Two thumbs up given to popular award show

Jessica MacIntosh - Associate Editor

Jessica MacIntosh – Associate Editor

February is the month for Valentine’s Day, Black History and award shows.

First, it was the Golden Globes; next, the Screen Actors Guild. Just this past weekend, the next installment of award shows took place – the Grammys.

Unlike last year’s show, where it was too long and boring, this year’s was perfect. CBS started it on time and ended it on time (that’s a first). Although, to me, three and half hours is too much time for an award show, it actually moved quickly through the different categories like a speeding bullet.

The show began with a slew of different artists, who were nominated that night. The Black Eyed Peas, Los Lonely Boys, Franz Ferdinand, Gwen Stefani with Eve and Maroon 5 performed on four stages, blending the various sounds of each genre of music. Though I do not care for some of the performers, the mixture of music worked in this case.

Star of Chicago and Bringing Down the House, Queen Latifah was the master of ceremonies for the evening’s festivities. I think she brought a down-to-earth feeling to the ceremony because she made the night fun for everyone. It did not just drag on with the old “and our next presenters are … “

Queen Latifah brought that certain liveliness, which the audience found to be funny.

Of course, the Grammys are about the awards and the performances. This year was no exception to the rule. A wide range of performers lit up the stages from Green Day to Alicia Keys.

What was so amazing about Keys’ performance was the duet she and Jamie Foxx did. The Golden Globe-winning actor for the movie Ray started singing “Georgia On My Mind” while playing the piano, and soon after, Keys joined in for the fun. I think Ray Charles would be surprised by the talented group effort.

The one performance where I wanted to jump off a cliff was with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. First of all the song they performed was in Spanish. Then, the stage was decorated as though it was an apartment. It was the most boring performance out of them all.

Many of the other performances were tributes. Bonnie Raitt with Billy Preston honored the late Ray Charles, Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge, who is bald due to her breast cancer, did a Janis Joplin song and a tribute to Southern rock with Tim McGraw, Gretchen Wilson, Lynyard Skynyrd and Keith Urban lit up the stage.

The other performance I liked was Queen Latifah’s jazz song. Going a completely different path than rap, her voice was superb. Having seen her in Chicago, there is a reason why I love her so much as an actor and a musician.

The last performance of the night was a cover of the Beatles’ song “Across the Universe” with vocals by Bono from U2, Norah Jones, Keys, McGraw, Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Stevie Wonder. The song could be downloaded from iTunes for $.99 or one could stream it from The proceeds from downloads went to the tsunami relief fund.

For the awards, Charles went out by force with eight golden Grammys. This year’s winners’ list include Keys, Usher, Kanye West and Prince. At least this year, the awards were more spread out in the different genres of music than in previous years. I was very happy to see Jones win three awards. Her music needed to be recognized.

I was pleased with this year’s turn out. There were not any jokes made about certain events that happened; it was well organized and planned.

Let’s just hope the Academy Awards can do the same.