Grammy Awards 2015 Live-Blog

02.08.15 2 years ago

Jordan Strauss/AP

The 2015 Grammy Award winners have been coming fast and furious for nearly three hours.

That's the strange thing about Grammy night. Almost all of the awards are given out beforehand, so the actual telecast features only a dozen awards (give or take) and a wide assortment of performance.

Follow along and join the conversation as I live-blog all of those performances, plus all of the awards, even though I have no real opinions on the inevitable winners and losers. It should be fun!

8:00 p.m. ET. “Madam Secretary” and “The Good Wife” will be back next week!

8:00 p.m. Thank you, LL, for reminding me of the things we were talking about after last year's Grammys. I remember none of those things. 

8:01 p.m. “For those about to rap, for those about to sing, for those about to play, we salute you!” LL Cool J says, introducing the latest youth act from Australia, AC/DC. I'm pleased, because we've had one performer tonight and I totally recognize them. I assume much of CBS'  audience is feeling the same way. I mean… Jane Fonda is totally down with AC/DC. 

8:05 p.m. HIGHWAY TO HELL! I loves the contemporary musics!

8:07 p.m. For the record, AC/DC still knows how to bring down the house and Lady Gaga and her great-great grandfather agree. [Yes. I know it's Tony Bennett. Good grief.]

8:08 p.m. “That was devilishly good,” LL Cool J says of his opening act. “Trust me, we're only going up from there,” LL Cool J says of our journey down the highway to hell. We have 23 Grammy performances to come tonight. Wow. Threat or promise?

8:09 p.m. We're starting with Best New Artist, presented by T-Swizzle herself, Taylor Swift. She has a lot of friends in this category. She reminds them that she lost this category in 2008, so if they lose they should just… shake it off. I see what Taylor did there. The winner is… Sam Smith, for outstanding appropriation of Tom Petty melodies. I want Sam Smith's red blazer. I wouldn't wear it, but I want it.

8:16 p.m. Welcome Anna Kendrick. I wish she should just sing something. Instead, she's introducing Frankie Grande's Sister Ariana Grande. She's not wearing cat ears, so I barely recognize her. This is “I'm a Singer” Ariana Grande, not to be confused with “I'm a Sexy Pint-Sized Minx” Ariana Granda. I'm less uncomfortable with this version of Ariana Grande, even if she's being upstaged by a string section. This is musically perfectly pleasant, but this isn't a performance that people are going to be talking about tomorrow. She ends by adorably putting her hands over her mouth as if she can't believe she's on the same network where her brother very nearly won a summer reality show.

8:21 p.m. Jessie J and Tom Jones are dueling on “You've Lost That Loving Feeling.” Does anybody ever watch Tom Jones without immediately thinking of Mr. Burns enslaving him to perform for Marge Simpson? Other than being resolutely dull and old fashioned, this is quite a nice duet. Tom Jones still has it.

8:25 p.m. They're presenting Best Pop Solo Performance, a category in which I know every one of the songs. The winner is… “Happy.” Taylor Swift is the first on her feet for Pharrell Williams. “I'm not gonna make this awkward and long,” he says. That's what she said? I miss Pharrell's hat. He repeats again the awkwardness of the moment as he begins to get played off, Pharrell threatens to moonwalk his way back across the stage, but he does not. Instead he just shuffles his way back to his boy scout troop.

8:33 p.m. Dirks Bentley is such a good porn star name. Or maybe it's a great name for a wealthy character played by Cary Grant in a 1930s movie? He's introducing his “platinum friend” Miranda Lambert. After the sleepy Ariana Grande and Jessie J/Tom Jones duet, I'm appreciative that she's come to raise the energy level a bit. This is fun and it's country with more than a little infusion of rock. Is that a red wagon wheel on the stage behind her? And what bad words did she just say? Or is it a fan behind her? Blake Shelton is very happy in the crowd.

8:37 p.m. Barry Gibb is joined by Pentatonix. They're presenting Best Pop Vocal Album. The winner is Tom Petty! Errr. Sorry. Sam Smith for “In The Lonely Hour.” He says that the music only started to flow when he started to be himself. So they had Barry Gibb and Pentatonix share the stage for absolutely nothing? That's disappointing.

8:44 p.m. “How's everybody feeling?” LL Cool J inquires, pleasantly. “Dreams don't have deadlines. Believe in yourself,” he says. 

8:44 p.m. Kanye West! He hasn't performed at the Grammys in six years, apparently. He got awesome new pajamas special for this occasion. Do we think Sam Smith and Kanye coordinated to have their blazer and velour track suits match. The staging here is perplexingly minimalist. 

