdued, to the "Holy cow did we really just see that?"
19. Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Little Big Town and Andra Day - The Bee Gees Tribute
Combining this many artists into one tribute turned into a bit of a mess. You need top notch vocalists to pull off the Bee Gees, and while everyone on that stage can sing their hearts out, it didn't feel as captivating as it should have. The best part of the whole thing was the audience shots to living BeeGee Barry Gibb singing along to his greatest hits. Maybe it would have been better if he had been invited to perform with them?
18. James Corden, Neil Diamond and More - "Sweet Caroline"
Did you really think they would let James Corden host the Grammys without referring to "Carpool Karaoke"? We respect the award show for holding it as a mid-show bit rather than making it a predictable opening. We also respect the talent they recruited for it — from J.Lo to John Legend and Faith Hill; but it's clear the skit didn't get the rehearsal it needed. The hodgepodge of music's big stars got together with Neil Diamond to sing "Sweet Caroline," but it appeared obvious many of them didn't know the words or where to come in, which is pretty shameful. It's a classic, you guys! Even an appearance from Blue Ivy couldn't save this one.
17. Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood - "The Fighter"
Oh boy. You'd figure that seasoned performers like Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood would be ready to nail a duet on live TV, but the country duo's performance of Urban's new single "The Fighter" was... Not that great. It didn't emphasize either of their strengths, going for more of a pop vibe than their home country genre. Underwood seemed unsure of how to dance to the number, and the entire thing kind of felt flat.
16. Ed Sheeran - "Shape of You"
After a hiatus in 2016 to record his upcoming album, Ed Sheeran returned this year with the forthcoming "Divide." The ginger-haired singer made a surprise appearance at the Grammys to perform his latest single, "Shape of You." Sheeran went for a simple performance that started with creating the loops that back up the track vocally. Watching the process was pretty cool, but it was still on the subdued side.
15. Chance the Rapper - "How Great" and "All We Got"
Chance the Rapper took the Grammys to church after winning three Grammys on Sunday night. It was a powerful performance and his choir was on point, but it tipped the line from inspirational to preachy when Chance called out to the audience, "You better stand up, I'm talking about my God." It's awesome that Chance is so proud and open with his faith, but it left little understanding for the millions watching that might not share the same ideals.
14. William Bell and Gary Clark Jr. - "Born Under a Bad Sign"
A fun part of the Grammys is to see masters at work. That's what happened when blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. teamed up with singer William Bell for a cover of blues legend Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign." It was haunting and beautiful and very impressive.
13. The Weeknd with Daft Punk - "I Feel It Coming"
The Weeknd kept it chill as he teamed up with electro-pop heroes Daft Punk for a performance of his latest single, "I Feel It Coming." The crowd could hear the Michael Jackson vibes in The Weeknd's voice, but it won't be what everyone is talking about after the show (see below for what everyone will be talking about).
12. Sturgill Simpson - "Call to Arms"
Sturgill Simpson may not be a household name despite scoring an Album of the Year nod for his self-produced, "A Sailor's Guide to the Earth," but he brought a high level of energy to his number at the Grammys. He pulled off a pretty great performance considering he had to follow Lady Gaga and Metallica's flame heavy rock concert.
11. Lukas Graham and Kelsea Ballerini - "7 Years" / "Peter Pan"
Lukas Graham and Kelsea Ballerini pulled off the first successful duet of the evening, managing to combine both of their notable singles into a seamless and beautiful song. It showcased both talents without overshadowing either one. It was a harmonious blend and everyone was on point.
10. Katy Perry and Skip Marley - "Chained to the Rhythm"
Katy Perry got the room moving with her new single, "Chained to the Rhythm." The upbeat performance was a welcome change a little less than halfway into the show, after the first half had been populated mostly by ballads. It was one of Perry's better live TV performances, but it brought up images of Home Improvement and Ellen DeGeneres which may not have been what the pop star was going for with her political dance anthem. Still, we liked to get moving and it was fun to watch.
