The 54th Annual Grammy Awards – Femi Kuti, The African Connection, Winners & Photos
Once again, Nigeria’s very own, Femi Kuti, was eluded by the most coveted award in the music industry today, the Grammy Award. The passionate and politically-oriented artist was nominated in the best world music album category for his “Africa for Africa” album. This is his third Grammy nomination and apparently, it seems the American stars are not in his favour, pun intended. As a result, the award for the category was won by Tinariwen for their album, “Tassili“. Tinariwen is a group of poet-guitarists (who refer to themselves as soul rebels) from the Southern Sahara desert. And, their music is about their people, the Kel Tamashek or ‘Touareg’ of the Southern Sahara desert. We do surely hope that in the more recent future our Nigerian brethren shall be no further snubbed by the Grammys.
The most recently concluded 54th Annual Grammy Awards was far from regular. The Grammy Awards, that are always a big deal, even to the everyday joe on the street, were like no other this year. The Grammys, which are the epitome of prestige, class, success, you name it, in the music industry, for those who don’t know, stand for “Great Recording Artists Making Music“. This year’s event started off quite dramatically. And, with the ever-so-tragic death of an icon, Whitney Houston, (at the age of 48) the day before; rumours spread on the internet like wildfire that the event might be moved. But, on the contrary, the show went on as planned. Accordingly, a tribute by the thirty year songstress, Jennifer Hudson was performed during the event. She sang an acappella of Whitney Houston’s hit “I Will Always Love You” in a lone spotlight as a video montage of artists and music industry executives who passed away in the last year began. Overcome with emotion, the 30-year old American Idol alum held back her tears during her performance.
Many came to tears during this stunning event as the tensions soared emotions into the air. Adele, the “Rolling in the Deep” songstress broke down in tears as she won a whopping six Grammy Awards that night. She won for record of the year, album of the year; song of the year, best pop solo performance; best pop vocal album and best short form music video. This feat was a record tie with Beyonce; both won six in one night. She also sang her voice out as she did her first performance since her throat surgery during the glamourous event which brought quite a massive standing ovation.
The stunning event was hosted by musician/actor, LL Cool J who started off the event with prayers for the late great Whitney Houston. Other note worthy performances came from Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift; Coldplay and Rihanna(individually and as a duet); whose stage performances were filled with excitement, eye-catching costumes and aesthetic displays.
Other note worthy award winners include:
Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse (whose parents received the post-humous award for her) for best pop duo/group performance;
Corinne Bailey Rae for Best R&B performance;
Cee-Lo Green & Melanie Fiona for Best Traditional R&B performance;
Chris Brown for Rest R&B album;
Bon Iver for Best New Artist;
Jay-Z & Kanye West for Best Rap Performance;
Kanye West for Best Rap collaboration, Best Rap album and Best Rap Song and finally,
Taylor Swift for Best Country Song & Best Country Solo Performance.
As is the norm of the Grammy’s, many guests wooed on the red carpet and their outfits ranged from the elegant to outrageous, from glamourous to “what was she thinking?”. Here is a peak at some of photos from the glamourous event.