For better or worse, the 58th annual Grammy Awards was the talk of the town on Monday night (Feb. 15). The award show, often heralded as the biggest night in music, paid much deserved homage to some of music’s most groundbreaking artists, if only for a brief moment.
Lionel Richie received a star-studded tribute led by John Legend. Fallen icons like B.B. King, David Bowie and Maurice White of Earth, Wind, & Fire were eulogized on stage by top-tier musicians who loved and adored them. And Queen of Salsa, the late Celia Cruz, finally received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Among the plethora of unforgettable moments that occurred live at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, were scenes that moved us to our feet with sheer excitement and emotional sway. Check ’em out and let us know – did we miss any?
Ricky Martin celebrated his Grammy win on the red carpet
The red carpet was full of stars like Selena Gomez, Diplo and Demi Lovato. However, during the red carpet festivities, other artists like Ricky Martin, Ruban Blades and Pitbull celebrated with gusto their Grammy wins. The Recording Academy announced the first round of winners of the night of categories that do not get aired on the live telecast. Martin took home the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album for his recent body of work A Quien Quiera Escuchar. Meanwhile, Pitbull claimed his first Grammy after he tied with Natalia Lafourcade’s Hasta La Raiz in winning Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album for his 2015 album Dale.
ASAP Yams’ mother graced the red carpet alongside A$AP Rocky
Instead of rocking a fly model on his arm, A$AP Rocky decided to bring the late A$AP Yams’ mother Tatianna Paulino to the show. Pretty Boy Flako introduced Paulino to Shad Moss and the masses on the red carpet. She even got to partake in the artist interviews where said she exclaimed she was excited to see The Weeknd perform.
Lin-Manuel Miranda brought Hamilton to the Grammy stage
Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton brought their critically acclaimed show to the Grammy stage. During their live broadcast from the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City, Miranda led the cast in one of the show’s memorable numbers. Soon after their spectacular performance, Miranda and the cast accepted the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Seriously, how dope us that?! The Puerto Rican star of the Broadway show stunned audiences around the world by, again, rapping his acceptance speech. !Wepa!
Kendrick Lamar stole the show with his unapologetic imagery
Not only did Kendrick Lamar finally get the recognition he deserved this year, but he totally owned the Grammy stage with his iconic performance of songs off his Grammy award-winning album To Pimp A Butterfly. The Compton lyricist started off his performance in chains and donning an inmate uniform, and was later followed by a radiant African ensemble.
Tori Kelly crystalized her place in music with her Grammy debut
It’s been an amazing, breakthrough year for Tori Kelly. The songstress, who is of Jamaican and Puerto Rican descent, made her Grammy debut in the best way possible with a nomination for Best New Artist and a joint performance with fellow new artist James Bay. Both singers hit the stage for a mash-up of their respective singles “Hollow” and “Let It Go.” Judging by the roar of cheers from the audience, Kelly’s first Grammy appearance will not be her last.
Demi Lovato paid homage to Lionel Richie
Since stepping back into the limelight, Demi Lovato has proven herself worthy of superstardom, and now even in the eyes of Lionel Richie. The former Disney actress joined John Legend, Luke Bryan and Tyrese Gibson in a touching tribute to the OG “Hello” singer. As she poured her heart and soul into her performance, Richie gave Lovato his approval from his seat before joining her and the rest of the all-star group on stage to complete the tribute. She even made hubby Wilmer Valderrama cry!
Celia Cruz was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award
Queen of Salsa and Cuba’s cherished diva Celia Cruz was honored with the highly coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. Although the well-deserved recognition was short-lived (read: two seconds on the presentation screen), Cruz’s family had another reason to celebrate the life of the iconic musician, who previously claimed three Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammy Awards during her extensive career. Cruz joined the likes of Run DMC, Ruth Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, and Jefferson Airplane who were all honored with the award.
Miguel acknowledged the 35th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s first Grammy win
Miguel took the opportunity to recognize an important accolade in the late Michael Jackson’s legendary career. The “Waves” singer delivered his rendition of Jackson’s “She’s Out of My Life” along with Greg Phillinganes, who was the song’s original keyboardist. Not only did he acknowledge Jackson’s historical Grammy moment, Miguel also extended homage to Spike Lee for the upcoming release of his Off the Wall documentary, due out later this year.
Pitbull celebrated his first Grammy win with Sofia Vergara on stage
Random? Maybe. But Mr. Worldwide still solidified his grand moment in Grammy history with an unforgettable performance. The Miami representer closed out the grand event by performing his radio smash hit “El Taxi” and his new single “Bad Man” with the help of Travis Barker, Joe Perry and Robin Thicke. During his vibrant act, Pitbull spit his lyric in which he references Sofia Vergara, and brought the actress out on stage. Vergara shed her cardboard taxicab getup and revealed a sparkly gold outfit before busting out some hot moves.