I’m not sure what year I stopped paying close attention to the Grammys. Maybe it was after I went from knowing all of the songs & artists to not knowing many of them at all. I feel like lately I neither know nor like most of the music on display. Now, I realize I’m no spring chicken (ask my wife and I’m a flat-out Grumpy Old Man), but I do play lots of music every day and figure I’m more in-tune than the Average Matt my age.
Each year there are a couple of songs that make their way across numerous music genres, that we get to play, that become huge hits, many of which you hear or see performed on Grammy Night. Your basic Ed Sheerans, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, etc. So, I’d maybe watch, maybe not. It wasn’t really too important anymore.
This year felt a little bit different though. Alicia Keys is a talented, likable personality as host. We know her from “The Voice.” I thought she’s a good choice, because she probably doesn’t “turn off” a lot of people as far as I know. Plus, in my house at least, we’re fans of anything “A Star Is Born”-related right now. So I knew my wife was interested to see Lady Gaga perform and was rooting for it to win the awards it was nominated for.
So, I set the DVR to record the show. I also remembered for some reason to turn it on at 8PM and tell Dixon that he was done with “Puppy Dog Pals” for the night. I wasn’t expecting much…probably that we’d flip back to Disney Junior in minutes and go back later in the week and fast-forward through the broadcast and see what we wanted to see.
But something happened. The show started and I liked what I saw. Camila Cabello’s “Havana” performance as the opening number looked like a Broadway musical. It was a pretty girl singing a well known song with high production value. And Ricky Martin showed up. Next thing we knew, Shawn Mendes was signing “In My Blood,” (another song WCEI listeners should be familiar with) and Miley Cyrus showed up. And it went on from there.
You know what else? Politics was left out of it. Michelle Obama was there but she didn’t make me feel awkward for being a Republican. She talked about music. It was all positive. It felt inclusive. And because of that, I ended up seeing someone I’d never heard of, the artist H.E.R., and I really liked her song.
Hopefully the Grammys either learned a lesson by sliding ratings in recent years and made some changes…or saw the positive response to this year’s show and continues the trend. Obviously we’re not all going to like all of the performances and songs we see and hear. But if we don’t at least give it a try with an open mind, we’ll never hear new stuff we might really like, and we might never know what we missed. What a shame that would be.