Alicia Keys opened the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10 with some of the nation's oldest, newest and greatest hits. Keys is a 15-time Grammy winner.
Keys started her medley with a tribute to Roberta Flack for her birthday and sang “Killing Me Softly With His Song.” She then performed “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and gradually grew more modern. She sang “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon and “In My Feelings” by Drake. She concluded her opener with her own song, “Empire State of Mind.”
As part of Keys’ introduction, she also opened the show with women she respected and deemed as powerful and independent. These women consisted of Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jennifer Lopez and Michelle Obama.
During the opener, Obama said the importance of music runs deep in a variety of aspects.
“Music shows us that all of it matters—every story within every voice, every note within every song,” Obama said.
Obama made an effort to publicize her appearance at the Grammys on her Instagram and commented about why she assisted in opening the show beside Keys.
“A big part of friendship is showing up for your girls — whether that’s for a birthday, a quick catch-up after work, or a major milestone,” Obama said on Instagram. “So I was thrilled to be there for the one and only Alicia Keys at the #grammys.”
Rapper Drake also made an effort to publicize his take on the Grammy Awards after winning best rap song for “God’s Plan.”
“I am who I thought I was,” Drake said. “We play in an opinion-based sport. You have already won if you have people singing your songs or if you are a hero in your hometown. You don’t need this award—you’ve already won.”
Another appearance was made by Diana Ross who was introduced by her 9-year-old grandson who described her as a powerful, unique woman. Ross, who turns 75 years old next month, performed a medley of her greatest hits.
Gaga returned to the stage to perform “Shallow” from her recent film, “A Star is Born.” Her performance took on a different theme than the movie depicts. At the show, Gaga captured Shallow in a more intense light. In literal terms, there were strobe lights and Gaga portrayed a heavy metal spin on the song.
Gaga also won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Shallow.” During her speech, she said she felt grateful to have been a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues and believes these kinds of issues should not go unnoticed.
“We gotta take care of each other,” Gaga said. “If you see somebody that’s hurting, don’t look away. And if you’re hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody.”
The award for Best New Artist went to Dua Lipa, who accepted the award by telling the public to fight for their life aspirations.
“For anyone that hasn’t realized how special they are to have a different story, just know that no matter where you’re from, never let that get in the way of your dreams because you deserve it,” Lipa said.
One of the biggest performances of the night came from Dolly Parton singing many of her greatest hits, such as “Jolene” and “Here I Go Again,” alongside stars like Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry.
Edited by Janae McKenzie | firstname.lastname@example.org