The Grammy Awards had something of a funereal vibe—and not just because of whatever the hell Little Big Town’s performance was. There were a lot of tributes. Here they are, presented from worst to best.
7. Hollywood Vampires (Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry) pay tribute to Lemmy.
This was awful, embarrassing for everyone involved (except maybe Depp, who is still wallowing around after hitting bottom in Mortdecai), and interminable.
6. Lady Gaga pays tribute to David Bowie.
This was not quite a trainwreck but it was also not good. Gaga’s manic medley was too on the nose at every level—did you know that David Bowie was an artist who did lots of CHANGES? That was the only takeaway from this, the preview of the Las Vegas show Gaga will be doing in four years.
5. Miguel pays tribute to Michael Jackson.
Love Miguel, but have no idea how this happened or why.
4. Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix pay tribute to Earth Wind and Fire’s Maurice White.
Totally fine—and the moment that followed, in which Stevie Wonder read the winner for “Song of the Year” from a braille card, was one of the night’s best. But it was an inert take on one of the most vivacious acts of the last 40 years and I still don’t really get what Pentatonix’s deal is.
3. The Eagles and Jackson Browne pay tribute to Glenn Frey.
They played one of The Eagles’s four good songs and were good.
2. Gary Clark Jr, Chris Stapleton, and Bonnie Raitt pay tribute to B.B. King.
I still don’t really get what Chris Stapleton’s deal is, beyond the fact that he is a big bear who sings good (and apparently also plays the guitar?). But it was a moving tribute and Raitt’s performance was fantastic.
1. Demi Lovato, John Legend, Meghan Trainor and Luke Bryan pay tribute to Lionel Ritchie. This was the corniest thing I’ve ever seen and I loved every second of it.