After the backlash that the Grammy Awards, and its governing body the Recording Academy, received last year due to the lack of female nominees, there was a huge turnaround for the 2019 edition as female artists won the huge chunk of awards on music’s biggest night.
Kacey Musgraves won Album of the Year for her country-pop release “Golden Hour”, Cardi B won Rap Album of the year for her “Invasion of Privacy” (the first solo female artist to win this category), and Dua Lipa took home Best New Artist. Lipa’s acceptance speech echoed the controversial notion that “women had to step up”, although she was cut off by the program.
Yet among the many artists that graced the stage on Grammys night, the biggest performances were the tributes given for leading women in the music industry.
R&B singer Diana Ross was a scene-stealer in her bright red dress as she performed her songs “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “The Best Years of My Life” as an early celebration of her 75th birthday. Her actual birthday is on March 26, but she still encourage the participation of the crowd, even announcing “Happy birthday to me!” at the end of her performance.
Another female artists honored for her contributions was Dolly Parton, who was awarded MusiCares Person of the Year. The 73-year old singer performed her classic country songs with Musgraves, Miley Cyrus, Maren Morris, and Katy Perry, with Little Bigtown as background vocals.
The final performance of the night was another Recording Academy tribute for the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin (who passed away in August last year), with Fantasia, Andra Day, and Yolanda Adams again giving a worthy rendition of Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman)”.
Other iconic moments
The Grammys decided to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Motown, the musical genre that played a big role in elevating the popularity of African-American singers. In attendance was Motown’s founder Berry Gordy Jr., and one of Motown’s leading producers, Smokey Robinson.
Funk-R&B singer Janelle Monae pulled out all the stops for her “Dirty Computer” performance, with her movements and singing style reminiscent of that by the late singers Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Prince (the latter who passed away last 2016).
Perhaps the most memorable performance of the night was by Lady Gaga, who performed her Oscar-nominated song “Shallow” from A Star Is Born (her co-singer and film’s director Bradley Cooper was not in attendance as he was in London for the 2019 BAFTAs) in her iconic Gaga-like fashion and sparkly get-up; Gaga went home with three Grammys, two of them for “Shallow”.
Story and photos from AP