According to Twitter, it was all about Adele in the Tweetverse on the night of the Grammys. While the chart dominating singer took home six awards, Twitter exploded with a tirade of Adele related posts, and Twitter has reported that people sent 10,901 Tweets per second as she won Record Of The Year. That’s a lot of Tweet love. Twitter also reported that “Grammys” was mentioned in over 5 million Tweets between midday and midnight on the day of the event, and that the most Tweeted about artists behind Adele included Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Whitney Houston. It’s an interesting mix of the night’s biggest winner, the most controversial, and the bereaved, which in turn have made up the biggest pop culture stories of the week.
The Grammys certainly did stir up a healthy amount of controversy this year, didn’t they? We already asked you what you thought of Nicki Minaj‘s strange “The Exorcism Of Roman” stage show, and now we want to know what you think of the whole Chris Brown debacle — because conversation around the issue hasn’t diminished in the slightest since Sunday. We should all be familiar with the back story by now: in 2009, the night before The Grammys, rapper Chris Brown physically assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna (to which he pleaded guilty in court), forcing both to cancel their planned Grammys performances. Official court documents tell a very chilling tale of what went down between the pair on the night of the assault, and if you have the stomach for it, you can read the gruesome details at MTV News, and if you have an especially strong disposition, you can see the results of those acts at TMZ. Brown was then sentenced to 180 days of labor service, five years probation and attendance at a domestic-abuse program for a year. If you’re any good at math, you’ll notice that the justice system still has Brown on probation.
Controversy arose earlier this year over The Grammys’ decision to allow Brown to take the stage — not once, but twice (!)— to perform at the illustrious awards ceremony. This ruffled more than a few feathers, with women’s groups, activists, and a wide portion of the online community firing into a vitriolic rage. One of the most concise commentaries on the matter from Hello Giggles’ Sasha Pasulka gives a measured bur firm summation. While Pasulka is a proponent of rehabilitation for offenders, she still saw allowing Brown to perform at The Grammys as reductive for victims of a abuse, in a broader, more global sense:
“We – the grown-up influencers in this country, the people with platforms and with educations and with power — are allowing a clear message to be sent to women: We will easily forgive a person who victimizes you. We are able to look beyond the fact that you were treated as less than human, that a bigger, stronger person decided to resolve a conflict with you through violence. We know it happened, but it’s just not that big of a deal to us… We’re accepting the message that women just aren’t that important, that their health and their safety and their self-respect is only important until it stops being convenient for everyone. We should be angry about this, and we should be angry publicly about this.”
Nicki and Ricky (Minaj and Martin, we just love the rhyme. Try saying it fast 10 times), sat down with Good Morning America today to discuss their MAC campaign for AIDS awareness. Nicki talked candidly about the death of her uncle from AIDS, the personal weight the illness carries for her, and wanting to protect her young Barbz from the disease. The socially aware star also had a word or two to say in defense of her controversial Grammys performance, and in light of all the hatorade, her message was a fairly poignant one.
“First of all I created these characters, Martha and Roman, over two years ago and I never had a format to really put them in front of the world, so when I had the Grammys I said, “You know what? This is a great way to show who Roman is.” Roman is a character who’s been ridiculed, he’ been torn apart, he’s been pulled down… Roman gets shipped away to a monastery by his mother who thinks there’s something wrong with him. And in fact there’s nothing wrong with him, there’s nothing wrong with him being different, there’s nothing wrong with him being eccentric. I just wanted to show how ridiculous people look when they try to change someone just because they’re creative and just because they’re different,” Nicki said sincerely. We wonder if any of the haters out there are shifting uncomfortably in their seats yet?
She also talked about how surreal it felt when Madonna wanted to work with her for “Give Me All Your Luvin,'” which Nicki performed with the Queen Of Pop at the Super Bowl half time show. “The request came in from Madonna and I still did not believe it. I said to everyone “I’m not going to believe it until I meet her, until I meet this little ladybug.”” It’s nice to hear that even a superstar like Nicki is still humble in the face of her idols, and it’s pretty darn adorable that she called Madonna a ladybug too — what we wouldn’t give to be Nicki’s ladybug!
