The Grammy gods, in their lofty penthouses and executive offices, demonstrated that they were listening to last year's outcry that the coveted gramophone recognition was too male-dominated and a little too stuffy. Female talent and grace came through from the very first note of music in the 2019 February 10 festivities, and the top awards spanned every genre. Generational greatness was also given its due, with unforgettable performances from Dolly Parton and Diana Ross, far beyond a brief three-minute bow.

Alicia Keys did more than exude exquisite class and quiet comfort throughout the long night. The first-time host handled the timing and multiple duties of the job with cool ease, like the mom she is, and worked her own magic on the piano keys, in a one-woman, a two-piano journey of her dream songs, ending up with, of course, her own composition.

The biggest surprise of the night happened within the first 15 minutes, as Michelle Obama stood among Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Alicia Keys, and Jennifer Lopez.

The former first lady leaped off from the note of love and inclusion set by the stars around her to the Motown memories of her youth. The roar of appreciation that followed was only rivaled by the next one, after her conclusion that music “makes all of it matter” and mostly, “the song within every voice.”

More than one stellar member of the audience lifted her or his young child to see the remarkable assembly on stage, and the ovation lasted as longer than an average commercial pause.

Don’t miss the latest news!
Click on the topic you interest most. We'll keep you updated with all the news you shouldn't miss.
TV Shows

Latin and letting the love show

For Camila Cabello’s opening with her hit “Havana,” the singer had to feel right at home. Her parents were tucked into one of the colorful cubicles made to resemble the ones they shared while she was growing up. The color and splash of her performance were only heightened when Ricky Martin entered in gleaming white, and jazz trumpeting legend, Arturo Sandoval, just happens to lay down the perfect notes.

J Balvin joined in on the fun, too.

Even before the broadcast, pop singing heartthrob and an honestly good songwriter, Shawn Mendes was still amped up over singing with Miley Cyrus on “Islands in the Stream” for Dolly Parton's honor as MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday. Mendes praised that the partnership was the “greatest experience of my life,” and at this Grammys, Miley Cyrus sauntered up to Shawn to provide added power to “In My Blood.” Being a newlywed hasn’t kept Miley from keeping her pipes in perfect shape.

Just a few minutes later, Cyrus was doing her sideways step with her godmother, Dolly Parton, on “Jolene.” Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves complimented Parton on “Here You Come Again,” “Nine to Five,” and more before Maren Morris and Miley accompanied Dolly in a moving and reflective “After the Gold Rush.”

As touching as the performance element was, it was superseded by the sight of the Cyrus family pouring support onto the stage, as Miley and her godmother frequently glanced in their direction.

By the time Dolly launched into “Red Shoes,” with its story also told in her TV movie, “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” the entire crowd was overtaken by the surge of heartfelt sentiment.

More family love

Family bonds continued on full display when Raif-Henok Kendrick, age 9, took the stage first to assert that he was 4 foot 9” after being described as “a little guy” by Alicia Keys, and then to introduce his “grandmommy,” Diana Ross, who filled the stage with her presence just like she did during her Central Park concert in the rain in 1983.

Ross will turn 75 on March 26, and while viewers may have had concerns about her descending those slippery steps of the stage in her ravishing red gown, the grand diva only reiterated the themes of unity and belonging cultivated by music. The star who established herself as a top-tier actress in “Lady Sings the Blues” and continued at driving solo career after being in Motown's most successful act, the Supremes, stepped right into the crowd urging them to raise hands and clasp hands to her chorus of “Reach out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)”. It was clear that just the performance itself was a gift to the star, and she still has her gifts of song ready to give.

Americana artists don’t get much prime time desserts. Brandi Carlile made something of a sweep of her category with her album, “By the Way, I Forgive You,” she also gave a provocative performance of “The Joke” that pounded with a pure heart and got appreciation from the crowd.

Groundbreaking, one-woman music factory, H.E.R., made an honest effort to remember her family and everyone else as she accepted her Grammy for Best R&B album. No one will ever forget her neon green track suit or her honest lyrics. Even Cardi B was rendered speechless and tender in taking Best Rap Album honors, hardly able to speak at all apart from remembering her pregnancy struggles in making “Invasion of Privacy”

Kacey Musgraves brought no prepared remarks to the stage with her as she accepted both Best Country Album and Album of the Year. The sincerity in her voice when she offered thanks to the Grammys, her husband, Ruston Kelly, and her longtime team who stood by her in her rise to success with “The Golden Hour” shined from the soul. Her performance of “Rainbow” received an audible cheer from Lady Gaga, too.

Mother Monster, a.k.a. Stefani Germanotta and Lady Gaga, gave an early shout out of love to her “little monsters.” She also delivered a powerhouse performance of “Shallow” hitting all of her stratospheric notes. Her deepest note came with her acceptance of Best Pop Vocal Duo or Group for the song, Thanking God first, for “looking out for me” and giving due to Bradley Cooper, attending the BAFTA awards, she expressed gratitude for being involved in a film with mental health issues at its core. “We gotta take care of each other,” she pleaded to her artist community. “If you see somebody, don't look away,” Gaga further implored. To those who might be suffering, she made a personal appeal to “dive deep and find the bravery within yourself to go tell somebody, and take them in your head with you.” No matter the naysayers of her style or her songs, Lady Gaga remains passionate to her causes, her platform, herself, her art, her family, and her following and deserves respect.

Some are already throwing verbal barbs at Jennifer Lopez after her dazzling salute to Motown music and energy, even with Smokey Robinson at her side. “You can't tell people how to love, who to love, what music to love,” the superstar insisted after the performance. It would do well for some people to remember the last tribute of the night, to one Aretha Franklin, who knew a lot about respect. Gospel great, Yolanda Adams, Fantasia Barrino, and Andra Day sang their hearts out to the Queen of Soul, and she would be the first to offer her genuine applause to every 2019 Grammy performer.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more