Lady Gaga’s tribute to David Bowie at the 2016 Grammy’s promised that “everything will change”, but for many Bowie fans, the only thing that changed was their blood pressure. The hordes of commenters on her impressive-yet-frustrating performance blasted Gaga for rushing through songs, and making it a show about her, rather than an artistic tribute to Bowie. Others felt she was the wrong choice for the tribute, considering Bowie likely would’ve wanted an Album of The Year-winning band that he had actual ties to, such as Arcade Fire, to play in his honor. Even Bowie’s son wasn’t a fan.
In the end, it’s music, it’s entertainment, and it’s open to interpretation. Those in attendance seemed to enjoy the spectacle, and the effects certainly were interesting. But that didn’t stop many from lambasting Gaga.
To her rescue came Nile Rodgers, producer of Bowie’s best-selling album Let’s Dance, as well as Black Tie White Noise. Rodgers was on stage at the Grammys, playing those classic jangly riffs that he helped Bowie curate in the 80’s and 90’s, and he had no problem whatsoever with Gaga’s performance.