The 60th Annual Grammys aired last night, bringing with it many must-see performances. With only a handful of awards that get divvied out during the televised show, which Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars won big, much of the drama at the award show had to do with the live performances.
While Cardi B and Rihanna led the night with the most meme-able moments, they also put on some great stage highlights alongside more than a dozen artists who took the Madison Square Garden stage Sunday night.
Among some of the show’s more serious moments, Kesha sang an emotional rendition of “Prayers” shedding light on the Time’s Up movement and support to women in the music industry. Country artists Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris and Eric Church dedicated an emotional performance of Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” to the victims of mass tragedies at recent concerts in Las Vegas and Manchester, England. Logic, Cara and Khalid performed “1-800-273-8255” to bring awareness to suicide prevention.
As you can see, the 2018 Grammys was filled with great performances. Take a look at our favorites below.
Kendrick Lamar “Kings Dead”
After winning three awards early on, emotions were running high during Kendrick Lamar’s powerful opening Grammy performance. Accompanied by a group of all black male dancers, a female drummer, and surprise appearances from Dave Chappelle and U2, Lamar stole the show playing live versions of his songs “XXX” and “King’s Dead.”
Bruno Mars “Finesse”
Paying homage to the iconic 90’s TV show In Living Color, Bruno Mars gives us a blast from the past during his “Finesse” Grammy performance. The pair of Mars and Cardi B remained faithful to the video’s aesthetic rocking vibrant throwback fits, including OFF-White’s “The Ten” collection, while putting on an entertaining dance number. Also, Cardi B just being Cardi B is enough to lift the spirits of anyone. Watch above.
Kesha & Camila Cabello “Prayer”
Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper and more stood by Kesha’s side as she delivered an emotional, star-studded delivery of “Prayer” last night. Janelle Monae introduced the performance with a nod to the Time’s Up movement that launched around the Golden Globes. After Monae’s rousing speech, Kesha, Cabello, Day, Michaels, Rexha and Lauper dressed all in white performed the moving hit.
Childish Gambino “Terrified”
Childish Gambino, who won his first-ever Grammy last night, surprised the audience performing deep album cut “Terrified” over his award winning “Redbone.” Gambino was joined by child actor JD McCrary, who features on the original record and will star alongside Glover in the upcoming Lion King reboot. In typical Childish fashion, the rapper delivers a 1970s funk-inspired performance that will even have your parents dancing and grooving.
SZA “Broken Clocks”
Even though she didn’t take home any Grammys last night after being nominated in five categories, SZA swept the crowd away with her spell-binding rendition of “Broken Clocks”. With a mind-bending backdrop giving off Matrix vibes showcasing a slew of random numbers flashing simultaneously, the TDE queen floated through her CTRL standout cut effortlessly.
DJ Khaled, Rihanna, & Bryson Tiller “Wild Thoughts”
DJ Khaled made his Grammy stage debut last night with his Santana-sampling hit “Wild Thoughts,” featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. In typical Khaled fashion he screamed, “They said I would never perform at the Grammys!They played themselves!” throughout the performances as Rihanna went to work, work, work with with a few saucy dance moves that give a nod to Harlem Renaissance. Tiller showed up for a hot second, too.
John Batiste and Gary Clark Jr. Chuck Berry Tribute
John Batiste and Gary Clark Jr. did a fine job paying homage to late rock pioneers Chuck Berry and Fats Domino. The blues-rock artist and Late Show bandleader formed a trio with drummer Joe Saylor, Batiste’s Stay Human bandmate, honoring “two of the fathers of rock and roll that we lost last year.”
As images of the late rocker flashed behind the group, the pianist performed a flashy jazz piano solo and an impassioned version of Domino’s 1955 hit “Ain’t That a Shame.” Clark Jr. led the band on a fervent version of Berry’s 1955 classic “Maybelline,” including a guitar solo full of wild bent notes. Well done, gentlemen.
For more on the 2018 Grammys, check out the best and most “WTF” outfits.
- Main / Featured Images: Theo Wargo / Getty Images