The 62nd Grammy Awards started on a somber note – to say the least – as celebrities paid tribute to Kobe Bryant. The basketball legend, along with his daughter Gianna, died in a helicopter crash earlier in the day. What adds irony to this tragedy is the fact that the Grammys are often held at Staples Center, the longtime home of Bryant, who was with the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years. Elsewhere, a young artist made history and a rapper won posthumously. Let’s delve deeper into the evening’s most memorable moments, shall we?
Cuz I Love You
“Tonight is for Kobe” were the words uttered by Lizzo, who had more nominations than any other artist. She kicked off the ceremony with a powerful performance of “Cuz I Love You” before delighting the audience with her 2017 hit, “Truth Hurts”.
Alicia Keys was the host for a second year in a row, returning with eloquent opening words to address the day’s events. “We’re all feeling crazy sadness… because earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero.” See her speech in its entirety, below.
Demi Lovato made the comeback of all comebacks – we haven’t seen much of the popstar since her near-fatal overdose in 2018 – with a performance of her song, “Anyone”. Not only was this an emotionally charged rendition (she even choked up at the beginning and had to restart the song), but she also rightfully received a standing ovation.
Shade on Stage
Leave it to Ariana Grande to pull off an epic performance, complete with outfit changes, backup dancers, and – wait for it – a little shade directed at her ex, Pete Davidson. Eagle-eyed fans pointed out that she took off an ‘engagement’ ring and put it in a box mid-performance, signifying the end of that chapter of her life. The two were engaged from May until October 2018.
To the delight of her fans, Lizzo took home not one, not two, but three golden gramophones – she won Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Jerome”, Best Pop Solo Performance for “Truth Hurts”, and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Cuz I Love You. And can we just say it? Her reaction made us fall in love with her all over again.
— Grammys 2020 (@TheAwards2020) January 27, 2020
We welcomed the tears of joy that came courtesy of Camila Cabello’s father. The singer-songwriter performed “First Man” in honor of her dad, who was sitting in the front row, as home videos of her childhood played in the background. Cabello then descended the stage to sing directly to him and the two hugged. Cue the collective gushing.
The J-Sisters – Priyanka Chopra, Sophie Turner, and reality star Danielle Jonas, of course – teamed up to support their men, bopping along as the Jonas Brothers performed “What a Man Gotta Do”. Who doesn’t love a good candid moment in showbiz?
— E! News (@enews) January 27, 2020
Billie Eilish made history at the Grammys, winning a whopping five awards and becoming the youngest musician ever to win in all four main categories of the night: album of the year, song of the year, record of the year, and best new artist. Did we mention she’s only 18 years old?
The goodbyes continued towards the end of the ceremony as late rapper Nipsey Hussle – who won Best Rap Performance – was honored with an all-star performance featuring Meek Mill, John Legend, DJ Khaled, and Kirk Franklin. Images of both Hussle and Bryant appeared on the screen as they ended the performance.
But in happier news, stars bid farewell to longtime Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich as he’d previously announced that he will helm music’s biggest night one last time in 2020 – Cabello and Legend were joined by Cyndi Lauper, Common, Misty Copeland, and more to say goodbye by performing “I Sing the Body Electric” from the movie Fame.