Follow me on twitter.com/bwycheThe 2010 Grammy Awards certainly opened up with a bang. After the awards show announcer remarked that with all the female nominees, it was “ladies night,” Lady Gaga appeared on stage in a green outfit with enormous shoulder pads to perform “Poker Face.” In the middle of the song, Gaga was tossed in to a vat of fire which read “rejected.” But not even fire could stop the pop star, as she emerjed with Sir Elton John seated at a dual-sided piano, to perform Gaga’s song “Speechless,” with a bit of John’s “Your Song” included. This wasn’t Sir Elton’s first surprise performance at the Grammy Awards, as he once famously joined Eminem to perform his seminal track, “Stan.”
Beyonce was one of the early performers of the evening, who began her ascent to the main stage accompanied by several dozen men in riot gear. After a rendition of her song, “If I Were a Boy,” Beyonce somewhat surprisingly sang a version of Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.” The Black-Eyed Peas also performed at the show, taking their latest hit, “I’mma Be,” to the stage dressed in black leather garb. After this, they rocked their smash single, “I Gotta Feeling.”
Near the mid-point of the night, it appeared as though the Grammys were going to go high-brow, as three opera singers lined up to perform. As it happened, the third was none other than Jamie Foxx, who went on to perform his song, “Blame It.” It would turn out to be an star-studded performance, as Foxx was joined by T-Pain, Doug E. Fresh, and Guns-N-Roses guitarist Slash, who did a solo.
Legend Lionel Richie took the stage to preface a tribute to Michael Jackson. Celine Deion, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson joined together for a 3D performance of “Earth Song.” Various artists like Rihanna and Beyonce were seen wearing 3D glasses during the performance. Quincy Jones, Jackson’s legendary collaborator, was seen applauding at the end. After the performance, Richie introduced Jackson’s children, Paris and Prince Jackson, who accepted a lifetime achievement award on behalf of the King of Pop. Prince explained how his father’s message was one of love, while Paris offered only, “Daddy was going to perform this year…Thank you we love you, Daddy.”
Mos Def was paired with 9-time Grammy Award (and three-time Latin Grammy Award) Opera Singer Placido Domingo to present the award for “Best Rap-Sung Collaboration,” which went to Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rihanna for “Run This Town.” Jay-Z and Rihanna took the stage to accept the award – West was absent from the ceremony altogether. Solange Knowles’ son accompanied the pair to the stage, whose outfit – comprised of a tuxedo and Nike Dunks – Jay-Z described as “fresh.“
After a brief introduction by Wyclef Jean, who schooled the crowd to some Creole sayings, Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli and David Foster performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (which can be downloaded at iTunes in support of earthquake relief). Wyclef also assured the audience and those watching at home that the Haitian people were strong, and thanked the people of the United States for its support.
While accepting the award for “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance,” Beyonce nearly acknowledged her marriage to Jay-as she thanked her “husband.” When the camera panned to Jay, the rap star appeared to mouth “Hey!” while laughing guiltily. After, Hip Hop legend LL Cool J (a Grammy winner Himself), introduced R&B Singer Maxwell, who performed his song, “Pretty Wings.” The singer was then joined by Roberta Flack, and they both sang “Where is the Love.”
Among those remembered in the annual “In Memoriam” montage were Soul legend Teddy Pendergrass and DJ AM.
For the main event of the evening, director Quentin Tarantino came out to introduce the final act. Lil Wayne and Eminem took the stage to perform their song, “Drop The World.” Accompanied by Travis Barker on drums and an entire instrumental set, the duo was then joined by Drake for the smash posse cut, “Forever.” The all-star team had the entire crowd in an uproar, and earned a standing ovation at the end. Unfortunately, much of the perfomance was censored, sure to frustrate those listening at home.
And with that, the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards are officially in the books.
Hip Hop and R&B Winners:
Best Rap Album: Eminem – Relapse
Best Rap Solo Performance: Jay-Z – “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)”
Best Rap Song: Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West – “Run This Town”
Best Rap Perfomance By a Duo or Group: Eminem, Dr. Dre and 50 Cent – “Crack a Bottle”
Best Urban/Alternative Performance: India.Arie and Dobet Gnahore – “Pearls”
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West – “Run This Town”
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: Beyonce – “Halo”
Song of the Year: Beyonce – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: Beyonce – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: Maxwell – “Pretty Wings”
Best R&B Performance By a Duo/Group With Vocals: Jamie Foxx and T-Pain – “Blame It”
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: “At Last” – Beyonce
Best R&B Song: Beyonce – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
Best R&B Album: Maxwell – BLACKsummer’snight – Maxwell
Best Contemporary R&B Album: Beyonce – I Am…Sasha Fierce
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