Well you didn’t actually expect Adele to be subtle, did you? The princess of the potty mouth told US Vogue this month that, “I am f***ing off for four or five years. If I am constantly working, my relationships fail.” And it’s going to be a well deserved break, after Adele’s historical year demolishing the charts, going through throat surgery and finally wiping the floor with her Grammys — all 6 of them! Moreover, Adele’s found love despite the heartbreaking subject matter of 21. Yep, the girl’s gone and done a Rihanna, finding love in a hopeless place, or a Swampy place, as we reported last month when it was revealed she was dating investment manager Simon “Swampy” Konecki.
And for all you Valentine’s Day cynics out there, Adele’s got a message of hope to go with her forthcoming hiatus — the lovelorn needn’t mope, there’s plenty of romance out there for us all! Adele said in the interview, “So at least now I can have enough time to write a happy record. And be in love and be happy. And then I don’t know what I’ll do. Get married. Have some kids. Plant a nice vegetable patch,” and that she’s tired of being a “bitter witch.” High fives for Adele! We’re looking forward to hearing the “Someone Like You” antithesis in 5 years time — instead of listening to it and immediately dissolving into a mess of tears and snot, it will be played and everyone will become suddenly, irrepressibly jubilant, for that is the immense power of Adele.
You thought it was weird when Katy Perry‘s Grammys performance started with “E.T.” too, right? We certainly did. And being the Perryphiles that we are, it took us only moments to start pointing at the screen and indignantly yelling “That’s not Katy Perry!” as a strategically shrouded figure took to the stage. Cue a faux electrical glitch that had all those around us gasping, “But how could the Grammys mess up like that,” and we were rubbing our hands together in Mr. Burns style excellency — “This is it, here she comes! Excellent.”
And come she did! Appearing in a futuristic box descending from the ceiling, Perry wore blue hair and an ensemble that looked like a cheap version of Leeloo’s iconic Fifth Element get up — but we’re going to forgive her for the ill-chosen costuming because what followed was an impassioned performance of her fine new single (yes, we smell that 6th number one!), “Part Of Me” (one of the new tracks on the re-release of Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection). The opening lines of the song, “You chewed me and spit me out like I was poison in your mouth,” were poignantly at odds with “E.T.”‘s “Infect me with your poison,” and as Katy slowly rose to standing from her crouched feline perch, it became clear that she had something very important to say, and that we were all going to listen. And if there was any doubt about whether or not we’d be paying attention, Katy sang the emphatic, rage driven lyric “Now look at me!” before punching out the front of her cube, which shattered dramatically in cascading glass.
Yep, dancing in her cube, Katy made a very definitive statement, “This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me.” We can only speculate that the track is a stiff middle finger in the face of ex-hubby Russell Brand, but marital politics aside, the performance showed us a part of Katy that we’ve never really seen before. Sure, we’ve seen a lot of flirty, sexy Katy, a bit of controversial Katy and some reflective, sad Katy, but when it comes to chart toppers, we haven’t ever seen angry Katy. There’s “Circle The Drain” from Teenage Dream, but the brutality of emotion of that song seems to wane in comparison to “Part Of Me,” which is driven, unwavering and anthemic. Watching Katy perform it live for the first time was almost chilling — the emotion she put into her spectacular, flame engulfed show was raw and powerful, showing the angsty side of a girl that is so much more than boob-shooting fireworks.
In a tragic turn of events the music industry lost one of its biggest legends, Whitney Houston, over the weekend. In a last minute reshuffle, the Grammys made an effort to pay tribute to the great star, with LL Cool J giving an eulogy at the start of the show, and big names like Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Stevie Wonder commemorating their hero (Alicia Keys performed a tribute to the recently passed Etta James with Bonnie Raitt but didn’t fail to acknowledge Whitney). But perhaps the most stirring tribute of all was Jennifer Hudson‘s emotional performance of Whitney’s iconic song “I Will Always Love You.”
