2019 GRAMMYs Most Memorable Performances -- From Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton to Lady Gaga and Cardi B
By Zach Seemayer
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2019 GRAMMYs Performances: The Highlights
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The 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards rocked the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where most of music's biggest stars came out for the industry's most prestigious night.
The show presented awards in only nine categories during the broadcast, which allowed time to pack the three-and-a-half-hour show with a slew of performances, some of which were show-stealing explosions of energy, and some that were, well, let's just say they happened.
From Camila Cabello belting out "Havana" with a suave Ricky Martin, to Lady Gaga getting super glam with an unexpectedly animated performance of "Shallow," the show ran the gamut when it came to genre, style and energy levels, giving us an eclectic offering of memorable moments that fans can watch once again on demand on CBS All Access.
Here's a look at some of the biggest highlights, and a few of the most baffling low points, from this year's GRAMMY Awards.
Camila Cabello Opens the Show
Cabello kicked off the show with a bombastic performance of her hit single, "Havana." The incredible set, inspired by the city of Havana itself, included a multilevel diorama of an apartment complex lit in neon colors. It was the kind of fun, almost Rent-inspired set design that would put some Broadway performances to shame. Featuring guest vocals from Young Thug, J Balvin and Ricky Martin, the dynamic opening number set a high-energy tone for the rest of the show.
Shawn Mendes and Miley Cyrus
After collaborating for the first time on Friday for a tribute to Dolly Parton at the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute Concert, the pair reunited yet again for a fiery, kinetic performance of Mendes' hit single "In My Blood" that blew the roof off the Staples Center.
Performing “Make Me Feel” off her Dirty Computer album, Monae delivered an appropriately robotic and overtly sexual musical number that felt like a brilliant callback to '80s electropop. Rocking black latex lingerie with a cadre of latex-covered backup dancers, Monae owned the stage in a big way.
Everything Dolly Parton
Parton is the undeniable queen of country music, so every minute of her time on stage alongside Kacey Musgraves, Miley Cyrus, Maren Morris, Little Big Town and (for some reason) Katy Perry was one of the most memorable moments of the evening. Parton and Cyrus' "Jolene" duet was particularly stunning.
Cardi B Straight-Up Becomes a Peacock
Cardi B owned the stage with a hypersexual performance of her single, "Money." From the velvet-lined stage to the absolutely wild peacock feather adornment she donned toward the end, few other sets lived up to the raucous performance Cardi B delivered. And, honestly, we expected no less from her.
Jennifer Lopez Helps Celebrate Motown
J-Lo once again showed why she's an unstoppable force of musical magic as she took the stage for the GRAMMYs' tribute to Motown, a medley of beloved classic hits. She was joined by Smokey Robinson and Ne-Yo for the showstopping set that shot down all those who criticized Lopez's involvement in the tribute.
Travis Scott Thrills With Unexpected Cage Performance
Scott began his performance with an unusually subdued appearance, singing a slower reimagining of "Stop Trying to Be God" with James Blake. However, the rapper kicked things up about a million notches for the second half of his number. Appearing inside a cage, Scott kicked off on a high-energy performance of "No Bystanders" that saw the stage swarmed by a massive crowd who scaled the prison-like walls in a frenzy of movement and dancing. The surreal and powerful set ended with Scott crowd-surfing for a moment unlike any other in the broadcast.
Dua Lipa and St. Vincent Are Mirror Images
Just before she took home the award for Best New Artist, Dua Lip and St. Vincent took the stage and had fans seeing double. The singers rocked nearly identical looks, including short black hair and dark ensembles, and the musical doppelgangers belted out to impressive performances of St. Vincent's "Masseduction," followed by Dua Lipa's "One Kiss."
Red Hot Chili Peppers and Post Malone Team Up
Post Malone performed "Rockstar" and "Stay" before joining Red Hot Chili Peppers for "Dark Necessities," and this performance left us with a lot of questions, the first one being a general, "Why?" Followed by, "What is up with all of Anthony Kiedis' hair choices?" And, "Wait, why, again?" However, the question of "How much fog is too much fog for a GRAMMYs performance?" was answered. The answer? That much fog.
Lady Gaga Gets Real Weird for "Shallow"
No one is denying that Gaga is an absolutely amazing singer, and she'll probably end up getting a lot more love later this awards season for her role in A Star Is Born. But for her performance at the GRAMMYs, she gave off a David Bowie-meets-Clockwork Orange vibe, and her bizarre and inexplicable gestures before and during her number didn't do anything but add to the overall strangeness of the whole thing.