The Grammys Stay in The West

The Grammy’s were dominated by wins by “Stay With Me” singer Sam Smith and the actions of Kanye West.

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MCT Campus.

Four time Grammy winner Sam Smith.

Helen Burdier, Entertainment Editor

This year’s annual Grammy award ceremony featured performances that had a theme of building a bridge between old and young acts. Among these duets were Jessie J and Tom Jones, Hozier and Annie Lennox, and the mash-up of Rihanna, Kanye West, and Sir Paul McCartney.

On the award portion of the show, the big winner was Sam Smith. The newcomer became a fixture on the three-and-a-half-hour show by coming onto the stage in what seemed like every hour to collect each of his four awards: Best New Artist, Best Pop Album for “In the Lonely Hour,” along with Record and Song of the Year for “Stay With Me.”

The night began its theme of mixing old and new with a two-song performance by AC/DC, although “Highway to Hell” allowed audience members to form devil horns with their fingers, it went on longer than it should have.

The Grammys wouldn’t be complete if there weren’t some heartfelt ballads, in the case of this year, one came courtesy of the girl who made ponytails cool again, Ariana Grande. The former Nickelodeon star and nominee belted out “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” but lost Best Pop Vocal Album to Sam Smith. Her former collaborator, Iggy Azalea, also went home empty handed after being nominated for four awards.

Although not every nominee got a Grammy to add to their trophy case, the telecast remained happy, especially with Pharrell’s performance. Despite the upbeat song, the performance wasn’t all smiles. At the end, Pharrell referenced the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown by having his dancers wear black hoodies and raise their hands in the same “hands up don’t shoot” gesture used by Michael Brown protestors.

The ceremony also touched on another serious topic: domestic violence. A pre-recorded video of President Obama asking the artists in attendance to use their platforms to speak out about against rape and domestic violence was shown before advocate Brooke Axtell, spoke about her experience. Following Axtell was Katy Perry, fresh off her Super Bowl performance, and performed “By the Grace of God.”

Other performances of the night were supplied by Sia, who with the assistance of dancer Maddie Ziegler and Kristin Wiig, recreated the ”Chandelier” music video. Madonna also performed her new song “Living for Love,” which looked eerily like American Horror Story: Coven with backup dancers wearing minotaur heads.

Kanye West graced the stage three times, once with a solo performance of “Only One,” a song written in the point of view of his deceased mother to his daughter North, which he sang with only a single spotlight on himself. West was later joined by Rihanna and the artist, according to Twitter, that he “brought to stardom” – Sir Paul McCartney. On his third tangle with the stage, West almost recreated his infamous Taylor Swift interruption, this time after Beck won Album of the Year for “Morning Phase.”

The night was concluded with Beyonce, who won three awards that night giving her an overall Grammy total of twenty, singing “Precious Lord” before introducing John Legend and Common. The two performed the Selma song “Glory,” with scenes from the Martin Luther King Jr. movie playing above the stage.

The event proved to be more than just a slew of awards. It touched on serious topics, proved that rocking out on stage doesn’t have an expiration date, and almost had another Kanye West 2009 MTV VMA freakout.

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