This year’s Grammys were, as always, filled with many shock value moments. From Iggy Azalea’s highly scrutinized braid, to Beyoncé’s ethereal performance, to Kanye West almost “pulling a Kanye,” the music award show was as much a reality spectacle as it was a ceremony.
The 2015 Grammys have been under intense scrutiny since the announcement of the nominees. While there is always some sort of upset with the announcement of the Grammy nominations, this year’s critiques came at a special moment of social unrest given the recent riots in Ferguson and New York. The Grammys, which are viewed as the most elite and prestigious of the music award shows, were under the watchful eye of young and old viewers alike.
Nevertheless, there was a great deal of fun to be had, and many starstudded performances throughout the night. One of the highlights of the evening was Rihanna’s performance with Kanye West and Paul McCartney. After the debut of her latest single featuring the two artists, “FourFiveSeconds,” the trio took to the stage and delivered a powerful performance that left the audience captivated. Other standout vocal performances included Beyoncé singing the gospel hymn “Take Me Home, Precious Lord,” while clad in a white dress that made her appear more angelic than ever. Ariana Grande wowed the crowd with the song “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” from her latest album.
The night was filled with ballad performances prevailing over the more upbeat and dance heavy performances. Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett performed “Cheek to Cheek,” Katy Perry performed her ballad “By The Grace of God” and Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani performed “My Heart is Open.” While the Grammys are typically as much of a concert as an award show, this year’s performers were far more somber and subtle than previous years’ performances.
There is one exception, however. Madonna, now 56, managed to pull off a strange, demonic-themed performance of her latest single “Living for Love.” Surprisingly, the aging popstar managed to pull off some impressive choreography that would make even Katy Perry jealous. Madonna proved that she is still, after almost 40 years, a certified hitmaker and performer. By the end of the song she had the entire audience on their feet — even Taylor Swift was dancing and applauding.