The 2016 Grammys are in the books.
At times, the show was a somber occasion, as the Grammys paid tribute to the numerous musical icons we lost in the past year. Additionally, Rihanna was forced to cancel her performance and technical difficulties hampered Adele’s.
Join us as we break down the best and worst moments of the night.
Kendrick Lamar Brings It
So yeah, Kendrick’s performance was incredible. A week after Beyoncé‘s empowering performance at the Super Bowl, Lamar brought his interpretation of the black experience to another nationally televised stage. He came out bound in shackles, only to free himself bit by bit, as he and his backing crew tore through “The Blacker the Berry” and “Alright,” along with a new freestyle. The background shifted from jail to a bonfire to an image of Africa with “Compton” written across it. As soon as it ended, there was a palpable, distinct feeling Lamar’s performance would be impossible to top.
Hamilton Delivers Killer Performance, Then Wins Grammy
First, we got a taste of the Broadway musical. Filming live from the Richard Rodgers theater in New York City, the Hamilton stars wowed with the opening number from the hit musical, called (of course), “Alexander Hamilton.” And then, as if there was any doubt, Hamilton won the award for best musical theater album. Star Lin-Manuel Miranda rapped his own original acceptance speech to cap off a triumphant year for the show.
Alabama Shakes’ Big Night
The soul-rockers didn’t win album of the year, but that didn’t mean it was a down night for the ‘Bama natives. They took home four Grammys (for best rock song, best rock performance, best alternative music album and best engineered album) and wowed the audience with a spot-on rendition of “Don’t Wanna Fight.” Brittany Howard is a one-of-a-kind guitarist and vocalist, and a whole lot of new people now know it.
Gaga Does Bowie
The Bieber, Skrillex and Diplo Show
Bieber and Skrillex on guitar? Sign us up.
Hot Takes That Left Us Cold
Kendrick’s performance was amazing, but this comparison… not so much.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) February 16, 2016
Adele Isn’t Quite Herself
Adele performances are normally riveting, but this one was a little off from the start. The opening seconds of her “All I Ask” performance were muted due to apparent technical difficulties, and as the song wore on, it was clear that Adkins just wasn’t herself. Sound issues were partly to blame, as her voice is normally one of the best live forces out there. She did provide a charming ending, shouting out Kendrick (“You were amazing!”) as she walked offstage.
New Beyoncé Album Hoax? Don’t Do Us Like That
Many were hoping Beyoncé would surprise us with new music at some point during the night. Bey showed up briefly to present record of the year to “Uptown Funk,” but aside from that, she had a relatively uneventful night. Then someone with a fake Tidal account decided to troll. In a since-deleted tweet, the impostor account promised a link to the new Beyoncé album, but sent us to Grimes‘ 2015 album Art Angels on Tidal. Teasing us with Bey and turning Grimes’ great album into a Rick Roll? Not cool.