The Grammys Were Set For Change, But That’s Not What Happened

By Mikael Wood
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In an emotional performance, Kesha pushed her voice to the breaking point to do “Praying” with help from several other female pop stars, including Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello and Andra Day. However when the hardwear was handed out, she went home empty.

Los Angeles Times

The Grammy Awards giveth, and the Grammy Awards taketh away.

When the Recording Academy announced nominations in November for music‘s most prestigious prizes, the notoriously fusty industry group raised the tantalizing prospect that its members finally got it.

With multiple nods for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and the Puerto Rican duo of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (whose song “Despacito” was 2017’s biggest), the academy seemed to be acknowledging that, in a rapidly changing world, great pop should strive to embody new values instead of merely upholding the old ones.

Well, maybe next time.

At Sunday night’s 60th Grammys, broadcast live on CBS from New York’s Madison Square Garden, the major winners, and many of the performances, largely reflected a reversion to type.

Instead of Lamar or Jay-Z taking album of the year with one of his bold works about race and masculinity, Bruno Mars won the flagship prize with “24K Magic,” his impeccably realized homage to the funk and soul music of several decades ago.

And instead of record of the year going to “Despacito”, a Spanish-language love song that became something of an anthem in the face of President Trump’s harsh rhetoric regarding immigrants, the trophy went to Mars again for his album’s throwback title track.

In fact, Mars swept the Grammys’ highest-profile categories with a win in song of the year for “That’s What I Like.” The achievement called to mind a similar sweep in 2017, when Adele, the proudly traditional British singer, beat the more adventurous Beyonce for album of the year.

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