The Wonder Woman of pop, that thigh-masterful R&B belter Beyonce, had a record-setting night at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday. The 28-year-old won six golden gramophones in one night, a first for a solo female performer. Her bid for seven, however, was blocked by Taylor Swift, whose Fearless won album of the year.
Of course, "music's biggest night" soars or splats not on who wins what, but on who sings what. It's a sales tool first, an awards show hardly at all, especially this year, when so many huge awards were doled out early, and without much drama, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. This year's show had long, boring stretches, and the second half was interminable, but here's the good stuff:
Lady Gaga's big shocker? She's human! Opening the show was the wee art-pop oddity, who was dressed not unlike a marshmallow clover in a box of Lucky Charms. (Demure for her!) After doing a wee bit o' Poker Face — and some Fosse meets Willy Wonka choreography — she wheeled out Elton John for a hybrid duet of her Speechless and his Your Song. Typically a sex robot, Gaga — whose The Fame won for best electronic/dance album — seemed humbled, happy and almost weepy to be seated across from EJ.
Everything you can do, Beyonce can do in 10-inch heels. After snagging song of the year for Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), Beyonce storm(trooper)ed out and mashed a crotch-grabbing If I Were a Boy and Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know.
Taylor Swift and Fleetwood Ack! Cool move for the country star to bring out Stevie Nicks for a weird-o-rama duet on Rhiannon. But Tay-Tay, who won for best country album, hit some seriously cat-scratchy notes, and poor Stevie looked like she regretted every minute of You Belong With Me. But hey, Swift gets whatever she wants these days, and what she wanted was the Gold Dust Woman.
I'm a genius … most of the time. I predicted the first several awards (including Zac Brown Band for best new artist), and figure I had record of the year all wrapped up. But the Kings of Leon upset the Black Eyed Peas, Swift and Beyonce with the anthemic Use Somebody, which also won best rock song.
Wet 'n' Wild 'n' Pink: Personally, I'm tired of the nimble star's high-flying derring-do. But my co-workers loved Pink's Cirque du Soleil-meets-Sea World routine. I dunno. I liked her better when she was the second coming of Pinky Tuscadero.
The Grammys NEVER televise the award for best comedy album ... unless they're madly in love with Stephen Colbert, who was money-in-the-bank.
Phantom of the Hip-Hopera. It was a pretty good gag when Jamie Foxx turned out to be the third member of an opera troupe — and then busted Blame It, which included Slash playing the solo from November Rain.
Thanks for nothing Avatar. I tried to wear my 3-D glasses from the sci-fi movie for the lame Michael Jackson tribute. (Earth Song? Ugh.) But alas, Carrie Underwood refused to jump out at me. Much sadness.
Histrionics for Haiti: I'm all for downloading music for a good cause, but Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige did a whole lot of caterwauling on a benefit duet of Bridge Over Troubled Water.
E-mail Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org.