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This year’s Grammys featured a few surprises (Kristen Wiig, Beck winning album of the year) and Kanye West nearly hijacking an(other) acceptance speech. The performance-filled show also included a few stunning stage spectacles along with some moments that rose above music to make larger statements.
See more Grammys: Best and Worst Moments
Kanye Rushes the Stage
Kanye West was among those who weren’t happy about Beck’s surprise album of the year win, rushing the stage as if he was going to hijack Beck’s acceptance speech, before the rapper quickly smiled and returned to his seat. The audience laughed and many on social media thought West was joking about his infamous 2009 interruption of Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards. But it seems West was serious and again thought Beyonce was robbed, as he detailed in a postshow rant.
“Beck needs to respect artistry and he should’ve given his award to Beyonce,” West told E! after the awards ceremony. Beck seemed to take the whole thing in stride though, later telling Us Weekly, as he indicated during the show, that he wanted West to join him onstage.
Beyonce Belts Out Gospel Classic, Pays Tribute to Michael Brown
Beyonce may have lost the Grammys’ top prize of album of the year, but she was a winner on the Grammys stage, delivering what Billboard called the best performance of the night. She showed off her impressive vocal abilities as she belted out the Thomas A. Dorsey gospel classic “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Looking angelic in a white gown, she was backed by 12 black men in white suits, who also took a minute to make a “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture in tribute to Ferguson, Mo., shooting victim Michael Brown. The gesture was also subtly slipped into Pharrell Williams‘ frenetic “Happy” performance.
Kristen Wiig Makes Surprise Appearance in Sia Performance
The notoriously press-shy Sia had a few famous friends help her with her Grammy performance of “Chandelier.” Shia LaBeouf, who appeared in her “Elastic Heart” video, read a love letter to the singer and introduced her performance. But Sia kept her back to the audience, singing to the wall. Meanwhile, surprise guest Kristen Wiig and Dance Moms‘ Maddie Ziegler performed an elaborate interpretive dance, cavorting around the messy apartment set and shedding their baggy clothes to reveal nude bodysuits by the end of the song.
Katy Perry, President Obama, Brooke Axtell Make Anti-Domestic-Violence Statement
Katy Perry, President Obama and domestic-violence survivor and activist Brooke Axtell made a powerful statement against abuse. In a taped video, Obama urged an end to “violence against women and girls,” alluding to the influence Perry and other musicians have. Obama’s remarks were followed by Axtell delivering a spoken-word piece from the Grammys stage. Perry then turned her Prism ballad “By the Grace of God” into an anti-domestic-violence anthem, delivering a stripped-down performance with interpretive dancers performing as shadows behind her. Dressed in an ivory-colored gown with matching cape, Perry also received a standing ovation from the Grammys audience.
Madonna’s Matador-Themed Performance:
Madonna seemed to take a page out of her “Take a Bow” video with her matador-themed “Living for Love” performance. Wearing a black-and-red bull-fighter-inspired outfit, she tangled with shirtless, acrobatic dancers wearing bejeweled masks and bull’s horns. And she ended her performance by being raised to the ceiling. The Queen of Pop was introduced by Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj, with Cyrus playfully calling the pop icon a “bitch.”
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