8:48 p.m. Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj are introducing the next performer. “We all love to see women on top,” Nicki says sagely. “Give it up for our bitch Madonna,” Miley says. Madonna is anticipating a bull attack, but she's prepared with a dashing cape. Uh-oh. She tosses it aside. Oh. The dancers are bull-demons. They're pretty great. “Love's going to lift me up,” Madonna sings, as the bull-demon-dancers lift her up. So are they love? I'm just trying to figure out the layers of metaphor here. This isn't as shocking as Madonna figures it is, but it's an elaborately choreographed show-stopper. 

8:54 p.m. Julian Edelmann! Go Pats! WOO! There's a joke about how Josh Duhamel is standing in for Tom Brady for reasons of prettiness. Or something. They're presenting Best Rock Album. The winner is… Beck. Boo. Tom Petty can only win Grammys through his amanuensis Sam Smith. Beck gives a boring speech and gets played off.

9:02 p.m. Do they know George Harrison is dead? Because this could be awkward if they don't.

9:03 p.m. Time for Best R&B Performance. The winner… Beyonce (and Jay-Z) for “Drunk In Love.” She thanks God.  She thanks Jay-Z and Blue.

9:05 p.m. Time for The Baker from “Into The Woods.” He's introducing Ed Sheeran, who I'm contractually obliged to compare to Meatball from “Hart of Dixie.” So The Baker from “Into the Woods” discovered Meatball from “Hart of Dixie,” which makes a strange amount of sense.  I like John Mayer and Questlove rocking out with Meatball. The crowd is appreciative. Musically, that was top-notch. 

9:11 p.m. Quick! Quick! That last segment skewed too young… ELO! Paul McCartney is so psyched that he's standing and clapping until he realizes that he's the only person in the crowd standing.  Sir Paul looks around and, properly shamed, he's forced to sit down. Are you happy, contemporary music luminaries? You made Paul McCartney feel guilty for standing and clapping for ELO. Ed Sheeran returns to the stage, meanwhile, for “Mr. Blue Sky.” I love this song. It's just one of the greats. I say that to prove I'm hip to the modern music.

9:15 p.m. Ryan Seacrest introduces Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine with a joke that the two have probably performed together before. See, Ryan Seacrest hosts one singing competition show and Gwen and Adam are judges on a different singing competition show? The Grammys is/are getting value out of that string ensemble. 

9:25 p.m. LL Cool J is in the audience with Martin Bandier. “Staples Center, are y'all ready to be taken to church?” James Todd Smith asks, before introducing Hozier. The problem is that Hozier is also inquiring about being taken to church. So we're never going to get to church at this rate. Whew! Annie Lennox knows how to get to church. Annie Lennox put a spell on us. She's phenomenal, even when she's playing an imaginary harmonica.

9:31 p.m. Annie Lennox just won The Grammys.

9:32 p.m. Best Country Album… The winner is… Miranda Lambert for “Platinum.” “I love every album in this category,” Lambert says.

9:34 p.m. The Weekend can't read a teleprompter. He's introducing Pharrell Williams' elaborately remixed version of “Happy.” “I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space,” Pharrell says amidst French dialogue. He's dressed like a clerk at the Grand Budapest Hotel. This is… aggressive. I like his yellow shows. I like the gospel chorus. I like the pianist. And, heck, I like Pharrell. And I like their courage in having everybody do something different. “As you can see, I'm at your service, Lord,” Pharrell says, placing the blame where I guess it belongs.

9:44 p.m. President Obama? He's making a statement about ending violence toward women. “It's not OK. It has to stop,” he says.

9:46 p.m. A survivor of domestic violence tells her story. “Authentic love does not silent, shame or abuse,” she says. That was powerful and should be taken to heart. It's also sad that in 2015 all of that needed to be said and done. But it did, obviously. There's no smooth way to transition, but Katy Perry is now singing accompanied by Voldemort's shadow. I kid, but it's a kinda beautiful effect. That was also a good vocal by Katy Perry, only occasionally known for that. At least one person in the audience is wiping tears. I'm sure others are as well.

9:56 p.m. So this is a live Imagine Dragons commercial that has nothing to do with the Grammys? I'm confused…

9:58 p.m. KAT MCPHEE! KAT MCPHEE!

9:59 p.m. Really? You dress Kat McPhee up to have her introduce Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga? Boo. This whole performance seems to be designed to have Lady Gaga give Tony Bennett a coronary.

10:02 p.m. LL Cool J is spending his whole night pointing out people most viewers can't identify. In this case, it's legendary concert innovator George Wein. “Everybody say 'Hi, George,'” LL says.

