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Stars light up 2019 Grammy Awards

By Chuks Nwanne 16 February 2019   |   3:21 am

Michelle Obama (2nd right) with stars on Grammy Stage

In the music industry globally, the Grammy Awards remains the biggest and most glamorous platform.

Till date, if you ask any upcoming Nigeria artiste what his/her biggest target in the industry is, you will surely hear something like, “I want to be the first Nigerian to win the Grammy.”

Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Staples Centre, Los Angeles, California, was packed full with music stars and celebrities, who turned up for this year’s Grammy Awards.

Those, who couldn’t make it to the venue, followed the star-studded show on TV, while others watched proceedings online; the viewership was massive globally.

For Nigeria, this year’s Grammies was special in the sense that Seun Kuti, son of the late Afrobeat music creator, was nominated in the Best World Music Album category for his album Black Times, alongside Deran by Bombino, Fenfo by Fatoumata Diawara, Freedom by Soweto Gospel Choir and The Lost Songs Of World War II by Yiddish Glory.

The talented multi-instrumentalist was also listed among performer for this year’s show, which was indeed a great feat for Nigeria.

Unfortunately, most Nigerians, who waited to see Seun perform on the big stage, were disappointed as the artiste failed to mount the stage as a result of flight tickets mix-up.

He eventually lost out to South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir in his first attempt at winning the Grammies.

On his Instagram page, Kuti wrote: “First and foremost I have to say I am sorry to all the fans that tuned in to see us perform yesterday but didn’t.

“I had the weirdest ticket mix up in history meaning I missed my flight and the rehearsals and we couldn’t go on.”

In the spirit of sportsmanship, Seun added, “Big up to Soweto Gospel choir a group that has also inspired me. @fatoumata_diawara__ for holding down our show without me.

“Our entire team we must keep banging the door till they let us in.”

However, unlike Seun, who just got nominated for the first time, his elder brother, Femi Kuti has been nominated four times, in 2003, 2010, 2012 and 2014 for his album No Place For My Dream.

Apart from these two, King Sunny Ade has also been nominated for the prestigious award; he got nominated twice, in 1983 and 1988.

Other Nigerian Grammy nominees include Babatunde Olatunji - Love Drum Talk in 1998
Sikiru Adepoju - Global Drum Project by Various artistes in 2009.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Beyoncé by Beyoncé in 2015, Wizkid - Views by Drake in 2017, Kah-Lo - “Rinse & Repeat” by Riton in 2017, Timaya - Avrakedabra by Morgan Heritage in 2018.

Meanwhile, Childish Gambino has emerged as one of the biggest winners of the 61st annual Grammy Awards staged at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday and hosted by Alicia Keys.

Gambino’s This Is America took home the Grammy for Song of the Year, Best Rap/Song Performance, Best Music Video and Record of the Year. But presenters, John Mayer and Alicia Keys, had to accept the award for the absent rapper.

Also, Cardi B made a historic win as she beat the likes of Pusha T, Mac Miller to emerge winner of Best Rap album.

She beat the likes of Travis Scott, Mac Miller, Pusha T to win the Best Rap Album, which is her first Grammy, for Invasion of Privacy.
Cardi B became the first solo female rapper to win the Grammy for Best Rap Album at the ceremony.

While accepting the award, she appreciated her estranged husband, Offset and his Migos group; and all the artists featured on the album for their support.

The Bodak Yellow singer also recounted the difficulties she faced recording the album while pregnant with her daughter, Kulture and appreciated her team for inspiring her to finish the album.

Cardi B shared the Grammy with Mac Miller, the young rapper, who died in 2018 and was also nominated in the same Best Album category.

Acclaimed female rappers Remy Ma and Lil Kim joined fans and other celebrities on Twitter to celebrate Cardi B’s historic Grammy win.

One of the moments from Grammy’s 2019 was when Alicia Keys, the host, introduced “my sisters”: Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez. They all spoke about the inspiring power of music throughout their lives.

Lady Gaga took home the award for Best Pop Duo performance and Dua Lipa was awarded Best New Artiste.

The GRAMMYs are always full of surprises, but the crowd at the Staples Center was particularly taken aback when none other than Michelle Obama took the stage on the night.

The former First Lady joined Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith and host Alicia Keys to discuss the power of music.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the Who Run the World songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama said after a long ovation.

“Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in.”

Meanwhile, every Janelle Monae performance is memorable, and her Grammy appearance this year was no different, stealing the show and making for some great Lady Gaga reaction shots.

Monáe tore through Dirty Computer highlight Make Me Feel with all the flair we’ve come to expect from her before transitioning into snippets of Django Jane and PYNK, bringing out dancers clad in the vagina pants from the latter’s video, which earned her a Best Music Video nomination this year.

The GRAMMY tribute to MusicCares Person of the Year and all-around legend Dolly Parton was a star-studded affair, featuring performances from the likes of Miley Cyprus, Katy Perry, Little Big Town and others, but the real star of the segment was the Backwoods Barbie herself.
Parton stunned with some excellent vocals, kicking things off with Musgraves and Perry on Here You Come Again before doing a duet with her goddaughter Cyrus on Jolene.

Maren Morris joined Cyrus and Parton for some gorgeous three-part harmony on After the Gold Rush, which she recorded with Linda Ronsdadt and Emmylou Harris on their classic Trio II album.

Little Big Town appeared for new track Red Shoes from the Dumplin’ soundtrack before Parton brought it home with a 9 to 5 finale.

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