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Hours after Nipsey Hussle was posthumously awarded with his first Grammy, the awards ceremony honored him with a heartfelt performance by an all-star roster of John Legend, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Roddy Rich, Kirk Franklin and YG.
Meek Mill began the performance with an emotive, unreleased verse that served as a letter to Nipsey, with Roddy Ricch singing a chorus. [Update: The song, "Letter To Nipsey," was released to streaming services later that night.] That led into a rousing performance of "Higher," the song that appeared on DJ Khaled's album Father of Asahd. John Legend played the piano and sang the chorus while backed by a choir, which was directed by an energetic, adlibbing Kirk Franklin, as a video of Nipsey rapping played on a big screen. YG joined the stage in a red suit, speaking to the gang unity between Crips and Bloods that Nipsey endorsed with his music and his life. The performance ended with an image of Los Angeles legends Nipsey Hussle and and the recently deceased Kobe Bryant, with Khaled paying tribute to them both.
Nipsey Hussle's debut studio album, Victory Lap (2018) came after an epic mixtape earned him a nomination for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. He died on March 31, 2019, after being gunned down on in the parking lot of his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles. The music and business worlds reeled from his loss, with his rap career on the upswing and his work as a businessman and community leader inspiring many.
Before Sunday's (Jan. 26) ceremony, Nipsey Hussle was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance for "Racks In The Middle," the last single that he released in his lifetime. The song features a guest appearance by Roddy Ricch, and is produced by Hit-Boy.
Alicia Keys And Boyz II Men Honor Kobe Bryant, Sing "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" At Grammys 2020
Just hours after the world was hit with the news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter's untimely death, the Recording Academy decided to add a tribute to the award show's program. As the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards started in Los Angeles' Staples Center, the night's host, Alicia Keys, made her way to the stage and addressed the audience and viewers.
"Here we are, together on music’s biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best," she began her opening statement. "But to be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now. Because earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built."
After the audience erupted in applause, Keys continued: "Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirit. They're in our hearts, they're in our prayers, they're in this building, and I would like to ask everybody to take a moment and just hold them inside of you. Hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families.
"We never imagined in a million years we'd have to start the show like this. Never, never, never, never, never, never. So we wanted to do something that could describe a tiny bit [of] how we feel right now."
Keys began singing a short a capella rendition of "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" with Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men. Watch their performance below.
With the accomplished rock band Aerosmith earning kudos from The Recording Academy this month at the MusiCares Person of the Year Gala, it's only right that they called on Run-DMC to perform one of the biggest songs of both their respective careers.
After an introduction by Common, Aerosmith began their performance with “Living On The Edge.” Afterward, Run-DMC kicked through a stage wall, and both groups teamed up to perform "Walk This Way," their 1986 hit that helped push rap into the mainstream and peaked at no. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jam Master Jay's son manned the turntables in the absence of his late father.
Watch the performance below.