J.Lo’s Motown Backlash, Diana Ross’ Performance & More Grammys Buzzy Moments (VIDEO)
The 61st Annual Grammy Awards took place Sunday night and the evening was filled with highs and lows.
Some of the highs included women and people of color dominating the top music categories such as Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour” winning Album of the Year, Dua Lipa winning Best New Artist, and Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” winning Record and Song of the Year.
Top performances included Camila Cabello, Ricky Martin and J Balvin opening the show, Cardi B in peacock feathers, and Dolly Parton and friends proving why the artist has earned her legend status.
But some questionable moments included Jennifer Lopez’s tribute to Motown and Drake having his mic cut. Check out the buzziest moments from the live show below:
1. Michelle Obama
The former First Lady made a surprise appearance in the first few moments of the show alongside host Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez and spoke about how music has impacted her life. The crowd gave the Becoming author a standing ovation.
“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama said. “It allows us to hear each other and to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters.”
2. Cardi B’s Speech
The “I Like It” breakout rapper became the first female rapper to win Best Rap Album as a solo artist for her smash hit, “Invasion of Privacy.”
She thanked her daughter, Kulture, and her estranged husband Offset, who joined her on stage. “When I found out I was pregnant, my album was not complete. We were like, ‘We have to get this album done so I can shoot these videos while I’m still not showing.’ And it was very long nights,” she said.
She was so nervous and emotional during the acceptance speech that she joked, “Maybe I need to start smoking weed.”
— UPROXX (@UPROXX) February 11, 2019
3. Diana Ross’ Birthday Celebration
The icon celebrated her 75th birthday last night and was introduced by her adorable grandson, Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick.
WATCH A TRUE ICONIC LEGEND show the girls how it’s been done. Miss DIANA ROSS! pic.twitter.com/r5ut0Vaudx
— Opinionated Me (@opinion8dmecom) February 11, 2019
4. Dolly Parton Tribute
The Queen of Country took the stage to celebrate her five-decade career as a performer, writer, and producer. She was joined on stage by her goddaughter Miley Cyrus, Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Maren Morris and Katy Perry.
The 73-year-old received a standing ovation and, of course, had to sing her crowd favorite song, “9 to 5.”
— Miley Cyrus Charts 💔 (@mileyccharts) February 11, 2019
1. Drake’s Mic Getting Cut
Drake won Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan” and surprised the audience by showing up to accept his award, which was shocking considering he hasn’t attended the Grammys since 2013.
“We play an opinion-based sport, not a factual based sport,” Drake started to say. “You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown. If there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows. You don’t need this right here, I promise you. You already won. But– ”
Apparently dissing the awards show as they give you an award doesn’t go over well with the producers.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 11, 2019
2. Jennifer Lopez’s Motown Tribute
J.Lo sang and danced to some of Motown’s biggest hits in a tribute performance but many critics were confused as to why a black artist wasn’t front and center.
Lopez was aware of the negative comments going into the performance and told Entertainment Tonight, “The thing about music is that it inspires all. Any type of music can inspire any type of artist. You can’t tell people what to love. You can’t tell people what they can and can’t do, what they should sing or not sing. You gotta do what’s in your heart.”
But many people called out the Grammys and J.Lo out on Twitter:
Agreed that it should’ve been another artist that represents MoTown better but I don’t fault JLo for that. She was given a task & she delivered her version of a MoTown tribute. The Grammys & the powers at hand should’ve definitely reached out to other artist.
— anrv (@RizzoV_) February 11, 2019
J. Lo better not salsa her way to the cookout because she is uninvited for that terrible performance. 😂 How do you do a Motown tribute without an ALL BLACK cast of artists?! And it’s Black History Month too. 🤦🏾♂️#GRAMMYs #Grammy2019
— Jared Sawyer Jr. (@JaredSawyerJr) February 11, 2019
People who could’ve done the Motown tribute:
Or practically anyone else #GRAMMYs
— Jared Sawyer Jr. (@JaredSawyerJr) February 11, 2019
@RecordingAcad I don’t understand how you could #whitewash #MotownTribute w/ @JLo. We like her well enough but not for this. There are literally 1000s of black musicians that would have performed. This is why #Motown was formed because black artist couldn’t get a chance.
— Benti F. (@FrankiB) February 11, 2019
The irony of the very sexy J.Lo Motown revue is that Berry Gordy had the women of Motown tame their sexy so as to not fall into the Jezebel, highly sexed trope which White America places black women in! So they could have NEVER given a performance like that, ladies at all times!
— bevysmith (@bevysmith) February 11, 2019
3. Technical Difficulties
Multiple times in the show Alicia Keys didn’t know the camera was on her and live.
There were random moments of silence and one instance where it looked like the show was supposed to cut to commercial but instead showed Keys walking across the stage to get into position for her next intro.
4. Ariana Grande No-Show
The pop singing sensation won her first Grammy for Best Pop Vocal album for Sweetener, but didn’t attend the ceremony after a publicized argument with the show’s producers.
“I know I’m not there tonight,” she tweeted. “Trust, I tried and still truly wished it had worked.”
Instead, the 25-year-old decided to throw her own little Grammys party at home and even wore the custom Zac Posen dress she was supposed to don on the red carpet.
— Zac Posen (@Zac_Posen) February 11, 2019
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 11, 2019