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After floating down the red carpet at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards in a gorgeous Giambattista Valli number, Ariana Grande made an anticipated return to the stage at music’s biggest night on Sunday at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, where she performed a dazzling medley.
Dressed in a glamorous ballgown, Grande began with her 2019 ballad “Imagine” that showed off her powerful vocals. Next, she transitioned into an orchestral version of “My Favorite Things,” which Julie Andrews originated as Maria von Trapp in 1965’s The Sound of Music. Naturally, Grande slipped into something more comfortable — a sexy lingerie set with platform heels — and then treated the crowd to “7 Rings,” which samples the signature tune from the decades-old film.
Grande went on to join about a dozen dancers (also dressed in lingerie) in front of a bedroom set, where she practically matched their sensual choreography move for move. She closed out her performance with her massive hit “Thank U, Next,” for which her repeated use of the F-word was censored.
Grande — who won the Grammy for best pop vocal album for Sweetener in 2019 — scored five nominations this year, including record of the year, album of the year, best pop vocal album (which she lost to Billie Eilish), best pop duo/group performance (which she and her “Boyfriend” collaborators Social House lost to Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road”) and best pop solo performance (which she lost to Lizzo).
Grande’s performance comes one year after she dropped out as a performer at the 2019 ceremony, following a disagreement with producer Ken Ehrlich. The singer canceled her performance just days before the show with Ehrlich reacting in an interview with the Associated Press, claiming that the entertainer “felt it was too late for her to pull something together.”
In her rebuttal, however, Grande called out Ehrlich for lying about the situation. “I can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken,” she wrote on Twitter at the time. “It was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that I decided not to attend.”
She added, “I hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more.”
Grande — who had been featured on billboards promoting the 2019 Grammys — was seemingly referring to reports that she pulled out because producers initially wouldn’t allow her to perform “7 Rings,” which earned nominations this year for record of the year and best pop solo performance. Grande reportedly made a brief compromise to include “7 Rings” in a medley but backed out again once the Recording Academy insisted on choosing the second song.
Later, Grande tweeted that she “offered 3 different songs.” She continued, “It’s about collaboration. It’s about feeling supported. It’s about art and honesty. Not politics. Not doing favors or playing games. It’s just a game y’all…and I’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me.”
Grande last performed at the Grammys in 2015 with an emotional rendition of “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart,” from her second studio album, My Everything.
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