It was an emotional night at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles.
From Chicago’s hometown hero, Chance The Rapper, making history as the first independent artist with a stream-only album being nominated (and winning, but we’ll get to that!) and Beyoncé’s cultural and ancestral performance, to Prince’s voice reigning with his signature audio staple “Dearly Beloved”, ahead of the night’s tribute to the fallen icon, and on to Adele shedding tears and making a shocking move toward the end of the night.
The year, 2016 marked a hyper-active time of social and political unrest, protest and a devastating loss of giants in music and entertainment.
But from the trials came bodies of work that spoke to the beauty and strength of woman, flaunted the power of independence, attracted ears with socio-politically-charged content. Voices were risen and art was created.
Jennifer Lopez set a tone for the evening when she quoted prolific writer, Toni Morrison’s artist response to adverse happenings of the world.
“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art. ” – Toni Morrison
And it was the perfect segue into announcing the nominees and winner for the “Best New Artist” award – which was presented to Chance The Rapper!
Lil’ Chano from 79th made sure to acknowledge his team and give praises to the Most High and wouldn’t let up – even when the “wrap up” music started playing.
“Oh, I’m going to talk. Ya’ll can play the music all you want,” he said before completing his statement.
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The category for “Best Rap Album” also served as a memorable moment for the 23 year old.
“This is crazy!”, he mouthed while pounding his chest and headed to the stage to receive his Grammy for his “Coloring Book” album. From the beginning of his career, Chance has made his city proud and set the standards high for independent artists.
#BlackBoyJoy in 3…2…
Commercial break and then we’re graced with the presence of Ms. Tina Lawson, the mother of Solange and Beyoncé. While doting about her daughters, she went off script to plug that both daughters won Grammys on that night and proceeded to introduce Bey’s performance.
Dipped in gold, Beyoncé presented vibes of a goddess bearing twins. Her set was poetic, embodied culture and addressed the complexities of womanhood and love. It was beautifully designed with golden earth tone image illusions and tricky camera effects. Singing “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles” in between Warshan Shire’s poetic words filling the space, Beyoncé’s performance felt genuine and packed with meaning.
Tina looking like an Egyptian goddess protecting the future generation #beyoncememesarethebestmemes #beyoncé #queenb #queen #queenbey #yoncé #bey #slaybey #beyslay #slay #beypregnant #beyhive #beystan #formationtour #formationworldtour #lemonade #solange #tinaknowles #formation #ivypark #nickiminaj #feelingmyself #sorry #SuperBowl #pregnant #pregnancy #drunkinlove #grownwoman #obama #Grammys @mstinalawson
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Queen Bey walked away with a Grammy for “Best Urban Contemporary Album” and shared the following:
“It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror and see themselves. And have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent and capable.”
And while there were certainly glorious moments that touched the heart during the celebratory event, it didn’t go without notice that Rihanna’s ANTI album and single, “Work” received no love. How this happened is a sure slight to the “werk” the Barbadian songstress put in to the project. Drake, a frequent BadGalRiRi collaborator, wasn’t in attendance but acknowledge that someone in the academy dropped the ball.
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Rihanna’s response to the Anti-Grammy love for ANTI:
In addition, the Recording Academy still doesn’t see it fit for a Black artist to be crowned with the top honor of the night: “Album of the Year”. It’s been a decade since a Black artist claimed the award. ‘Sup with that?!
We rock with Adele and “Hello” had us all singing along BUT how did the British-vocalists 25 win over Lemonade?
Apparently, she didn’t understand it either and dedicated her Grammy to the Texas-bama in a tear-filled speech and Yoncé verbal serenade.
So, yes, the night was emotional and a bit bittersweet. Why are Black people good enough to perform on your stage but snubbed when it comes to receiving the proper credit for the work they produce?
This year, for sure, Lemonade deserved the highest honor during music’s biggest night.