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2018 Grammys recap: music vs oppression

Jan. 30, 2018
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At the 60th annual Grammys Sunday night, artists like Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar took the stage to receive some of the most prized titles in the music industry. Mars swept the night, winning not only Album of the Year but also Song and Record of the year amongst other awards. Kendrick Lamar took home Best Rap Album, Rap Song, Rap Performance, and Music Video. It’s safe to say these two men dominated the show. As for the female nominees, however, Best New Artist Alessia Cara was the only one to walk away from the arguably more highly anticipated categories with an award.

In the midst of all of the awards, though, were thought-provoking performances. Kesha emotionally performed “Praying” as part of a roster of largely-female artists whose ranks included the likes of music veteran Cyndi Lauper and newcomer Camila Cabello. The women dressed in all-white to match the Voices In Entertainment white rose movement from the red carpet. The group, formed by Meg Harkins, enacted the movement to endorse hope, peace, sympathy, and resistance.  

Other memorable performances of the night included Pink alongside a sign-language translator, which allowed for a hearing-disability-inclusive performance. Miley Cyrus joined Elton John for a captivating performance of “Tiny Dancer”; Cardi B (whose record-breaking “Bodak Yellow” did not receive any awards) joined Bruno Mars for inarguably the most upbeat performance of the night; and Lady Gaga performed hits “Joanne” and “Million Reasons” in her own company. Childish Gambino took 10-year-old JD McCrary with him on stage to perform “Terrified” from his Album of the Year nominated record, Awaken, My Love!

Logic’s performance of suicide prevention anthem “1-800-273-8255”, however, summarized the general theme of the 2018 Grammys: use your platform to make a difference. As we watch corruption in the biggest entertainment industries continue to be exposed, we also watch artists like Kesha, Janelle Monae, Camila Cabello, and Logic stand at the top of their field and challenge the oppression we too often see of POC, women, immigrants, and those who struggle with mental health.