All music awards programs are first and foremost a mainstream primetime TV show. Everything else–including genuine honouring of art–is secondary.
This year, the Grammys are all about hip-hop, rap and R&B, a reflection of what the American public is streaming these days. That meant that something (actually, a lot of things) had to be clipped from the broadcast. Rock was one of the casualties.
Seventy awards (yes, 7-0) were handed out before the broadcast began. Here is who won what from the rock and rock(ish)-related categories.
Let’s start with a shocker. Leonard Cohen? WTF?
Best Rock Performance
You Want It Darker – Leonard Cohen – WINNER
The Promise – Chris Cornell
Run – Foo Fighters
No Good – Kaleo
Go To War – Nothing More
Whoa! Did not see that coming, especially since Leonard Cohen isn’t what anyone would call “rock.” Nothing against Lenny–this is a very good song from a very good album–but picking him as a winner in this category is almost as dumb as Jethro Tull winning Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance.
Best Alternative Music Album:
Everything Now — Arcade Fire
Humanz — Gorillaz
American Dream — LCD Soundsystem
Pure Comedy — Father John Misty
Sleep Well Beast — The National — WINNER
Interesting. I guessed that Arcade Fire would win on name recognition alone but wished The National would win.
Best Metal Performance
Invisible Enemy – August Burns Red
Black Hoodie – Body Count
Forever – Code Orange
Sultan’s Curse – Mastodon – WINNER
Clockworks – Meshuggah
Called this one. Good pick.
Best rock song
Metallica – Atlas, Rise!
K.Flay – Blood in the Cut
Nothing More – Go to War
Foo Fighters – Run – WINNER
Avenge Sevenfold – The Stage
Yep. That works, although I would have preferred to see a woman win for a change.
Best Rock Album
Emperor Of Sand — Mastodon
Hardwired…To Self-Destruct — Metallica
The Stories We Tell Ourselves — Nothing More
Villains — Queens Of the Stone Age
A Deeper Understanding — The War On Drugs — WINNER
Huh? What? Over Metallica? Cool. Shocking, but cool.
Pop vocal album
Kaleidoscope EP – Coldplay
Lust for Life – Lana Del Rey
Evolve – Imagine Dragons
Rainbow – Kesha
Joanne – Lady Gaga
÷ (Divide) – Ed Sheeran – WINNER
Duh. Sheeran should have had a dozen nominations but was mostly snubbed. This is the least the Grammy could do.
Pop duo/group performance
Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers and Coldplay
Despacito – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber
Thunder – Imagine Dragons
Feel It Still – Portugal The Man – WINNER
Stay – Zedd & Alessia Cara
A huge upset. All the money was on the Bieber version of “Despacito.” Cool@
Best music video
Up All Night – Beck
Makeba – Jain
The Story of OJ – Jay-Z
Humble – Kendrick Lamar – WINNER
1-800-273-8255 – Logic ft Alessia Cara & Khalid
A semi-upset. The Logic/Alessia Cara/Khalid was favoured.
If you want to the whole list of nominees and winners, go here.