Adele – winner of six Grammy Awards, mourning Whitney Houston
text and photo: Associated Press (AP)
It was a ceremony that had the difficult task of celebrating music’s best while mourning the loss of Whitney Houston.
Adele’s first performance since her vocal cord surgery, was outstanding. “I can’t believe I’m getting emotional already,” she said after picking up the latter award. “And seeing as it’s a vocal performance, I need to thank my doctors, I suppose, who brought my voice back.”
“To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of making music is what’s most important. Singing into a microphone, learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that’s the most important thing for people to do,” according to Dave Grohl.
Among the evening’s performances was a dance-heavy number by Chris Brown, a performance by Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, who kicked off the show by performing his new song “We Take Care of Our Own.”
homage Whitney Houston
But the evening’s most moving moment came as Jennifer Hudson emerged to sing one of Houston’s signature songs, “I Will Always Love You.” Dressed in black, with only the accompaniment of a piano, Hudson appeared to fight back tears as she sang the song, ending with the line, “Whitney, we will always love you.”
The show started off on a somber note, as host LL Cool J appeared in black, and told the audience: “There is no way around this. We’ve had a death in our family.” In his performance of “Runaway Baby,” Bruno Mars also mentioned the death: “Tonight we’re celebrating. Tonight we’re celebrating the beautiful Miss Whitney Houston.” And Stevie Wonder said: “To Whitney up in heaven, we all love you.”
Houston died on the eve of the Grammys at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she was preparing to attend a pre-Grammy party. Still, while Houston’s death cast a shadow over the night’s winners, it did not obscure them. Among them was Chris Brown, who was performing on the stage for the first time since he dropped out of 2009’s broadcast. Brown also won best R&B album.
Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt paid tribute to Etta James, the legend who died last month.