Lady Gaga turns into Lady Stardust for the Grammys
By STEVE GORMAN
Lady Gaga paid psychedelic tribute on the Grammys stage to the late British rock visionary David Bowie with a multimedia song-and-dance performance that sought to capture the boundary-pushing essence of a kindred pop music spirit.
Bowie, a forerunner of Gaga’s brand of provocative, gender-bending performance imagery, died of cancer at age 69 on Jan 10, just two days after the release of what became his critically acclaimed final studio album, Blackstar.
Gaga, 29, a six-time Grammy laureate who, like Bowie, is known for frequent self-reinvention, arrived on the red carpet dressed in an outfit that channeled Bowie’s signature androgynous look, sporting a bright, blue embellished jacket-dress and bright orange hair.
On stage she charted Bowie’s half-century career with a medley touching on 10 of his hits – Space Oddity, Changes, Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City, Rebel Rebel, Fashion, Fame, Under Pressure, Let’s Dance and Heroes. The song-dance number was punctuated by a torrent of flashing multi-coloured lights and images projected on a large screen behind her, including a closeup of her face adorned in Aladdin Sane makeup – a nod to one of Bowie’s personas – with a spider crawling over her nose.
Still not over it. Never gonna be over it. @ladygaga #GRAMMYs (https://t.co/u7ba8UIAh2) pic.twitter.com/ZFwfTkF8jX
— MTV (@MTV) February 16, 2016
Bowie’s work also garnered posthumous Grammy award recognition as a new version of his composition Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime), re-recorded for his 26th and final studio album, Blackstar, earned the prize for best arrangement for instrument and vocals. That Grammy went to big-band orchestra leader and composer Maria Schneider, who said she had no idea at the time she was collaborating with Bowie on what would be his final project. “It was the greatest privilege to work with David Bowie and to experience his creativity,” she told reporters backstage. Sue was originally included as a fresh track for Bowie’s 2014 compilation album Nothing Has Changed. The album Blackstar was released two days before his death.
Earlier in the show, another late pop talent, Eagles co-founder, guitarist and songwriter Glenn Frey, was saluted by surviving members of his band who joined Jackson Browne for a performance of one of the Eagles’ biggest hits, Take It Easy. Frey, who co-founded the Eagles with Don Henley in 1971 in Los Angeles, died at age 67 in January of complications from a number of ailments, including pneumonia.
Browne, who co-wrote the song, stood in for Frey on lead vocals, with the Eagles’ familiar backing harmonies and laid-back instrumental accompaniment from Henley, along with Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit and Bernie Leadon.
In other musical homages to the fallen of pop music, Stevie Wonder joined the a cappella group Pentatonix for a tribute to Maurice White, late founder of the R&B funk band Earth, Wind & Fire, with a performance of the title track off the band’s hit album, That’s The Way Of The World.
Bonnie Raitt teamed up with Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark Jr on The Thrill Is Gone in salute of the late blues icon B.B. King. – Reuters
Partial list of winners in the 58th Grammy Awards
Album Of The Year: 1989, Taylor Swift
Record Of The Year: Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
Song Of The Year: Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters; Ed Sheeran
Best New Artist: Meghan Trainor
Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical: Jeff Bhasker
Best Rap Album: To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar
Best Country Album: Traveller, Chris Stapleton
Best Pop Vocal Album: 1989, Taylor Swift
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Beauty Behind The Madness, The Weeknd
Best Dance/Electronic Album: Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack U, Skrillex & Diplo
Best Dance Recording: Where Are U Now, Skrillex & Diplo with Justin Bieber
Best R&B Album: Black Messiah, D’Angelo & The Vanguard
Best Rock Album: Drones, Muse
Best Alternative Music Album: Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes
Best Jazz Vocal Album: For One To Love, Cecile McLorin Salvant
Best Latin Pop Album: A Quien Quiera Escuchar, Ricky Martin
Best Blues Album: Born To Play Guitar, Buddy Guy
Best World Music Album: Sings, Angelique Kidjo
Best Music Film: Amy, Amy Winehouse
Best Pop Solo Performance: Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
Best Country Solo Performance: Traveller, Chris Stapleton
Best R&B Performance: Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey), The Weeknd
Best Rap Performance: Alright, Kendrick Lamar
Best Metal Performance: Cirice, Ghost
Best Rock Performance: Don’t Wanna Fight, Alabama Shakes
Best R&B Song: Really Love, D’Angelo & Kendra Foster, songwriters; D’Angelo & The Vanguard
Best Rock Song: Don’t Wanna Fight, Alabama Shakes, songwriters; Alabama Shakes
Best Rap Song: Alright, Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters; Kendrick Lamar (track from To Pimp A Butterfly)
Best Country Song: Girl Crush, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters; Little Big Town