Monday, February 11, 2008
GRAMMYS BRIDGES MUSIC GENERATION GAPS AND BREAK MOLDS
When I heard that Beyonce Knowles was going to be performing with Rock & Soul Legend Tina Turner, I like many other music fas were wondering how good would the performance be, and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed. Not only did the former Destiny's Child lead singer did a great job keeping up with the sexy senior citizen, (who still has the body that 20 year-olds would die to have), it was great to see Tina come out of her performing retirement to perform her Grammy Award winning hits "What's Love Got To Do With It" and "Better Be Good To Me," it was great to see legendary artists perform with the new jacks, showing that music can cross age and culture generation, and that's what I loved about the 50th Grammy Awards. Seeing artists from all different genres performing and presenting awards together as well as seeing artists finally receiving awards for their hard work.
The program began with a clip of the late Frank Sinatra from the 1950's talking about the ceromony, followed by Soul singer/Pianist Alicia Keys performing a duet with him, before being presented the Grammy for Best Female Vocalist by Prince who joked about the Chairman of the Board looking good to be 150 years old. Keys also introduced Country singer Carrie who performed her Grammy Award singer "Before He Cheats" backed by dancers performing with trash cans in the style of the Broadway musical "Stomp."
A hot performance was the Reunion of Funk/R&B Band The Time reuniting and performing their classic hit "Jungle Love" before playing behind Bajun R&B singer Rhianna who performed her hits "Umbrealla" and "Don't Stop The Music" before both acts joined foreces to perform the Time's hit while Morris Day had Jerome Benton hold a mirror while Day made sure he was looking good.
The Beatles got a nice tribute performed by the cast of Cirque du Soleil's who Cesoveper Gospel version of the Fab Four's hit "Let It Be" and it was good to see John Lennon's current wife Yoko Ono in the audience being on her best behavior because some fans are still pissed at how she behaved at the 2004 ceremony when she refered to surviving members Rhingo Starr and Paul Mc Cartney as the other guys. (There are some Beatle fans who still feel she should have gotten her ass kicked for that comment. It's bad enough she dissed Lennon's first wife by not allowing her to attend his funeral, and with all the money the bitch is making off her late husband, you would think that she would have taken some lessons on etiquette. I can see why people loved Paul's first wife Linda, who was professional, talented, down to earth and managed to make a name for herself as a photographer after she married Sir Paul).
Kanye West performed his hit "Stonger" in a futuristic set, later performing a moving tribute to his late mother who died before Thanksgiving, which earned the outspoken Rapper and advocate of stopping homophobia in Hip Hop a standing ovation.
My moment was seeing one of my favorite female singers Tina Turner showing the crowd that age has no limits when it comes to having fun doing what you loved, and honey she worked it. With her friend and fellow Gay/SGL Icon Cher introducing Beyonce who performed a hot tribute to the R&B/Jazz artists Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Donna Summer, before introducing Turner who appeeared wearing a Gold body suit and brown hair took the stage to perform clasic hits "What's Love Got To Do With It" and her Rock anthem "Better Be Good To Me" which had everyone including yours truly out their seats. The Rock & Soul Goddess then introduced Beyonce who came onstage wearing a dress similar to the one that Tina wore during her "Wildest Dreams" tour elelven years ago, to perform the classic "Proud Mary" and B did a great job keeping up with the dancer and Tina who still has that glow and energy that made her an inspiration to many today.
The Foo Fighters rocked the crowd outside the Staples Center giving the chance for contestant to perform with them, and what award show would be complete without a tribute to Gospel? Soul Legend Aretha Franklin joined Gospel Legend BeBe Winans to perform a song, before The Clark Sisters came onstage to perform their classic hit "You Brought The Sunshine."
Two of the biggest highlights were Josh Groban performing a tribute to the late Opera legend Luciano Pavillo, and Johm Forgety joining Rock Legends Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis to peform the Rock classics "Great Balls of Fire" and "Good Golly Miss Molly" where Richard's performed his trademark riff. Woo!! It may not have been as strong as it normaly is, but it was good.
Motown legend Stevie Wonder congratulated the label's founder Berry Gordy, Jr for being named an Icon by the Grammys for founding the famous Detroit label which is celebrating it's 50th anniversary before introducing Alicia Keys who performed her Grammy Award winning hit "No One" with John Myers who's guitar riffs and powerful vocals gave the song an edge, earning a standing ovation.
British Pop singer Amy Winhouse anticipated performance was hot. The British star who's been batting addiciton left a stint in Rehab to perform her hit "Rehab" via satelite which won Record of The Year.
The performances wasn't the only thing that made the ok; there was many artists who finally got awards including Rhianna, who earned her first Grammy Award for her hit "Umbrella" in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Category with her boss Jay-Z, while labelmate Ne-Yo earned won for Best R&B Comtemporary Album for "Because of You" making many at the Def Jam label happy. The late Gerald Le Vert finally received his first Win in the Traditional R&B Catergory for his hit "My Songs" making many fans happy that he finally got his due though many feel that it was long over due. Presidental Canidate Obama Barack received his first Grammy beating out Dr. Maya Angelo and Bill Clinton, while Legendary Wild Child Chaka Khan won for Best R&B album and for Best R&B single by a Duo or Group for "Disrespectful" her single with Hip-Hop Soul Queen, but the high point was Jazz legend Herbie Hancock winning Album of The Year, making him the first Jazz artist to win in that category since 1943, and the producers should have allowed him to continue his make his acceptance speech out of respect. (It like they haven't gone overtime, and it that has happened many times and it wasn't due to winner's long acceptance speeches either).
This years Grammy was OK , but I would like to see more performances of legenary performers and new Jacks performing as well as more tribute to record labels and genres that have made impact on music such as Rap, Disco, and the sounds of Motown, Philly Soul and Stax Records.