Who needs Kanye West to hijack the Grammy Awards?
No need for Mr. I-Need-Attention to bum rush this year’s Grammys. Heck, he didn’t even need to show up despite four nominations. No, his sorta pal Taylor Swift did it for him.
As Kendrick Lamar, the boldly ambitious and politicized L.A. rapper, was dominating the 58th annual Grammys on Monday with a trophy-grabbing run and an attention-grabbing performance, Swift snatched album of the year for “1989.”
Still, the night belonged to hip-hop, with Lamar’s breakout moment, and a jaw-dropper from the cast of “Hamilton.” The revolutionary hip-hop musical did a live-from-Broadway performance of its knockout opening number and then won best musical theater recording, with creator/star Lin-Manuel Miranda giving his acceptance speech in shouted rhymes.
All the current stars were in Los Angeles at Staples Center: Adele, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, the Weeknd, Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton, Alabama Shakes. Everyone but Kanye.
Take a look at what made our list of top moments on Music’s Biggest Night.
5 BIG MOMENTS
1. A live broadcast from Broadway of “Hamilton,” the hip-hop musical that is sold out till something like Christmas, rocked the Grammys like no other performance heretofore. Who knew that history and hip-hop would go together like Eric B. and Rakim?
2. Pass the Kleenex: The surviving members of the Eagles backed Jackson Browne on “Take It Easy,” which he wrote with the recently departed Eagle Glenn Frey. This 3 ½-hour love-in was heavily about saluting recently deceased musical heroes. Stevie Wonder teamed with Pentatonix to honor Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White. Bonnie Raitt, Chris Stapleton and Gary Clarke Jr. paid homage to B.B. King. And Lady Gaga recognized David Bowie as only Gaga can with a costume-changing, red-wigged, nine-song medley.
3. Adele scored in her own understated way on stage, even though her blockbuster album “25” arrived too late to be nominated.
4. Kendrick Lamar’s mesmerizing medley of “Blacker the Berry” and “Alright” traveled from a prison chain gang to a dream sequence to a tribal by fire setting. Wow!
5. We agreed with a lot of the multiple winners including alt-rockers Alabama Shakes, “Uptown Funk,” soul man D’Angelo, Americana ace Jason Isbell, jazz composer Maria Schneider and country upstart Chris Stapleton.