Top 3 Grammy Awards Performances: Best To Worst

Article by: Amelie dL.

Edited by: Meg B.

Visual by: Jasmine R.

The 61st annual Grammy Awards, a ceremony for commending artists for their musical achievements, has recently concluded with its fair share of iconic moments and controversies. From Taylor Swift’s single Grammy nomination to Cardi B’s historic win of “Best Rap Album”, the night was clearly an eventful one.

Along with the awards, the ceremony prides itself on its many musical performances. Filmed live for the public to see, these performances are artists’ opportunities to show off their vocal ability and showmanship. In this article, we will be providing you with the Grammy’s highlights– ranging from the best to the worst.

1) Alicia Keys

The entire night was commanded by women– from the former first lady’s cameo to the lovely host of the evening, Alicia Keys. Aside from hosting, Alicia also performed a mashup of songs; some were her own, such as Empire State of Mind, while others were covers of other artists’ songs, such as Lucid Dreams by Juice WRLD.

Vocals: 9.5/10

Alicia’s song choices were very varied, from Lauryn Hill’s soulful Doo-Wop (That Thing) to Ella Mai’s soulful single Boo’d Up. Her songs were very challenging; some including belting (a vocal technique described as a “high chest voice”), which she hit perfectly every time. She sang these songs while playing the piano and seemed to enjoy herself throughout the performance.

Performance: 10/10

Rather than give the audience a simple performance, Alicia decided to switch things up by moving from piano to piano as she changed songs. Sitting on a swivel chair, she moved quickly back and forth from a white grand piano to a black one. An anonymous sophomore says that the simple creative choice helped in “enhancing the performance and made her stand out even more.”

2) Miley Cyrus and Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes teamed up with pop singer Miley Cyrus to sing In my Blood during the Grammys, an emotional and breathtaking song.

Vocals: 8/10

Many waited with baited breath as Mendes began to sing, accompanying himself with a grand piano. He sang very smoothly, even adding runs during the verses. As Miley Cyrus began singing, however, many disapproved of her approach to the song. As she has a rather Western drawl, sophomore Misaki K. says that “it ruined the song for me. It just didn’t feel right.”

Performance: 10/10

As a whole, the performance was very strong. Both artists gave their all into the songs and were very passionate. There seemed to be a good chemistry between the pair and the audience responded well towards the powerful stage presence of the duo.

3) Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga, one of the many women that performed during the ceremony, sang Shallow from the movie soundtrack of A Star is Born, singing solo without her co-star Bradley Cooper.

Vocals: 10/10

Lady Gaga’s vocals was the strongest aspect of the performance by far. She sang very passionately and belted her notes. Extra points for the audience participation.

Performance: 2/10

Lady Gaga’s performance was an attempt at “Gagafying” the ballad. Many were astounded by Gaga’s exaggerated interpretation of the song, which was typically sung as a slow acoustic. From the awkward hair whips to the loud breathing, the performance made audience members feel very uncomfortable. Sometimes, it’s better to be simple.

With this in mind, all performances had their unique aspects and helped enhance the overall ceremony. Feel free to watch the performances and tell us if you agree!