While Jennifer’s beautiful vocal soared through the song, and physically she appeared to embody the ghost of Whitney, she didn’t quite hit the high notes with the same easy power as Whitney — so as she paid rousing tribute, she also reminded us of the awesome talent of the late performer, whose natural voice is unparalleled, even by someone who is considered one of the great contemporary vocalists of today. Jennifer’s performance was a deeply emotional one, and it seemed like the singer had some difficulty getting through as she was overcome by tears at the end.
So while it seemed like the Grammys did everything they could at the last minute to ensure Whitney was paid proper respect, some were still perturbed by the closing act, hoping for a Whitney tribute as opposed to Paul McCartney‘s Beatles Medley and the ensuing dad rock guitar-off. What do you think? Do you think the Grammy’s did enough in honor of Whitney? Or do you think there could have been more, for instance a closing ensemble cast Whitney Medley? Let us know in the poll below!
Last night’s Grammy Awards were punctuated with some very clever advertising, number one among the canny commercials being Chipotle’s ode to the local farmer, playing out to the tune of Coldplay‘s “The Scientist,” sung by Willie Nelson. The advertisement was one of the top trending Twitter topics during the awards show, and you can see why by watching the video above. Set to a quaint animation, Willie Nelson’s crooning vocal along with the visual gives the love song a whole new import. Speaking to innovation in the livestock industry, the pumping of animals with steroids and the problems with live food production, the commercial paints a somewhat frightening image (despite the cute cartoons) of the future of produce. Supporting locally grown, organic produce, Chipotle really hit a home run with a commercial that seemed to really resonate with the Grammys audience.
Last night at the 2012 Grammy Awards, Bon Iver won the prestigious award for Best New Artist, but there was still a question on everyone’s lips, or at least trending on their Twitter feed — Who is Bon Iver? While it seems strange to us that you could own a Twitter account and somehow have missed the Internet hype train that was “Holocene” last year, #whoisboniver was one of the top trending topics of conversation on the social networking device last night (a lot of people seemed to think his name was Bonny Bear).
We took to the red carpet before the ceremony to find out if anyone there knew who Bon Iver was, and we got some interesting results! Everyone we talked to, from 3-time Grammy winner Skrillex to Wilco and Mumford & Sons to Malin Ackerman, seemed to have two different pronunciations for the band’s name. The most interesting response, however, came from Snooki, who managed to throw in a penis reference and made this statement for the ages: “Well, I don’t know anybody if you’re not Rihanna.”
Nicki Minaj‘s Grammys performance, entitled “The Exorcism Of Roman” was a treat for the senses — from a sumptuous set, decadent choreography, a vivid, if not chaotic plot, and Nicki actually singing (a singer singing, can you imagine!), the whole shebang was nothing less than a show stopper. The performance began with Nicki in a confessional booth, the priest she walked the red carpet with listening to her candid rap from his side of the booth, both of them appearing to lose more and more of their minds as Nicki writhed manically and pulled several of her patented insane faces. The back story, from what a pre-recorded clip then told us, appeared to be that Nicki was possessed by the spirit of her alter ego, Roman Zolanski, and a priest was sent to exorcise her.
Once the video cut back to the stage, Nicki appeared shackled at the top of a pyre in some sort of cathedral that toed a line between Catholic and cult that might have been somewhat uncomfortable for any zealots watching (although we’re pretty sure the Grammys is mostly for heathens anyway). In this Roman Catholic Church meets Illuminati-esque environment, the story hit a glitch and became somewhat stunted in development — basically, Nicki was at war with Roman, and her internal monologue, the song, flipped between the two personas in an insane battle for the body. While a tormented Nicki staggered around the stage, weird contortionists and occultist dancers put on a pretty impressive show of physical agility in the Laurieann Gibson choreographed extravaganza (that’s probably why you have a lingering taste of Gaga).