The 62nd annual GRAMMY Awards took place from the hallowed grounds of Los Angeles’ Staples Center Sunday night for an event that was even more emotionally charged than usual due to the tragic passing of LA icon Kobe Bryant earlier in the day. The red carpet was an unusual sight as Lakers fans had come to the arena Bryant called home for most of his 20-year NBA career to pay their respects as the event got underway.
To begin the evening live on CBS Alicia Keys, serving as the host for Music’s Biggest Night for the second year in a row, offered an emotional opening monologue where she paid respect to the late 5-time NBA champion called the Staples Center “The House That Kobe Bryant Built.” A spotlight would also be focused on Bryant’s two retired jerseys, eight and twenty-four, hanging from the rafters throughout the show.
Once awards got underway things started to feel more like the annual party the GRAMMYs have come to be known as featuring stage-rocking performances and more than a few feel-good victories for those watching along. Some extra noteworthy performances were put on by Usher singing a tribute to the late musical legend Prince as well as a pair of powerful ensembles from Camila Cabello and Demi Lovato.
Cabello performed “First Man” off her 2019 album Romance, an ode to her father who was sitting front row as his daughter walked off stage towards the tail-end of the song to hold his hand as the crowd erupted into thunderous applause. Lovato meanwhile made her first public performance since being hospitalized for an overdose in 2018. Singing her new song “Anyone,” Lovato’s performance was emotionally raw she was forced her to restart after initially getting too choked up during her initial go.
The Staples Center crowd would once again be moved as the evening’s scheduled tribute to the late Nipsey Hussle was turned into a joint tribute of LA legends. John Legend, YG, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch, Kirk Franklin and DJ Khaled all took to the GRAMMYs stage for an emotional performance honoring both Hussle and Bryant in the very city that made both men, the City of Angels.
When the dust finally settled on the night it was 18-year-old Billie Eilish who came away as the big winner, walking away with all four major categories in a stunning and historic GRAMMYs sweep. Eilish and her writing partner/brother/producer Finneas O’Connell would take the stage together to accept their awards and seemed to be genuinely surprised and taken-a-back by their growing collection of golden trophies. In a sincere and humbling moment Eilish admitted to those in attendance and watching around the globe that she believed fellow nominee Ariana Grande deserved to win over her.
‘I genuinely want to say I’m so grateful and I’m so honored to be here amongst all of you. I love you to my core,” said Eilish. O’Connell also had a message for aspiring artists saying, “We just make music in a bedroom together, we still do that. This is to all the kids who are making music in their bedroom today you’re going to get one of these [a GRAMMY award].”
As the curtain closes on another GRAMMY Awards ceremony, the 62nd annual edition will be remembered as an emotional night filled with ups and downs as people from all walks of life came together to celebrate one of the most unifying gifts we share, music.