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Canadians held their own at the 59th Grammy Awards

By: Shanna Jones 

Canada, and Humber Music, was well represented at the 59th Grammy Awards. The night celebrated the best of the music industry over the past year, and promised to showcase the talent around the world.

canadian grammys

Larnell Lewis is a Humber Music professor and alumni, and a part of the band, Snarky Puppy. The band won their third Grammy for the album, Culcha Vulcha. Snarky Puppy features as many as 25 band members who rotate performances. With the many styles represented by their band members, Snarky Puppy can’t just be classified as jazz, rock, or punk. It’s better, as they said, to take them as they are. 

Drake was overseas on tour and did attend the ceremony. Still, he picked up two Grammys, Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, for his multi-platinum hit “Hotline Bling.” 

The Weeknd continued the Canadian contingent and performed “I Feel it Coming” and “Starboy” with Daft Punk. 

Justin Bieber was nominated for four awards for his album, Purpose. He skipped the ceremony due to his belief the Grammy Association does not honour young artists.

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Celine Dion presented the award for Song of the Year near the end of the night. She recalled her 1999 win in the category, and the beautiful memory it left with her late husband, Rene Angelil, by her side.

Vancouver-based band Bob Moses’ song “Tearing Me Up” had one nomination for Best Dance Recording, and the RAC remix won for Best Remixed Recording.

Host James Corden brought his popular Carpool Karoake to the show when he rounded up superstars like JLo, Faith Hill, John Legend, and Keith Urban to sing “Sweet Caroline.” The bit got even better when the singers were joined by none other than Blue Ivy Carter at the end. Like her superstar mother, Beyonce, all eyes were on Blue when she ran up to the host and took hold of the camera’s attention. 

Beyonce, in her first performance since announcing she’s pregnant with twins, did a mashup of “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles” from her nominated album, Lemonade. She continued her trend of incorporating background graphics and choreography in her performances. Beyonce won two Grammys for Best Urban Contemporary Album and for Best Music Video with “Formation.” 

adele grammys

Adele took home 5 Grammys, including the big ones like Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year. She performed twice during the broadcast, opening the show with a soulful rendition of her single, “Hello.” In her second performance of “Fastlove,” a tribute to George Michael, Adele seemed to miss her cue and was a bit off key. She immediately stopped her performance, apologized to the crowd, saying she “can’t mess this up for him,” and asked to start over. On her second try, she delivered a standout tribute to the British singer.

Bruno Mars delivered the night’s other tribute to Prince. In the famous Purple Rain purple-sparkled suit with a white fluff, he did “Let’s Go Crazy” in one of the better tributes to the Purple Highness since his passing. 

Other highlights of the night include Twenty One Pilots in their win for Best Pop/Duo Group Performance with “Stressed Out.” After their win was announced, the two band members, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, got up and removed their pants before accepting their award. They later explained onstage that in the band’s beginnings they used to watch the Grammys telecast on the couch in their underwear and made a promise to themselves that if they ever won a Grammy, they’d accept the award in their underwear. 

The 59th Grammy Awards both honoured the past year in music, and opened the door to another memorable year in music with new talent, collaborations, and songs.