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Music and scrutiny at the Grammys

But the first moment of major star power came a few minutes later, when Alicia Keys, the host, introduced “my sisters”: Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez. Each spoke about the inspiring power of music throughout their lives.

Obama, drawing a thunderous welcome from the crowd at the Staples Center, was nearly drowned out as she delivered her lines.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side,” she said, “to the ‘who run the world’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story.”

The Grammys are struggling more than ever to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving pop scene and to meet demands for more equitable gender representation. And public uproar last year after a remark backstage by the head of the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammys, led to the establishment of a task force examining how the institution works.

Lady Gaga won the night’s first award, best pop duo/group performance, for “Shallow,” her duet with Bradley Cooper from their movie “A Star Is Born.” Tearful, she said she wished Cooper had been with her — he was in London for the BAFTAs, the British film awards — and addressed a theme in the film, in which Cooper plays an singer struggling with addiction.

“I’m so proud to be part of a movie that addresses mental health issues,” she said. “A lot of artists deal with that, and we’ve got to take care of each other.”

Women power the night

Producers of the show packed it with female performers and presenters, and men were often outshined or absent.

Shawn Mendes played his ballad “In My Blood,” crooning at the piano before a belting Miley Cyrus joined, with bright lights behind him. Janelle Monáe performed “Make Me Feel” with bits of inspiration

Article source: https://www.mitchellrepublic.com/entertainment/music/4569389-music-and-scrutiny-grammys

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