The Grammy Awards 2020 expected to celebrate music and musicians, but the day’s tragic news — that Los Angeles basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter were killed in a helicopter crash — cast a long shadow over the event at Staples Center, the place where Kobe worked his magic as a Laker.
There was also one big winner — Billie Eilish, the talented L.A. teen picked up 4 big trophies, sweeping the major categories — but that meant that these categories went to the same artist, which is a disappointment if the goal is to honor the wide range of talent on hand at the event. We bet Eilish would agree.
These are the most memorable notes from what is dubbed “Music’s Biggest Night.”
1. Kobe Bryant tributes: The basketball legend’s death inspired tributes from Lizzo and Alicia Keys at the start of the show, and the surprising loss of such an iconic Los Angeles figure inspired feedback from viewers about the performances and subtle shoutouts to him throughout the show.
2. The fashions: The outfits were eye-catching — there was so much pink! — and one of the most talked-about ones belonged to Ariana Grande.
3. The performances: While some of the artists went big like Lil Nas X, who brought in K-pop stars BTS and rap legend Nas, and Tyler, the Creator, who brought out Boyz II Men, Charlie Wilson and dozens of Tyler clones to dance and shake their wigs, a few other artists, like Billie Eilish, who stunned with a low-key performance, and Demi Lovato, who shed a tear while singing, offered much more low-key but equally powerful performances. Oh, and H.E.R. and Gary Clark Jr. with the Roots were both on fire in their performances, as was the Nipsey Hussle tribute with John Legend, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, YG and probably a few more.
4. OK, not every single performance was a winner: Jonas Brothers performed — you probably forgot though, huh? —and Aerosmith aimed to resurrect its earlier resurrection by Run-DMC and it did not walk the way it might have had both these legends just done something else.
5. Diversity disappointment: While we have all kinds of respect for hometown hero Eilish, the 18-year-old took home a huge handful of awards that could have been spread around to other equally deserving artists such as Lizzo, Lil Nas X, H.E.R., Lana Del Rey, Vampire Weekend and Ariana Grande.
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