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Grammys an uneven evening

If there is one thing that the Grammy Awards has come close to perfecting, it’s the unique pairing of musicians so famous that you’d think their egos wouldn’t be able to fit on the same stage.

If there is one thing that the Grammy Awards has come close to perfecting, it’s the unique pairing of musicians so famous that you’d think their egos wouldn’t be able to fit on the same stage. Last night continued this notion, but with varied results.

The show got off to a riveting start with a tribute to Aretha Franklin that featured a diverse group of divas that included Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson.

The night’s most fiery collaboration was undoubtedly Eminem, Rihanna, Dr. Dre, Adam Levine and Skylar Grey, who delivered a venomous medley of “Love the Way You Lie” and “I Need a Doctor.” Another highlight was Cee Lo Green, decked out in full Elton John peacock regalia performing what the Grammys so politely called “The Song Otherwise Known as ‘Forget You’” with Gwyneth Paltrow and a full band of puppets from the Jim Henson Company.

Unlike the awards shows of other industries, the actual Grammy awards are secondary to the performances. And there’s a reason for that. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is often criticized for not being in touch with what the public likes. This was first evident in the Best New Artist category, where jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding beat out favorites Justin Bieber and Drake. Lady Antebellum, whose “Need You Now” song won Record of the Year and Song of the Year was another shocker, beating out artists like Eminem, Jay-Z and Cee Lo Green. Arcade Fire singer Win Butler probably sum­med it up best upon winning one of the night’s most coveted awards. When he stepped to the podium to accept the Album of the Year award, he said, “What the hell?”

 
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