LOS ANGELES — The day after news of legendary artist Whitney Houston’s passing, the Grammys did their best to honor her legacy while still keeping the fresh energy music’s biggest night is known for.
The 54th Annual Grammy Awards took place Sunday, with all eyes on Adele, with her first performance since throat surgery. Adele, a previous two-time Grammy winner for her album “19,” won all six of the categories she was nominated in this year for her album “21,” including top awards Song, Record and Album of the Year.
“This record is inspired by something that is really normal and everyone’s been through it, a rubbish relationship,” Adele said. “And it’s gone on to do things … I can’t tell you how I feel about it. It’s been the most life-changing year.”
Even though the Grammys are an all-day affair, all the A-List celebrities usually only come out for the televised taping. Of the 78 categories, ranging from Best Recording Package and Best Tropical Latin album to Best Small Ensemble Performance, only eight Grammys are awarded at the televised ceremonies.
While the majority of A-List celebrities were missing during the pre-telecast there were a few who made it out to accept their awards. Taylor Swift, who won Best Country Song for her track “Mean” was on hand to accept Grammy she dedicated to all her haters.
“There’s nothing like writing a song about someone who’s really mean to you and hates you and then winning a Grammy for it,” Swift said.
The event, hosted by L.L. Cool J, had performances ranging from Coldplay and Rihanna to Blake Shelton and The Band Perry. The Grammys honored music of all categories, with music from the young performers and more seasoned veterans.
The show opened with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, setting the stage with their new single, “We Take Care of Our Own.” The Beach Boys also appeared on stage, performing with Maroon 5 and Foster The People, reuniting for the first time in 20 years. The three bands performed classic Beach Boys songs that made the California lifestyle a dream for every young American in the 1960s. Sir Paul McCartney made two appearances during the show, first performing from his latest album and then finishing the show with songs from his time with The Beatles.
The most emotional point of the ceremony came when Jennifer Hudson belted out a powerful performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Hudson’s rendition received a standing ovation from the crowd, as musicians wished to convey their respect to the woman who had been an inspiration for many of them. Houston died on Saturday.
This year’s Grammys also commemorated the passing of the soulful artists Etta James and Amy Winehouse. Winehouse and Bennet were awarded the Grammy for Best Performance by a Pop Duo or Group for the track “Body and Soul.” As Bennet won the award during the pre-telecast he motioned for Winehouse’s parents, Mitch and Janis, on stage to say some words about their daughter.
“Long live Whitney Houston, long live Amy Winehouse and long live Etta James,” Mitch Winehouse said. “What can I say, there’s a beautiful girl band up in heaven.”