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Grammys 2019: The Performances


Monty Brinton/CBSThe 61st Annual Grammy Awards, held Sunday night in Los Angeles, were a far cry from last year’s telecast, which was criticized for a lack of female performers.  It was all about the women Sunday night — with a few men thrown in here and there.  Here’s who performed what:

The show kicked off with an elaborate production number starring Camila Cabello, who sang her #1 hit “Havana” on a set that looked like an apartment building, which she later tweeted was inspired by the real-life building her grandmother lived in growing up in Havana, Cuba.  Camila, the first Latina to open the Grammys, was joined for the block-party-inspired number by Ricky Martin, J Balvin, Young Thug and Latin music legend Arturo Sandoval.

Shawn Mendes and Miley Cyrus performed a crowd-pleasing duet of his nominated song, “In My Blood”

One of the night’s big winners, Kacey Musgraves, performed “Rainbow” from her Album of the Year-winning disc, Golden Hour.

Janelle Monáe performed a sexy, show-stopping version of her song “Make Me Feel,” which featured bits of her songs “Django Jane” and “Pynk” dropped in.  Surrounded by female dancers and wearing a black-and-white shiny leotard, Janelle channeled Prince and James Brown as she played guitar, sang, danced and even dropped to the floor for some suggestive hip thrusting.

Post Malone performed an acoustic version of his song “Stay” before moving to a bit of his nominated hit, “Rock Star.” He then joined Red Hot Chili Peppers on guitar and vocals for a rocking version of their 2016 song, “Dark Necessities.”

Anna Kendrick introduced a Dolly Parton tribute, which featured the country legend singing “Here You Come Again” with Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves, “Jolene” with Miley Cyrus, a lovely version of Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” with Maren Morris and Miley, and a new song, “Red Shoes,” with Little Big Town.  Then everyone joined in on a version of her classic hit “9 to 5.”

Best R&B Album winner H.E.R. gave a soulful performance of her track “Hard Place” while playing a see-through guitar; she was later joined by a chorus of singers.

Cardi B gave a Jazz Age-inspired performance of “Money,” which featured her lolling on a diamond piano and, at one point, wearing a huge peacock-looking feather tail accessory.

Alicia Keys, the show’s host, played a Scott Joplin song on two pianos at once before performing a medley of songs that included Roberta Flack‘s “Killing Me Softly,” Juice WRLD‘s “Lucid Dreams,” Nat King Cole‘s “Unforgettable,” Kings of Leon‘s “Use Somebody,” Drake‘s “In My Feelings,” Ella Mai‘s “Boo’d Up,” Lauryn Hill‘s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and, finally, her own “Empire State of Mind.”

Country duo Dan + Shay did a stripped-down version of their Grammy-winning crossover hit, “Tequila.”

Introduced by her nine-year-old grandson, Motown legend Diana Ross wished herself a happy 75th birthday — which is actually next month — by performing “The Best Years of My Life” and “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).”

Lady Gaga performed a raucous, super-dramatic solo version of her Grammy-winning hit “Shallow.”  It was, we think, an attempt to show exactly why she and Ally, the singer/songwriter character she plays in A Star Is Born, are two very different artists.

Travis Scott, joined by Earth, Wind & Fire members as well as collaborators Mike Dean and James Blake, performed “Stop Trying to Be God,” and then moved to a huge steel cage, where he performed “No Bystanders” while a crowd of young people climbed all over the cage, formed a mosh pit, and then held the rapper up as he crowd-surfed.

A Motown tribute featured some participation from Ne-Yo, Smokey Robinson and Alicia Keys, but it was dominated by Jennifer Lopez, who danced and sang a medley of the legendary record label’s hits, including “Please Mr. Postman,” “Dancing in the Street,” “Do You Love Me,” “Money, “ABC,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and “Square Biz.”

Brandi Carlile, who won three Grammys, performed a touching version of her anti-bullying song “The Joke,” impressing the crowd by nailing the song’s extremely high notes.

As a tribute to Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient Donny Hathaway, Chloe X Halle sang “Where Is the Love,” a 1972 hit by the late singer and Roberta Flack.

St. Vincent and Dua Lipa sang a titillating mash-up of their respective hits “Masseducation” and “One Kiss.”

Andra Day, Fantasia and Yolanda Adams paid tribute to the late Aretha Franklin by singing “You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman).”

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