Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
In 1974, a pretty, 11-year-old girl, stood up in front of her church congregation to sing, “Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah.” Her name was Whitney Houston and she had a dream of making it big in the music industry one day.
The dream did come true, however due to a sad twist of fate, the voice the world received as a gift is lost somewhere. Saturday, February 11, just before the 2012 Grammy Awards, Whitney Houston, who was 48, died tragically due to drug overdose leaving everybody in a shocked state. Houston had been preparing to sing at mentor Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel where she was staying. Her body was discovered in the bathroom of her hotel room by a family member where she was apparently getting ready for her forthcoming performance.
What was even more shocking or rather inconsiderate was that the pre-Grammy party which Houston had planned to sing at went forward as per the schedule, despite the fact that Houston’s body still rested just rooms away as the police investigated her death scene. Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose, and Britney Spears were among the stars who attended the party. “She graced this stage with her regal presence so many times,” Clive Davis said at the event. “Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked us to carry on.”
Commenting on the way Clive Davis justified the pre party, Hollywood producer Edward Paige said, “It’s very sad that commercialisation and sponsorship obligations place profit before the memory of a tremendous and fragile artist like Houston,” There were several stars who agreed with Paige and did not attend Davis’ party – or any pre-Grammy party for that matter – out of respect for the fallen star. These included Taylor Swift, Sharon Osbourne, and Miley Cyrus.
Well the debate whether the celebrations should have happened or not will continue forever but the Grammy Awards were bound to happen!
Singer LL Cool J, who hosted this year’s awards, opened the event with the words: ‘There is no way around this – we have had a death in our family”. The ceremony began on Sunday night with a song from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and a prayer from LL Cool J while Jennifer Hudson performed a rendition of the classic song “I Will Always Love You” in a tribute to the late singer Whitney Houston. Jennifer‘s performance followed an ‘In Memoriam’ segment that honored such talents as Amy Winehouse, Clarence Clemons, and Steve Jobs.
The rest of the night belonged to Adele, who swept every category she was nominated in. The British vocalist grabbed six statuettes, including Album of the Year, for “21.” She has matched Beyonce for most Grammy wins in a night by a female act. Diana Ross, who was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement statuette presented Adele with the “Album of the Year” award. Adele had vocal cord surgery in 2011 and the singer’s first performance since her surgery was proved that she very well deserved the Grammy’s!
Moving on to the performances well some of them were fantastic , most of them were mediocre and a few were unbearable.Then there was another category -whatever Nicki Minaj did! Adele, Rihana, Bruce Springsteen , Glen Campbell definitely stole the show whereas Coldplay took us all into ‘para para paradise’ with their mesmerizing performance ( this line is subject to my bias as I completely loved what these singers did, so any disagreements are most welcome).
Album of the Year: “21,” Adele
Record of the Year: “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele
Song of the Year: “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth
New Artist: Bon Iver
Pop Solo Performance: “Someone Like You,” Adele
Pop Performance by a Duo or Group: “Body and Soul,” Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse
Pop Vocal Album: “21,” Adele
Alternative Album: “Bon Iver,” Bon Iver
Rock Song: “Walk,” Foo Fighters
Rock Album: “Wasting Light,” Foo Fighters
Rock Performance: “Walk,” Foo Fighters
Hard Rock/Metal Performance: “White Limo,” Foo Fighters
R&B Album: “F.A.M.E.,” Chris Brown
R&B Song: “Fool For You,” Cee Lo Green, Melanie Hallim & Jack Splash
R&B Performance: “Is This Love,” Corrine Bailey Rae
Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: “Fool For You,” Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona
Rap Album: “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” Kanye West
Rap Performance: “Otis,” Jay-Z and Kanye West
Rap Song: “All of the Lights,” Jeff Bhasker, Stacy Ferguson, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West
Rap/Sung Collaboration: “All of the Lights,” Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie
Dance Recording: “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” Skrillex
Dance/Electronica Album: “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” Skrillex
Musical Theater Album: “The Book of Mormon,” Robert Lopez, Trey Parker & Matt Stone
World Music Album: “Tassili,” Tinariwen
Latin Pop Rock, Rock or Urban Album: “Drama y Luz,” Mana
Tropical Latin Album: “Last Mambo,” Cachao
Banda or Norteno Album: “Los Tigres Del Norte and Friends,” Los Tigres Del Norte
Regional Mexican or Tejano Album: “Bicentenario,” Pepe Aguilar
Country Solo Performance: “Mean,” Taylor Swift
Country Album: “Own the Night,” Lady Antebellum
Country Performance by a Duo or Group: “Barton Hollow,” The Civil Wars
Country Song: “Mean,” Taylor Swift
Jazz Vocal Album: “The Mosaic Project,” Terri Lyne Carrington & various artists
Jazz Instrumental Album: “Forever,” Corea, Clark & White
Improvised Jazz Solo: “500 Miles High,” Chick Corea
Large Ensemble Jazz Album: “The Good Feeling,” Christian McBride Big Band
Blues Album: “Revelator,” Tedeschi Trucks Band
Folk Album: “Barton Hollow,” The Civil Wars
Pop Instrumental Album: “The Road From Memphis,” Booker T. Jones
Bluegrass Album: “Paper Airplane,” Alison Krauss & Union Station
Americana Album: “Ramble at the Ryman,” Levon Helm
Reggae Album: “Revelation Pt. 1: The Root of Life,” Stephen Marley
New Age Album: “What’s It All About,” Pat Metheny
Children’s Album: “All About Bullies… Big and Small,” various artists
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Paul Epworth
Remixed Recording, Non-Classical: “Cinema (Skrillex remix),” Sonny Moore
Gospel Song: “Hello Fear,” Kirk Franklin
Gospel/Contemporary Christian Performance: “Jesus,” L’Andria Johnson
Gospel Album: “Hello Fear,” Kirk Franklin
Choral Performance: “Light & Gold,” Eric Whitacre
Classical Contemporary Composition: “Elmer Gantry,” Robert Aldridge & Herschel Garfein
Producer of the Year, Classical: Judith Sherman
Orchestral Performance: “Brahms: Symphony No. 4,” Gustavo Dudamel
Opera Recording: “Adams: Doctor Atomic,” Alan Gilbert, conductor
Spoken Word Album: “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t),” Betty White
Comedy Album: “Hilarious,” Louis C.K.
Compilation Soundtrack Album For Visual Media: “Boardwalk Empire,” various artists
Score Soundtrack Album For Visual Media: “The King’s Speech,” Alexandre Desplat
Song Written For Visual Media: “I See the Light,” Alan Menken & Glenn Slater
Historical Album: “Band on the Run (Paul McCartney Archive Collection – Deluxe Edition),” Paul McCartney
Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists: “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me),” Jorge Calandrelli
At the end of the day the Grammy’s ended on a happy and successful note. Though Houston’s absence has created an empty void in the music industry but the fact remains that one has to move on and this is what exactly happened at the Grammy’s this year. Everybody bid Whitney farewell and moved with her fond memories and a lot to learn from her as her’s was a life worth emulating.
As Whitney used to sing :
“Bittersweet memories – that is all I’m taking with me.
So, goodbye. Please, don’t cry … I will always love you.”