10:03 p.m. Usher is now paying tribute to Stevie Wonder accompanied by a harp. Stevie has so many fun up-tempo songs. Why so sluggish?

10:06 p.m. Hey look, it's Stevie Wonder! He's playing the real version of Annie Lennox's Imaginary Harmonica. And… that's all for Stevie. Guess we'll have to watch the CBS special. I won't. That'd be letting the CBS win.

10:13 p.m. Enough with the “Voice” judges. Time for an “American Idol” judge. It's Keith Urban introducing Eric Church. Is he saying that America is his hometown? I'm 85 percent sure that Eric Church is just a villainous new character being introduced on next week's all-new “Nashville.” The protest footage behind him is just plain confusing. I'd probably have to read his lyrics to know if I'm supposed to get it.

10:18 p.m. “Under the Dome” Dwight Yoakam!

10:21 p.m. It's Rihanna! And ELO super-fan Paul McCartney! And Kanye West. Kanye looked more comfortable in his red velour track suit. And Rihanna following on the Katy Perry, “If I take this really seriously, I can show that I have a decent voice” path. 

10:26 p.m. I love that “All Day I Get Beggin'” commercial. That's what I call music.

10:30 p.m. TayTay! She's a little obsessed with Sam Smith, who will be performing with Mary J. Blige. Oh look, the strings are back. It's a Grammy night of dirges. That was nice. They have pleasant voices and sound good together. But there's just no ebb or flow to this show.

10:35 p.m. Now? The incomparable Gina Rodriguez, introducing Juanes. 

10:37 p.m. Yay! Juanes is just having fun. The telecast desperately needed somebody smiling.

10:39 p.m. Prince just goes to award shows now to get standing ovations.

10:40 p.m. Oooh. A real award. It's Album of the Year. It's odd that this isn't the biggest award of the night. But the Grammys are odd. The winner is Beck. He's slightly incredulous as well. “Hi, Prince,” Beck says. There's an odd near-Kanye moment. And Beck gets played off, because why do we care what the Album of the Year winner says?

10:48 p.m. Shia LaBeouf shows up to make a crazy intro for Sia. We're now getting a semi-parody of the “Chandelier” video starring Kristen Wiig. I see what's happening here, but it's not necessarily funny. Finally she's joined by the actual girl from the phenomenal video. This is confusing a lot of people, I assume. That was… strange. It was amusing, too. But it was also strange.

10:53 p.m. Song of the Year time. This isn't Record of the Year, though. It's important to pretend you know the difference. The winner is… Sam Smith. Yawn. “I'm having a really, really good night,” Smith says. Oh. He has a new jacket now. They get played off, too.

11:00 p.m. This show will never, never, never end, will it?

11:01 p.m. Dave Grohl is paying tribute to David Letterman and CBS. “Thank you. You'll always be No.1 on our Top 10 list,” Grohl whores. 

11:02 p.m. Chris Martin and Beck. Together. I pit the East Coasters who are actually watching this at a 11. It's really only 8:02 here and it's putting me to sleepy.

11:06 p.m. Stevie Wonder and Jamie Foxx? Because Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for playing Ray Charles. They're presenting Record of the Year, which means that after this, we have 20 minutes of nothing. And now Jamie is doing his Ray Charles impression and it's awful. Blind humor is the funniest humor. Or possibly not. The winner is… Zzzzzzz. Sam Smith. So much “Stay With Me.” “Thank you so much for breaking my heart, because you got my four Grammys,” Sam Smith tells the subject of the song.

11:15 p.m. So now we're out of awards. So the president of the music academy is telling us that music matters. Why the heck would you put this segment at 11:15? And why are Jennifer Hudson's lips purple? [Insert dirty “Grimace” joke.]

11:17 p.m. Copyright laws. At 11:15. This is a thing.

11:19 p.m. And now, the Necrology. Pete Seeger should have gotten a full tribute segment.

11:21 p.m. I'm genuinely not sure I've ever heard Maya Angelou sing before. But she got the Necrology pimp slot.

11:27 p.m. So this is still going to run long. What a structural embarrassment. 

11:28 p.m. “We live in complicated times,” Gwyneth Paltrow says, introducing her friend Beyonce, doing a hymn. Beyonce looks like a radiant, vaguely comatose angel.

11:30 p.m. Zzzzzz.

11:32 p.m. Now, starting two minutes after the end of telecast, it's my college classmate John Legend and Common, singing a song that isn't and wasn't eligible for the Grammys this year.

That's it for tonight's Grammys. I hope that whatever excitement you had about the year in current music was siphoned from your soul by 3.5 hours of excessive seriousness…

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