Grammys: Kanye West, Prince and an award-less Iggy Azalea steal the show

Step aside winners. The Grammy awards have long belonged to performers and unexpected moments – and Sunday’s show was no different with Kanye West rushing to the stage, Pharrell’s orchestral bash and Prince’s “black lives matter” moment. To mention a few of last night’s show-stopping moments.

West, in perhaps a tongue-in-cheek gag on his infamous outburst rushing to the stage in protest of singer Taylor Sift winning an award over Beyonce at the  2009 MTV Video Music awards, approached album of the year winner Beck on stage before flashing a quick grin, waving his hand and retreating.

But it did not stop there. West later told reporters that “Beck needs to respect artistry, he should have given his award to Beyonce”.

But it was good to see West and singer Taylor Swift embrace, despite the 2009 blowout.

(Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. AFP)


Meanwhile, Pharrell, dressed as a “hotel bellboy” in shorts, found a way to recast his uptempo international smash Happy as a soaring orchestral song with Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang, film composer Hans Zimmer on guitar and a choir of 20.

But the singer-producer’s allusions to the protest chant “hands up, don’t shoot” and hooded sweatshirts about the killings of unarmed black teens cast the shadow of civil rights, the predominant theme at the show’s close. 

However, Pharrell’s juxtaposing the song’s happy, clappy feeling with references to the recent deaths of US black teens at the hands of police officers, rendered the performance quite awkward.

For theverge.com, Kwame Opam writes about the performance: “The whole thing was a jumble, something with an artful message covered in a little too much glitter and makeup. And when that happens, people just miss the point.”

Twitter also clawed into the N.E.R.D member’s choice of attire.

Pharrell. (Reuters)

Rapper Azealia Banks clearly has no chill.

Staying on the “black lives matters” theme, in a sparkling orange ensemble Prince introduced the album of the year award saying, “like books and black lives, albums still matter”.

Prince. (HuffPost Black Voices)

The evening ended with the 7/11 star, who won three awards on the night, singing the Civil Rights-era spiritual, Precious Lord, Take My Hand, and John Legend and rapper Common sang their Oscar-nominated song Glory from the soundtrack to the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Selma.

Beyonce. (AFP)

Moving away from the poignant, Twitter broke out the memes over Australian rapper Iggy Azalea not winning any awards at this year’s Grammys. 

The Fancy rapper has recently been under fire for winning awards for best rapper, over other lyricists like Kendrick Lamar and Drake, and has, over numerous occasions, been accused of culture appropriation

Meanwhile, social media did not spare Rihanna any harsh criticism for her pink frock. – Additional reporting by Reuters

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Arts Desk
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