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Grammys mix music with message

The Grammys can have anyone open the show. They picked Camila Cabello. Don’t know her? You will.

Part big-budget Broadway number, part political statement, all perfect pop jam, “Havana” featured Cabello, J Balvin, Ricky Martin, Young Thug and trumpet legend Arturo Sandoval doing the best Grammy opening in a decade. Google it for the song, the set, the backup dancers, the newspaper with the headline, “Build bridges not walls.”

Last year featured #GrammysSoMale and Grammy president Neil Portnow saying, “Women need to step up.” Wisely, Grammy voters took the temperature of the country and got serious. After Cabello, host Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga, J. Lo, Jada Pinkett Smith and (wow!) Michelle Obama, who received a standing ovation, spoke of the power of music to both keep us dancing and fuel social change.

To drive their point home, Janelle Monae proved the future is female and funky with a medley of “Make Me Feel” and “Pynk” that Prince must have been smiling down on. (Next year Monae wins all the awards or we boycott!)

In keeping with the substance over flash theme: Early in the night, Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” — a song and video that examined the ugly intersections of race, racism, violence, capitalism, art and entertainment — won song of the year, best music video and best rap/sung performance.

Many more of the biggest, best and most deserving names in music took home golden gramophones. Maybe the most nuanced and visceral songwriter working today, Brandi Carlile nabbed best American roots performance and best American roots song for “The Joke” and best Americana album for “By the Way, I Forgive You.” Right behind her, the equally skilled Kacey Musgraves won early, with “Space Cowboy” grabbing best country song and “Butterflies” picking up best country solo performance.

But the most honored name Sunday night wasn’t

Article source: https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/02/11/grammys-mix-music-with-message/

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