In the News
51st Grammy Awards: Hits and Misses
From M.I.A.’s belly to Rihanna and Chris Brown being MIA
-Alyson Campbell, ItsAllVeryPR.com
Three years ago, I had the honor of attending the Grammy Awards in the flesh, live at the Staples Center in L.A. (and for the record – yes, Kanye West really does do victory laps around the stadium during the commercial breaks). This year, though, like every year prior to 2006 and every year since, I watched the biggest night in music comfortably parked on my couch, excited to see history in the making, the dreams of newcomers coming true, and old favorites reigning yet again.
In no particular order, some of the most noteworthy moments of the evening:
• HIT: M.I.A’s Belly
Could M.I.A. be more preggers?! The 51st Annual Grammy Awards occurred on her actual due date. Like a pro, she walked the red carpet in a very decked out muu-muu, proclaiming that she was to take the night just one step at a time and that she still couldn’t promise that she’d be able to get up and perform (on-site emergency transportation awaited). Ultimately, she did make it to the stage with an almost water-breaking performance. So, do we think the mini M.I.A-to-be will be a performer? I’d say so. Who else can say they took the stage a day (maybe another week at most?) before he or she arrived in the world!? Needless to say, this was a BIG year for the “Paper Planes” princess …
• HIT: Carrie Underwood’s Legs The results are in, America has cast its votes, and it’s a unanimous decision, Carrie Underwood’s legs are amazing! Yes, her pipes (as in vocals) are amazing too, but sheesh, those legs! (The Twitteratti comment that perhaps Tony Romo should reconsider his current choice of female country singer of the year…)
• MISS: Jonas Brothers + Stevie Wonder Combo
Clearly an attempt to help the generation who knows Stevie as one of the greats relate to (and maybe even grow on) these three brotherly heartthrobs, it backfired horribly, according to the Peanut Gallery. I happened to refresh Twitter on my Blackberry as the quad performed to nothing but a flurry of hate for the performance. Apparently, fans would prefer to keep their classics and their boy bands separate…
• QUASI-MISS: Coldplay + Random Jay-Z Cameo
I heart Jay-Z. I’ve seen him live at Madison Square Garden more than once and referred to him as my future hubby (pre-Beyonce), but his random pop-up during Chris Martin’s piano solo caught me off-guard. I liked his tidbit, don’t get me wrong, but as someone known for excellence, I thought he could have taken the mashup a step further a la Linkin Park. I wanted to see him do a little bit more and I don’t like to see it when he just barely misses the mark. Coldplay, on the other hand, did a solid job and were very much the men of the evening, winning three awards, including Rock Album of the Year.
• HIT: Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift
Say what you will about the talent during this set (cough -miley’s vocals–cough), but I give kudos to these two young ladies for setting a good example and teaching little girls everywhere that teen pop princesses can get along. What a miracle–two girls in the spotlight who don’t hate each other, taking a step toward turning the girl-on-girl-hate prevalent in the Disney culture down a notch (without culminating in a kissing scene, circa Britney, Christina and Madonna back in their day).
• HIT: Katy Perry’s Fruit
Fully clad in fruit salad, the bi-curious songstress took the stage in a sea of fellow produce, bringing home the award for the only female performer of the night to wear ballet flats (green sparkly ones at that), the sign of a truly confident woman. Wackiness aside, Katy Perry always looks and sings great–and brings the fun!
• QUASI HIT: Radiohead Marches On
Radiohead, who created a fuss last year with their ‘pay whatever you want for our album’ amazing publicity campaign, nailed the Grammys with a brilliant performance complete with marching band. Despite a few wisecracks that it looked like Thom Yorke was pulled out from a gutter right before his performance, they mixed it up and delivered a ‘real’ performance in the truest sense.
• HIT: The Very Brave Jennifer Hudson
An American Idol turned Oscar winner and now Grammy winner lived a fairy-tale life over the past few years, which was all interrupted by a tragic, real-life nightmare and the loss of her mother, brother, and nephew. Last night, looking more radiant and fabulous than ever, she re-emerged with her head held high, accepted her award on behalf of her family members both in heaven and on earth, and delivered an extremely emotional live performance that ended in tears. Girl’s got game.
• MISS: Rihanna and Chris Brown
A hot couple collectively and hit performers of the year individually, something felt lacking without Chris & Ri-Ri at the show last night. Reports had circulated that Chris was “allegedly” in a physical altercation with an “off-the-record” female the evening prior. Official reps at the Grammys confirmed that both artists had cancelled their scheduled performances of the evening, as well as their attendance on the red carpet. We were hoping that the rumors weren’t true for two of the biggest chart toppers of 2008, but it looks like Chris was indeed booked last night on domestic abuse charges.
• Other Highlights of the Evening:
–Paul McCartney + David Grohl, two masters of two very different eras with “I saw her standing there.”
–Al Green + Justin Timberlake + Keith Urban onstage!
–Kanye + T.I. + Lil Wayne +Jay-Z + M.I.A collaboration!
–Adele, newcomer, ripping it up!
–Paul McCartney, still being a part of the Grammys.
–Estelle & Kanye: American Boy
–JustinTimberlake + T.I.: Dead & Gone
–Blink 182, including Travis Barker fully intact except for the arm sling.
All in all, this year’s show was a great one, complete with some major social media progression on Grammys’ side: They introduced their own Facebook page and group, launched an active YouTube Channel featuring clips from the evening and a live Twitter account, and they created playlists of this year’s nominees at Last.FM. While fans everywhere appreciated the move toward connecting viewers with the show, next year we’d like to see the Grammys make even bigger moves toward real-time content, videos, and back and forth with the public!
Alyson Campbell is a Co-Founder and Partner Publicist at AMP3 Public Relations, a boutique lifestyle agency with a niche in Arts & Entertainment as they collide with Web 2.0. Alyson is also the creator and blogger of ItsAllVeryPR.com, a perso-professional blog aimed at exploring life as it relates to publicity and the interconnectedness of life as a publicist in New York City. She holds a Bachelors in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing & Communications from Acadia University (Canada). Follow her on Twitter (@AlyAMP3), read her blog (www.ItsAllVeryPR.com), check out her web site (www.AMP3pr.com) or email her via Alyson(AT)AMP3pr.com.