By Kristen Cloyed, Contributor
Last week’s Grammy performances were exceptional, but not enough to distract from the surprises and snubs. A few top artists of the year didn’t even take home a Grammy despite being nominated in several categories.
After watching Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum and Eminem pick up Best Album awards in their respective categories, I was sure Katy Perry would nab Album of the Year. She was nominated for four awards and hadn’t won any. But the award went to Arcade Fire and even the band couldn’t believe it.
Another shock came in the form of Best New Artist winner Esperanza Spalding. Although I never expected it, I’m glad she won. Spalding was the first jazz artist nominated for Best New Artist in 35 years. Of the Best New Artist nominees, Spalding was the only one who wasn’t given the performance spotlight – and no, playing bass behind Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow doesn’t count.
Lady Antebellum took home five awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. As far as I’m concerned, the country trio deserved every bit of it. Lady Antebellum spent virtually all of 2010 on the road promoting its latest album, “Need You Now.”
Leading the pack with a whopping 10 nominations, Eminem was snubbed again and again. The rapper picked up only two Grammys, Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance. I was sure being nominated twice in the Best Rap Song category for “Not Afraid” and his collaboration with Rihanna, “Love the Way You Lie,” would help his chances. Something tells me after such a night of disappointment, Eminem won’t bother to attend the 2012 ceremony.
B.o.B. started the night nominated for five awards, but received none. The rapper should’ve won Best Rap Song or Best Rap/Sung Collaboration with Bruno Mars for “Nothin’ On You,” but both categories went to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys for “Empire State Of Mind.” B.o.B also deserved a win for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for “Airplanes II” with Eminem and Hayley Williams.
Mars, who was nominated in seven categories, only won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Just the Way You Are.” I was disappointed his production team, The Smeezingtons, didn’t take home Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical.
Lady Gaga picked up three out of six awards, including Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video for “Bad Romance.” She rightfully lost the Best Dance Recording category to Rihanna.
If there was a Grammy for Best Performance of the Night, Cee-Lo Green would deserve it hands down. Dressed in a flamboyant red-feathered costume, the “Forget You” artist jammed on the piano, accompanied by Gwyneth Paltrow and surrounded by Muppets. The standout performance would’ve made Elton John proud.
Although I wasn’t impressed with Lady Gaga’s new song, she put on a good show. Sitting around in an egg for a few hours did nothing to ruin her perfectly-ponytailed hairstyle or her eccentric makeup.
I was very impressed with Katy Perry’s touching performance of “Not Like the Movies.” Perry sat on a swing with intimate images from her wedding day projected on a giant drape behind her. After being lowered to the floor, she launched into the more up-tempo “Teenage Dream.”
Mick Jagger’s first Grammy performance, singing “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love,” left me worried he might fall and break something but earned him a standing ovation from the crowd.
Overall, the Grammy Awards delivered good performances but snubbed a few deserving artists. But for B.o.B, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Eminem, there’s always next year.