Bruno Mars is the golden boy of the 60th Grammy Awards.
Mars went 6-for-6 on Jan. 28, winning hardware for Best R&B Performance (“That’s What I Like”), Best R&B Song (“That’s What I Like”), Best R&B Album (“24K Magic”), Song of the Year (“That’s What I Like”), Record of the Year (“24K Magic”), and Album of the Year (“24K Magic”).
I was happy to see Bruno honored. He’s an extremely talented artist with charisma that excites.
Mars was humbled by the experience, and it was enjoyable to witness. His fans mean the world to him and he went out of his to thank them for his success. He spoke about performing at age 16 in front of a thousand people while growing up in Hawaii. Seeing those people laugh and enjoy themselves inspired him to make music, he said.
“I had a set list of 10 or 12 songs I would sing,” he said. “Later, I learned that most of those songs were written by either Babyface, Terry Jam or Teddy Riley. They were fun songs.“
Mars pleaded to not be cut off during his acceptance speech for Album of the Year.
“Those people back then were from all over the world, didn’t know each other, and yet, they were dancing together and having fun,” he said. “It’s all about love, man. I just wanted to make an album that was fun.“
That he did. It was one of the best albums of the year and definitely worthy of the accolades it has received. I predicted Mars would, and should, have won the major categories, too.
Mars and Cardi B gave a crowd-pleasing performance of their latest hit single, “Finesse.” Sure enough, you can feel the Teddy Riley and Terry Jam influence. “Finesse” sounds like it’s straight out of 1991.
The rest of the night came down to a few more awards, some odd comedy bits and a lot of excellent performances. The Grammys have long been known for live performances and compelling collaborations, and this year did not disappoint in either regard.
Hands down, Kesha had the night’s most powerful performance. She stood center-stage, surrounded by several other female singers including Cyndi Lauper, Andra Day, Bebe Rexa and Camilla Cabello, for a stirring performance of her Grammy-nominated song, “Praying.” It was incredible.
The night already heavily endorsed the #metoo movement, but Kesha brought the house down. People were visibly moved. It goes to show how powerful music can be.
A few years back, Pink performed “Glitter In The Air” on the Grammys. She was twirling around high above the audience, dripping of water like it was glitter, and singing. It remains one of my favorite Grammy moments and this year, she dazzled again. This time, there was no glitter, no fancy clothes, not explosions — none of that. She was dressed in jeans and a white T-shirt, standing on the dark stage. She performed the touching ballad, “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken,” from her latest album, “Beautiful Trauma.” The performance was stunning in its simplicity.
Lady Gaga did an awesome job on “Million Reasons,” as did Ben Platt on “Somewhere,” honoring Leonard Berstein, and Patti Lupone with a revival of her 1981 Grammy-winning opera performance of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.”
— David T. Farr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can find The Farr Side on Facebook.