Feature

The best Grammy performance

Who stole the show during Sunday night's 51st annual Grammy Awards?

“As any self-respecting Grammy live blog will have told you by now,” said Rob Harvilla in The Village Voice, “the highlight of last night's occasionally lively fiasco was undoubtedly the ‘Rap Pack’ black-and-white ‘Swagga Like Us’ blowout (watch the video here, via YouTube). Ostensibly, it starred Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and T.I., but it was "dominated by a stupendously pregnant M.I.A.” Her “thrusting about despite the possibility that her water could break at any moment” was “riveting musical drama.”

Actually, “Best of Show” belongs to Radiohead, said Scott Mervis in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, with a “surprising assist” from the University of Southern California marching band (watch the video here, via YouTube). Thom Yorke looked “more like a rock star than he ever has,” and he and his band “showed Coldplay and everyone else how it was done with a stunningly rhythmic and beautiful ‘15 Step.’”

But Jennifer Hudson hit the most “emotional notes” of the Grammys, said Brian Orloff in Now Magazine. She won the award for best R&B album, “making reference to her slain family in a tearful acceptance speech.” Then she “fought back more tears after earning a standing ovation for her power ballad ‘You Pulled Me Through’” (watch the video here, via YouTube), which she “belted out” with the backing of a choir—it was unforgettable.

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