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February 14, 2011  | by: Angela Raiford

A Seriously Old Mick Jagger Rocked the Grammys

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards really set the bar high for musical performances.  From Lady Gaga to Mick Jagger, it was full of many winners, losers and downright shocks.  Here’s your guide to the highlights and lowlights of music’s most important award show.

One of my favorite moments came from a non-musician: Seth Rogen cracked a hilarious joke at the expense of Miley Cyrus, saying:

“This is my first time at the Grammys. I’m having a spectacular time so far. I’ve seen things I’ve never seen before, and heard things I never heard before, and that wasn’t even watching the show, that was backstage getting high with Miley Cyrus.”

Even though I wasn’t backstage with Cyrus, I still saw some pretty awesome things last night.  Let’s start with the good:

PERFORMANCES: HITS

The show opened on a high note with a tribute to Aretha Franklin featuring Christina Aguilera, Florence Henderson, and Jennifer Hudson all on one stage.  Talk about an explosion of musical talents and girl vocal power!  They pulled off  “You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)” like no other women could have last night. Unfortunately for Christina, another stage mishap has the blogs buzzing.  Guess her stand-out performance isn’t going to cut her a break from the gossip queens after all.

Power female vocal lineup

Directly after the powerhouse females left the stage, the even bigger guns were brought out very early on with Lady Gaga.  The show didn’t make viewers wait for long to get their Lady Gaga fix.  Obviously held as one of the most anticipated acts of the night, Gaga wowed as usual.

Gaga was Born This Way

Cracking from an egg to show us how we are all “Born this Way,” she did not stop breaking boundaries.  Though a bit off in her dance steps, Gaga’s vocals did not fail last night and she brought an impressive live vocal performance to the Grammy stage. Although the direction and costumes were more normal than expected, the organ playing and natural vocals really pulled it all together.  Even if you aren’t wowed by the new single, no one can deny that she can, at least, sing.

Bieber Fever took over the Grammys last night. There is only so long a person can go without falling victim to its curse. Love him or think he looks like a girl, Justin Bieber hit the stage and never took a misstep singing and playing an acousti  “You Got It Bad” during the first half of his act. I think it was the first time I actually caught a bit of fever for the Biebs.  Extraordinary performance. Also appreciated how Jaden Smith appeared in the mix after Bieber’s ninja-looking dancers. The camera closeup on The Smith family was just too adorable to witness. Can’t you just hear Will Smith now? “That’s my baby!”

One great track, two extreme contrasts in style

Spaceships and muppets galore were to be had in Cee Lo’s colorful Forget You extravaganza, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow.  Playing the piano in a feathered headdress and feather suit, Cee Lo was kind of a hard piece to follow. Gwyneth Paltrow appeared a bit uncomfortable on stage, but it was soothed by the fact that this actress can actually hold a tune!  Chris Martin would be proud.

Mick Jagger’s first appearance on the Grammy stage was made memorable by the shiny forest green blazer he wore while paying tribute to Solomon Burke and other deceased industry big-timers. Jagger may be 67, but he really knows how to get a crowd moving.

PERFORMANCES: MISSES

Lady Gaga was followed by a very boring and frankly uninteresting performance by country star Miranda Lambert. Who planned this?  She ended up winning a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, but still, was the song really performance worthy? I’m sure there were plenty of people either putting the Grammys on mute or watching and waiting for T-Swift to jump out and spice things up a bit.

AWARDS: UPSETS

It took the show around an hour for them to hand out the second Grammy of the night. Did anyone else watching at home notice that? The year of 2011 was for sure focused more on performances than actual award giving, which is an exchange from previous years.  Loved watching all the performers, but come on…What are we really here for anyway?

Eminem accepting his award for Best Rap Album

Apparently we’re not missing much, though.  Eminem was the most nominated artist of the Grammys with a total of 10. But he ended up taking home only one Gramophone.  What’s up with that?

Esperanza Spalding beat out Florence + The Machine and Justin Bieber for Best New Artist.   No words can explain the shock of that one.  Adding salt to the wound, Justin Bieber lost to Lady Gaga for Best Pop Vocal Performance.  Two big contenders, but the Bieber fans are for sure going to be in a tailspin from this lose out.

And who could have forseen that the country anthem “Need You Now” from Lady Antebellum would take over the prizes for Song of the Year?

AWARDS: SUCCESSES

Gaga Wins Her Grammy

Every year since Gaga appeared on the mainstream music scene, she seems to take the cake for award show nominations, but rarely wins.  However, tides changed when Lady Gaga actually took home a few Grammys this year, genuinely and sweetly accepted by the Fame Monster on the podium.  She snatched up Best Pop Vocal Performance.  A few of her wins she was considered ‘in the bag’ to snag, but the big question is: who else noticed the ass pads on her outfit?

The Black Keys deservedly took a few awards home for their album, Brothers.  They won Best Recording Package (for Michael Carney), Best Rock Performance by Duo/Group with Vocal for “Tighten Up,”  and Best Alternative Album for Brothers. The band credited the release of their song “Tighten Up” on the radio waves (the song was the duo’s first radio single) for their quickly-increasing popularity and Grammys after their six previously unnoticed albums.

Arcade Fire’s win for Album of the Year with The Suburbs may have been a surprise to many, but I was elated. The album has been such a big triumph and a really amazing record to boot. Well-deserved.  The encore performance was even sweeter.

All in all the 53rd Annual Grammys were more enjoyable than painful to watch. Though the award show made sure to include ever genre, it never got too boring or vintage that you’d want to tune out. Did you watch the 53rd Grammys? What were your favorite hits and misses of the night?

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