Despite the occasional technical goof, the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards should be considered a model for all future awards shows, especially the Oscars. Here are some key plays from the Grammy playbook that hit all the right notes:
Honoring the ‘Queen of Soul’
With five talented female vocalists on stage, including Jennifer Hudson and Christina Aguilera , the Grammys honored Aretha Franklin, the undisputed ‘Queen of Soul.’ Launching into a long medley of Franklin ‘s signature hits, these five heirs to the crown rocked the Staples Center on Sunday night.
Recovering from an undisclosed illness , Aretha Franklin appeared to the Grammy audience via a video monitor. Dressed beautifully in a white gown, Franklin thanked her fans for their support throughout her illness. Long live the Queen!
Keeping it light, bright and tight
When Paul Hogan co-hosted the Oscars back in 1987 , he implored winners to remember the three G’s: be gracious, be grateful and get off. Winners at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards appeared to have that in mind. With only one or two exceptions, the Grammy winners kept the speeches down to a decent length.
Emotionally honest presentations
Awards shows can come across as staged and phony, but that wasn’t the case with Justin Bieber and his mentor Usher . The two singers met for a quiet moment on stage, reminiscing about their first meeting on an Atlanta parking lot. Usher even unveiled footage of a 13-year-old Bieber singing for him.
Minutes later, the teenage sensation launched into a guitar solo that evolved into a high energy production number. Throughout it all, Usher acted like a proud big brother, watching his little brother realize his full potential in front of an eager Grammy audience. Bieber was still a winner, even without a Grammy or two to take home.
I’d like to introduce my fiancée
The Justin Bieber/Usher moment was only topped by Blake Shelton, who introduced fiancée Miranda Lambert before she sang “The House that Built Me.” No amount of writers laboring backstage could equal the heartfelt honesty of a man standing up to introduce his future wife.
Less schlock and more entertainment
Hollywood awards shows get criticized at times for being annoying love fests, but the 53rd Grammy Awards contained more honest-to-goodness entertainment than any other awards show thus far. Lady Antebellu m, for instance, gave a stripped-down, heartfelt performance before nabbing their first Grammy of the night.