The Grammys typically have one or two jaw-dropping performances per annual awards show and more than its share of "what the hell was that" moments too. Last night was no exception. Here are my hits and misses from The Grammys, held at the Staples Center and L.A. Live last evening in downtown Los Angeles.
Hit: Let's start here with Adele. What a voice! And, on a night when the music industry honored Whitney Houston and her incomparable voice, it was nice to see Adele--an artist who sings--singled out as the biggest honoree of the night.
Miss: Where to start? The top of my list here is Nicki Minaj. I mean, what the hell was that performance about? Was there something musically in there that I missed?
Hit: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opened the show and used the platform to highlight what good ol' kick-ass rock-and-roll is all about.
Miss: I'm not even going to look up the appropriate name for the mouse D.J. bit--why bother? If that was a performance intended to honor Don Cornelius, then the former Soul Train founder's legacy was permanently scarred last night.
Hit: Jennifer Hudson's rendition of "I Will Always Love You" was hair-raising, goosebump chilling and amazing, given Hudson's short amount of time to prepare for this showcase moment. She knocked it out of the park.
Miss: The Beach Boys reunion, fronted by off-key renditions of Beach Boy songs by Maroon 5 and Foster the People, was painful to watch. Brian Wilson was clearly uncomfortable, casting rather horrified glances around during the performance of "Good Vibrations."
Hit: LL Cool J did an admirable job as show emcee. I wondered, as I watched, if LL aspired to this post back when he began his rap career in the mid-1980s.
Miss: The Coldplay and Rihanna collaboration on "Princess of China" fell flat. There are times when the Grammy attempt at placing performers together simply doesn't work--this pairing was one of them.