When Cardi’s performance opened on a pair of hands hovering over a sparkling piano, many viewers thought it was the rapper, until the camera panned out to reveal Flower at the keys.
The dramatic introduction had fans buzzing, even as Cardi announced “Welcome to the Grammys!” an hour and a half into the broadcast.
Here are five things to know about the classically-trained pianist.
1. Flower got her big break from Babyface
The 36-year-old writer, producer, composer and pianist was first discovered by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds in 2010 when she signed with Soda Pop, the Island Def Jam Records imprint owned by the veteran producer. Currently, Flower is signed to Sony Masterworks, with her debut album on the way.
2. She trained at some of the best music schools in the world
Having played the piano since she was two (she reached the keys by sitting on a phone book!), Flower received her musical education under the tutelage of Herbert Stessin (Juilliard School) and Aaron Shorr (Royal Academy of Music).
3. She’s a seasoned composer
Flower composed the music for Kevin Hart’s Nike campaign, the 2013 Levi’s Make Our Mark campaign and A Ballerina’s Tale, the 2015 documentary about dancer Misty Copeland.
4. Flower has collaborated with lots of other stars
5. She borrowed Liberace’s piano for the Grammys
That crystal piano she was playing on stage with Cardi? It was owned by Liberace and was on loan from The Liberace Foundation exclusively for Flower’s performance. She also has the legendary entertainer’s dazzling glass piano at her apartment in New York City.