Let’s take a page from Olivia Rodrigo and get brutal.
the seven-time Grammy nominee is one of nearly two dozen artists performing during Sunday’s Grammy Awards telecast, including Billie Eilish, jon baptiste, Brandi Carlile, Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X and Silk Sonic. The musicians – all of whom are contending for top prizes this year – are taking the stage at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, after the awards show was delayed and relocated from Los Angeles to Sin City due to COVID-19.
Silk Sonic, ‘777’
The R&B teamup of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, who released their nine-song joint effort last November, opened the show with the album’s electrifying opening track, followed by standout “777.” Throwing back to the ’70s in sleek white jumpsuits – bejeweled with playing card iconography on the sleeves – the dynamic pair name-checked Sin City in rollicking, funky fashion, singing, “I’m ’bout to buy Las Vegas after this roll. ” Call us gambling men, but it’s going to be tough to top the energy of this dynamic duo.
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Olivia Rodrigo, ‘Drivers License’
The 19-year-old pop-punk breakout is already a Grammy winner going into Sunday’s telecast, picking up her first award for best pop solo performance (for debut single “Driver’s License”) hours before the show. Backed by an all-female band, and sporting glitter eyeliner and fishnet stockings, Rodrigo sounded tremendous as she delivered a soaring rendition of her emotional breakup anthem while darting across a vivid suburban backdrop, complete with a DMV-approved Mercedes.
J Balvin and Maria Becerra, ‘What More Well?’ and ‘In da Getto’
Rodrigo is a tough act to follow, but Balvin more than held his own with a sexy rendition of his “Jose” album track “Que Mas Pues?” featuring Argentine singer Maria Becerra. Particular props should be given to the light-up staircase and neon-drenched backup dancers, who gave us some of the most mesmerizing hand-ography this side of Madonna’s “Vogue.”
Could BTS be any more infectious? The K-pop wunderkinds oozed charm as they delivered an exuberant take on “Butter,” gliding across the stage in black tuxedos and paying homage to everything from “Ocean’s Eleven” to “Mission: Impossible” as they flicked playing cards and evaded lasers in suave Vegas style. And we couldn’t help but swoon as member V playfully cozied up to Rodrigo at the top of the number.
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Lil Nas X with Jack Harlow, ‘Dead Right Now,’ ‘Montero,’ ‘Industry Baby’
After delightfully provocative turns on “Saturday night Live” and the MTV VMAs, the genre-bending “Old Town Road” breakout played it curiously tame on the Grammys stage, running through hits including “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and “Industry Baby” featuring Jack Harlow. But aside from some slick choreography and a slew of costume changes – including a stellar, diamond-encrusted crop top – Nas X was unfortunately overshadowed by flashier performances earlier in the night.
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Billie Eilish, ‘Happier Than Ever’
“Happier Than Ever” is without a doubt one of the most thrilling songs released by a mainstream pop artist in years, with ferocious vocals, heartachingly personal lyrics and a blistering, head-banging third verse. Eilish’s Grammys performance of the song – the title track from her second album – did not disappoint, as she recreated the music video’s flooded house and rain-soaked finish. Her T-shirt tribute to late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins added an extra layer of poignancy to the already intense number.
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Brandi Carlile, ‘Right on Time’
Carlile’s performance of inspiring single “The Joke” at the 2019 Grammys is an instant tear-jerker, and her stirring take on latest anthem “Right on Time” similarly gave us chills. Donning a disco ball-chic blazer, and flanked by flashing rainbow-colored lights, the Americana singer-songwriter showcased her dexterous skills on both piano and guitar, although her most flawless instrument was her commanding voice, as she delivered the song’s heartfelt message ( “It wasn’t right / but it was right at the time”).
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism