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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 17, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 07
Grammy wrap: Adele conquers music's biggest night
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Grammy wrap: Adele conquers music's biggest night

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

If you weren't one of the 39 million people who watched the Grammy Awards last weekend, this is some of what you missed.

Adele, the British singer-songwriter who owned the music charts in 2011, capped a superstar year by claiming each of the six awards she was up for, including Album, Record, and Song of the Year. You also missed a moving tribute to Whitney Houston by Jennifer Hudson, another fantastic tribute to Etta James by Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt, a lukewarm opening by The Boss, a Beach Boys reunion disappointedly mushed together with Maroon 5 and Foster the People, a ton of hardware handed out to many repeat (and undeserving) winners, and Adele giving a knockout delivery of her cannonball hit 'Rolling in the Deep.' But there's more, so here are my personal awards for Sunday night's overall spectacle, from the red carpet to the pre-telecast to the main event.

Best in show: Taylor Swift, Glen Campbell with Blake Shelton and The Band Perry
Leave it to the country music contingency to class up the joint. Most of the evening's performances were over-the-top, while a few were plain lackluster, and besting everyone was Taylor Swift. Her charming rendition of 'Mean,' which won her two Grammys on Sunday night, featured band members wearing 1930s outfits and some fine banjo plucking from the bubbly artist herself. Equally first class was the Glen Campbell tribute with surprisingly great showings by nominees Blake Shelton and The Band Perry, not to mention the legendary 'Rhinestone Cowboy.'

Worst in show: Nicki Minaj
Every time I want to love Nicki Minaj, she gives me reason to just like her. I get the whole 'Roman Holiday' theme to coincide with the track's release, but there was too much going on and at the end it seemed like a big mess. Especially after losing Best New Artist to Bon Iver, she had an opportunity to convince Grammy voters and watchers that a mistake was made. Instead, she assured them that they made the right choice. I don't ever remember Missy Elliott or Queen Latifah trying this hard.

Most deserving winner: Bon Iver
Though he showed up in a catalog suit and boat shoes, Wisconsin native Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) deservedly earned two Grammy Awards. He received the first one at a pre-telecast for Best Alternative Music Album, where he beat Radiohead and Death Cab for Cutie, and the second was for Best New Artist. Still haven't heard of this guy? You're really behind.

Least deserving winner: Tony Bennett
I'm a fan of vintage Tony Bennett - the old stuff. His newer material, collaborations with younger entertainers (in an attempt to appeal to a broader demographic), is just so-so. I was really turned off by Bennett's ego when accepting his gramophone for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, bragging about winning his 16th Grammy and landing a No. 1 album. Why the need to toot your horn, Tony? You're an icon already - isn't that enough?

Dude can wear a suit award: Adam Levine, Bruno Mars, Blake Shelton, Kings of Leon
Among the sharp-dressed men on Sunday night was Adam Levine (who desperately needs an ice cream flavor named after him) in a blue Tom Ford suit. Just as dapper was Bruno Mars, wearing a charcoal three-piece with retro hair. Towering country singer Blake Shelton was a very tall glass of water in a black-gray combo, and studly rock band Kings of Leon unhinged my jaw wearing cool, cut suits and well-groomed hair.

Bad day in the office award: Lady Gaga
Poor, poor Lady Gaga. The diva was out-gunned, literally, in the costume department by some Russian chick who donned actual weaponry on the red carpet, not to mention Nicki Minaj also upstaging her with a ridiculous get-up that screamed 'Dear Lord!' (Seriously, this woman needs prayer.) Mama Monster went home empty-handed, yet seemed to be graceful about it underneath a black veil.

Thank God for Christian hotties: Brandon Heath, Dave Barnes, Matthew West
Talk about heaven-sent. I was ready to convert to whatever religion Brandon Heath, Dave Barnes, and Matthew West belong to. All three men were nominees in the gospel field and all three were young, fit, and damn cute. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

Bad hair day award: Rihanna, Katy Perry, Diana Ross
Rihanna has a bangin' bod, and she displayed it well in that sleek Armani dress. But the trashy, deep-fried frizz was icky. Katy Perry, who loves a good hair-dye, arrived in a blue-tinted coif that looked like fairground cotton candy - is she still promoting The Smurfs? And that black cloud atop Diana Ross' head (yes, I know it's her signature look, though she's worn it better) didn't match her elegant pantsuit and heels.

Electronic music finally gets air time: Deadmau5 and David Guetta with Foo Fighters, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown
Fifteen years had passed since the Grammys introduced the dance category, and to mark this milestone the telecast organizers finally allowed viewers the privilege of experiencing the craze that's become a worldwide phenomenon. Sexy techno artist Deadmau5 performed an exciting mash-up with Foo Fighters, yet even better was house DJ David Guetta spinning background samples for Chris Brown and Lil Wayne.

American electronica rules the world (e.g. Skrillex)
It wasn't long ago that L.A. dubstep whiz Skrillex was living in a dilapidated warehouse. Now he's a three-time Grammy winner. The 24-year-old (real name Sonny Moore) racked up wins for Best Remixed Recording, Best Dance Recording, and Best Electronic/Dance Album. In doing so, he trumped bigger electronic artists from around the globe, including Canada (Deadmau5), Australia (Cut/Copy), Sweden (Robyn), France (David Guetta), and England (Photek).

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