9. Bruno Mars - "That's What I Like"
Instead of singing any of his massive hits, Bruno Mars opted to perform "That's What I Like." In an unexpected move, the noted dancer remained fairly stationary throughout the performance (although he did have some excellent hand-ography prepared). However, Mars' harmonies with her backup performers were so on point, we didn't really miss his signature, high-energy dance moves (at least not too much).
8. John Legend and Cynthia Erivo - "God Only Knows" (In Memoriam montage)
After the year of loss the world experienced in 2016, it was expected that the In Memoriam portion of the Grammys would be a serious downer. It was definitely still sad to remember all of those that passed in the past year, but John Legend and Cynthia Erivo delivered the message with a beautiful rendition of the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows."
7. Adele - "Hello"
One year after her botched performance of "All I Ask," Adele returned to the Grammys stage. It was a true moment of redemption for the British singer, who kicked off the ceremony with a jaw-dropping rendition of her hit single "Hello." Free from technical difficulties this time around, Adele absolutely slayed, delivering a pitch perfect performance (and looking flawless in the process).
6. Metallica and Lady Gaga - "Moth into Flame"
Yes, there were intense sound difficulties at the beginning of the song, but the rock band was able to pull it together. Lady Gaga shined as she thrashed around the stage, jamming with the band (or sometimes grinding on them) and crowd surfing at one point. They were the epitome of high-octane and by the end of the song, you were thinking more about how insane it was to watch, rather than any technical difficulties.
5. Maren Morris and Alicia Keys - "Once"
This is how two divas do it at the Grammys. This was a breakout night for Maren Morris, who took away her first Grammy award less than an hour before taking the stage at the show for the first time. They performed her song, "Once" and Alicia Keys joined her in full Diana Ross garb. The two combined their powerhouse vocals for an unforgettable performance that was just absolutely stunning.
4. Adele - "Fast Love" (George Michael Tribute)
Sometimes a performance isn't necessarily about getting it right, but making an impact. Adele was determined to do both as she paid tribute to pop icon George Michael. The first attempt at "Fast Love" wasn't to the songstresses' standard, and she actually stopped the music, cursed and asked production to start the song again. "I can't mess this up for him," she said as she apologized to everyone and began the song again. She nailed it the second time and ended the song in tears, proving how important the moment was for her and bringing it home to everyone watching — which is exactly what a tribute should do.
3. Beyonce - "Love Drought" / "Sandcastles"
They call her Queen Bey for a reason. Beyonce showed up to the Grammys several months pregnant, so there wasn't a dance heavy choreographed performance as she would normally do. Instead, she slowed it down with two Lemonade ballads — "Love Drought" and "Sandcastles." However, Bey made the stage pop with color and gave one of the best vocal performances of the night as she turned the Staples Center stage into her spectacle. This is how you put on a show, folks.
2. The Time with Morris Day/Bruno Mars - Prince Tribute
This is how you honor a legend. Longtime Prince collaborators The Time and Morris Day kicked it old school with some of their classic hits, which Prince helped them craft. Once the crowd was on their feet and dancing, they passed it over to Bruno Mars who looked like a mini-Prince on stage in a purple sparkle outfit and ascot. It was a high energy performance that honored how Prince was able to move a crowd, both physically and emotionally and we were here for it, all the way.
1. A Tribe Called Quest with Anderson .Paak and Busta Rhymes - "Award Tour" / "We the People"
If there was one must watch number the whole night, it was this one. There's been a lot of talk this award season about artists using their voice to speak out against injustice, and A Tribe Called Quest took that mission to heart. The legendary rap group recruited Busta Rhymes and Best New Artist nominee Anderson .Paak to make a strong anti-Trump statement with a rousing performance of "We the People." Whether you agree with their politics or not, this is a performance that everyone is going to remember for years.
Additional reporting by Sadie Gennis.
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