9 great moments that made the Grammys worth watching.
Music's biggest night did not disappoint.
The Grammy Awards returned Monday night. It was an evening of catchy pop music, a few acoustic surprises, and a handful of moments that left me simultaneously applauding and crying from my couch like a woman with nothing to lose.
Here's what everyone will be talking about around the watercooler — oh, who am I kidding? on Twitter — this morning.
1. Kendrick Lamar had a night to remember, with a performance I'll never forget.
Then, Lamar blew everyone's mind with a performance that was absolutely game-changing. It was beautiful, politically charged, and unabashedly black. Powerful, especially so in the wake of Beyonce's fantastic and unapologetically black performance at Super Bowl 50. In a word, it was flawless.
2. Lady Gaga performed an elaborate, moving farewell for David Bowie and reminded everyone for the second time this month that she can really, really sing.
Who better to salute a man made of stardust than Gaga? She even had his face tattooed on her side over the weekend just to prepare, which definitely beats doing the usual scales-and-tongue-twister vocal warm-ups.
Gaga (and musical director Nile Rodgers) managed to weave a near-chronological journey through Bowie's massive catalog of hits including "Space Oddity," "Changes," and "Let's Dance."
The music was paired with a multi-sensory backgrounds powered by sensors and controllers behind Rodgers' guitar and on Gaga's hands.
To put it plainly, it was a gender-bending, genre-smashing, mind-blowing tribute to a man known for his innovative performances.
3. Stevie Wonder made us fall in love with Stevie Wonder all over again.
He also got the entire crowd, and the audience at home, talking about braille accessibility and accessibility for "every single person with a disability."
4. Adele wasn't even nominated this year, but she showed up to remind us we're not worthy.
I am totally here for any and all Adele pop-ins. Her performance was stripped down, steeped in raw emotion, and perfectly imperfect with a few cracks and pops along the way.
But damn if it didn't sound great.
Plus she gave a shoutout to Kendrick Lamar before she left the stage. NEVER CHANGE, ADELE.
5. The cast of Broadway smash "Hamilton" completely killed it, all the way from New York City.
Their performance was live via satellite from the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York, but somehow, the cast managed to slay from 2,800 miles away. And in knickers and corsets no less. Work!
6. Taylor Swift remained unapologetically herself and reminded us all to be unapologetically ourselves too.
The country-turned-pop star opened the show with a performance of her single "Out of the Woods," and took home three gold gramophone statues, including Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Music Video for "Bad Blood," and Album of the Year.
She's the first woman to win Album of the Year twice, and after her big win, she gave an affirming speech all about resilience and the road to fame. It's a good listen for anyone needing a pick-me-up (unless your name rhymes with Sonyay Best).
7. The youngest Grammy nominee and performer was 12-year-old jazz pianist Joey Alexander.
He had the audience on their feet, and was probably feeling pretty nervous. Make 'em sweat, Joey.
8. Johnny Depp performed with his band, Hollywood Vampires, so it seems middle-aged white guys weren't completely shut out from this year's festivities.
But don't worry, there's always next year.
9. At the end of the show, Beyoncé graced us with her presence.
She didn't sing, but all is forgiven since she's helping out the people of Flint, and because she's freakin' Beyoncé.
And that was the Grammys.
Come for the music, stay for the bold political statements and innovative performances. Or Beyoncé. Always stay for Beyoncé.