While many awards shows trot out the same staid material year after year, filling their airtime with corny jokes and lacklustre performances, the 2018 Grammys may have just set a new standard for what these ceremonies should look like. This year’s Grammy Awards in New York City were a revelation, highlighting the tragedies and triumphs of 2017 in countless heart-wrenching and humorous tributes. Didn’t catch the show? Don’t worry. We’ve rounded up the must-see moment’s everyone will be talking about for months to come:
Kesha’s “Praying” Performance: After a long, drawn-out battle with her producer, Dr Luke, whom she accused of sexual assault, Kesha’s performance of her hit “Praying” at the Grammys felt like a major catharsis. Dressed in all white, Kesha was joined by artists including Cyndi Lauper, Camilla Cabello, Andra Day, Bebe Rexha, and Julia Michaels, who helped create a rousing rendition of this powerful ballad.
Celebrities Reading Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: The Grammys got political this year, getting in a major dig at President Donald Trump, courtesy of Hillary Clinton. The former Secretary of State and Grammy host James Corden filmed a sketch in which Clinton reads a passage from Michael Wolff’s Trump exposé, Fire and Fury, after which Corden assures her she’ll be up for a Grammy the following year.
Kendrick Lamar’s Show Opening: Rapper Kendrick Lamar has long been a Grammy darling, and this year’s performance made it clear why. Showing off his lyrical skills and stage presence with a performance of his song “XXX,” the politically-conscious artist electrified the stage in front of an American flag backdrop, with dancers in fatigues adding to his showmanship.
Blue Ivy Hushing Beyoncé and Jay Z: While Beyonce and Jay Z are among the most influential performers in the world, the 2018 Grammys reminded everyone they’re also regular parents (at least to some degree). When the couple’s eldest daughter, Blue Ivy, with whom they attended the show, noticed her parents clapping a bit too loudly following Camilla Cabello’s speech, she made it clear that she wanted them to tone it down, gesturing at both her mom and dad to do so. In an equally adorable moment, cameras caught the ever-glamorous Bey holding a juice box and bag of snacks for her little one, in a move that felt all too relatable for parents watching around the world.
The Las Vegas Tribute: To memorialize the 58 people killed when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on a concert in Las Vegas and those killed in the UK at an Ariana Grande concert the previous May, country music’s biggest stars took the stage at the 2018 Grammys to perform Eric Clapton classic “Tears in Heaven.” The performance, which included Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, and Eric Church, included the names of the victims on the walls behind the performers, making for a profoundly moving tribute that brought countless viewers to tears.
Powerful, political, and full of rousing performances from virtually every musical genre, the 2018 Grammys made awards shows look cool once again. From moving tributes to fallen Americans to adorable family moments with celebrities, this year’s show will, no doubt, go down in history.