The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards with Host Alicia Keys: How stars performed and paid tribute to Kobe Bryant  


Hannah Luck

The 62nd annual Grammy Awards, the biggest night in the music world, showcased the diverse and influential musicians and artists of today. From Lizzo to Aerosmith the beloved songs that depicted 2019, hit the Grammy stage along with Host Alicia Keys for the 2nd year in a row. The artists also took the time to remember the legendary Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, showing his jersey number 24 within performances. The night although reflective went successfully and provided an impactful, and emotional performance.

Hannah Luck, Staff

Airing last Monday, this year’s Grammys provided an array of musical genres with dynamic duos and powerful performances. Looking back at 2019, the program welcomed new artists like Dua Lipa and Camilla Cabello who lit up the stage with their fresh talent and moves. The show also welcomed 15 time Grammy winner Alicia Keys to host the show, coming back again this year for another eventful night.

Lizzo (who received eight nominations, including Best Pop Solo Award and Best New Artist) kicked off the night performing her greatest hits like “Truth Hurts” and “Cuz I Love You”, wowing the crowd with her impressive vocals and range. Host Alicia Keys hit the stage soon after, giving an emotional speech and performance in tribute to the recent death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna by singing a beautiful ballad of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” with the iconic R&B group Boyz II Men. 

“Everyone was so shocked and upset when hearing about Kobe and his daughter’s death. I was honestly surprised and very sad. Everyone was talking about it over social media,” NC sophomore Tiffani Eliott said.

Keys continued the show, playing the piano and performing a comedic yet professional song (with no specific title) summarizing the year’s greatest artists and the insane chaos of the year. The Jonas Brothers then lit up the stage with “Five More Minutes” and their new single “What a Man Gotta Do” and Lizzo won the award for Best Pop Solo Award giving her speech on reaching out and continuing to create impactful, liberating music in today’s world. Afterward, Tyler, the Creator, Boyz II Men and Charlie Wilson gave an upbeat yet soulful performance of “Earfquake” with flames burning up the stage.

As for country music, Dan + Shay won Best Country Duo Performance for “Speechless”, a heartfelt tribute to their wives and kids. Soon after Usher performed a tribute to the iconic Prince by performing the hit “When Doves Cry”, reminding the audience of the legendary singer and his legacy. The night continued with Camila Cabello putting on an emotional performance in honor of her father called “First Man that Really Loved Me”, sending tears to both Camilla and her father’s eyes. 

 Dave Chapelle won Best Comedy Album for Sticks and Stones, and the night proceeded with performances by Ariana Grande singing “ Imagine”, “7 rings” and “thank you, next.” Afterward Billie Eilish, (nominee for six awards including Album and Record of the Year) and brother, Finneas performed “When the party’s over” giving the audience another heartfelt performance. 

The night shifted its presence from modern music to more old school tunes when the legendary Run DMC and Aerosmith kicked off their performances with classics like “Livin on the Edge” and “Walk this Way”, rocking the house and honoring the roots of classic rock. Run DMC joined in the mix, combining their classic hip-hop and rap rhymes and concluding the performance in honor of Kobe Bryant, holding his jersey number 24.

Tyler the Creator once again hit the stage, winning Best Rap Album and paying his respects to his friends, family and crew while also speaking on the journey of his career this part of the show concluded with the trio of Lil Nas X , Billy Ray Cyrus and BTS performing “Old Town Road.” Demi Lovato then returned to the Grammys stage, with her first major performance since her drug overdose in 2018. Through her newest single “Anyone,” she revealed the deep, dark depressing emotions and actions of her former addiction.

John Legend and DJ Khaled performed “Higher,” a tribute to recently passed rapper Nipsy Hussle, with the two later winning Best Rap/Sung Performance.

Rosalia, nominated for Best Latin Pop album, performed “Juro Que” and “Malamente” with strobe lights and an impressive group of background Latin dancers. Billie Elish won Song of the Year for “Bad guy,” her second award of the night and Alicia Keys performed her newest single “Underdog” a powerful song about those struggling to make it and the power of them taking a stand. Album and Record of the Year Nominee, H.E.R beautifully performed “Sometimes” showing off her piano and guitar skills along with dynamic vocals.

Ten-time Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt performed “Angel from Montgomery,” and acknowledging lifetime achievement winner John Prine. Gary Clark Jr and the Roots followed and the show took a moment to remember the incredible classic artists and actresses who passed in the last year with Preservation Hall Jazz Band playing in memory. 

The show concluded with Billie Eilish, who won Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Record of the Year for “Bad Guy,” a first in Grammy history h. Camila Cabello, Cindy Lauper, Ben Platt and other artists dedicated their performances to music education and Grammy history held a performance as well.  Overall the night went successful, breaking various records like Billie Eilish becoming the youngest Grammy nominee at age 18. Never failing to impress, the Grammys this year celebrated the world’s most dynamic and diverse music.