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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.


Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS.

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.

Kendrick Lamar, who went 0-7 in the 2014 Grammys, returned victorious this year, taking home five statues for songs and performances from his album "To Pimp A Butterfly."

It was also the first time since 2013 that Best Rap Album went to a person of color. Will the wonders of this Black History Month ever cease? Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for NARAS.

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.

GIF via "The Grammys."

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.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for NARAS.

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."

GIF via "The Grammys."

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.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

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!

GIF via "The Grammys."

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.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

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.

See also: The Glenn Frey tribute with the Eagles and Jackson Brown.

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.

Photo by Robyn Beck /AFP/Getty Images.

And that was the Grammys.

Come for the music, stay for the bold political statements and innovative performances. Or Beyoncé. Always stay for Beyoncé.

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS.

Planet

Easy (and free!) ways to save the ocean

The ocean is the heart of our planet. It needs our help to be healthy.

Ocean Wise

Volunteers at a local shoreline cleanup

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The ocean covers over 71% of the Earth’s surface and serves as our planet’s heart. Ocean currents circulate vital heat, moisture, and nutrients around the globe to influence and regulate our climate, similar to the human circulatory system. Cool, right?

Our ocean systems provide us with everything from fresh oxygen to fresh food. We need it to survive and thrive—and when the ocean struggles to function healthfully, the whole world is affected.

Pollution, overfishing, and climate change are the three biggest challenges preventing the ocean from doing its job, and it needs our help now more than ever. Humans created the problem; now humans are responsible for solving it.

#BeOceanWise is a global rallying cry to do what you can for the ocean, because we need the ocean and the ocean needs us. If you’re wondering how—or if—you can make a difference, the answer is a resounding YES. There are a myriad of ways you can help, even if you don’t live near a body of water. For example, you can focus on reducing the amount of plastic you purchase for yourself or your family.

Another easy way to help clean up our oceans is to be aware of what’s known as the “dirty dozen.” Every year, scientists release an updated list of the most-found litter scattered along shorelines. The biggest culprit? Single-use beverage and food items such as foam cups, straws, bottle caps, and cigarette butts. If you can’t cut single-use plastic out of your life completely, we understand. Just make sure to correctly recycle plastic when you are finished using it. A staggering 3 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans annually. Imagine the difference we could make if everyone recycled!

The 2022 "Dirty Dozen" ListOcean Wise

If you live near a shoreline, help clean it up! Organize or join an effort to take action and make a positive impact in your community alongside your friends, family, or colleagues. You can also tag @oceanwise on social if you spot a beach that needs some love. The location will be added to Ocean Wise’s system so you can submit data on the litter found during future Shoreline Cleanups. This data helps Ocean Wise work with businesses and governments to stop plastic pollution at its source. In Canada, Ocean Wise data helped inform a federal ban on unnecessary single-use plastics. Small but important actions like these greatly help reduce the litter that ends up in our ocean.

Ocean Wise, a conservation organization on a mission to restore and protect our oceans, is focused on empowering and educating everyone from individuals to governments on how to protect our waters. They are making conservation happen through five big initiatives: monitoring and protecting whales, fighting climate change and restoring biodiversity, innovating for a plastic-free ocean, protecting and restoring fish stocks, and finally, educating and empowering youth. The non-profit believes that in order to rebuild a resilient and vibrant ocean within the next ten years, everyone needs to take action.

Become an Ocean Wise ally and share your knowledge with others. The more people who know how badly the ocean needs our help, the better! Now is a great time to commit to being a part of something bigger and get our oceans healthy again.

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