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February 13, 2012 / jhsaeger

Breaking Down the 2012 Grammy’s

    A mutual sense of sadness and celebration prevailed over the 54th Grammy Awards last night, as the music community mourned the recent deaths of songstresses Whitney Houston and Etta James. Host LL Cool J appropriately began the evening with a prayer of remembrance before stating to the audience assembled at Los Angeles’ Staples Center and to the masses on television to celebrate something “truly universal and healing; this night is about music.” 
   The Grammy’s may actually be about the awards, but every year the water cooler talking points come from the myriad of performances that bolster each ceremony. The stunning star power of the 2012 set list was best summed up by the Civil War’s John Paul White, who facetiously thanked the duo’s “opening acts,” Paul McCartney and the Beach Boys.
    The most hyped and best of the evening’s performances came from Adele, who blew the roof off of the Staples Center with her powerful performance of “Rolling in The Deep.” Other great performances came from Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, the Foo Fighters, and Tony Bennett.
   Of the evening’s collaborations, the Maroon 5/Foster The People/Beach Boys collaboration was the most intriguing, but it was hard to top Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt’s soulful version of Etta James’ “A Sunday Kind of Love” or the emotional Band Perry/Blake Shelton nod to Glen Campbell before the Rhinestone Cowboy took the stage. 
   The Grammys seemed to veer from bombarding the telecast with an infusion of pop stars, instead enlisting bands and several esteemed names to celebrate the best in music. In a ten-minute span, the world saw The Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, and Paul McCartney enter their living rooms. It’s tough to beat that. The closing performance of Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Bruce Springsteen, and Dave Grohl trading guitar licks was an unforgettable moment that is tough to beat.
   Criticisms: The omission of Etta James for the in memoriam slideshow was an egregious oversight from the Grammy commitee. Nicki Minaj though, laid one of the biggest Grammy eggs of all-time with her bizarre I-don’t-know-what-I’m-watching performance. Also, please, never show a live broadcast of a rock song remixed ever again. 

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