Last night’s 58th Grammy Award show was a spectacular cornucopia of talent, imagery, and tons surprises. The list of tributes to honorary musicians (both alive and deceased) captivated audiences with an array of award-winning tunes that still stands the test of time. Lionel Richie’s tribute showcased a bevy of contemporary musicians belting out hits such as “Hello” by the multitalented Demi Lovato and R&B singer Tyrese doing his best funk interpretation of The Commodores’ smash hit “Brick House.” Lady Gaga’s ode to David Bowie in full Glam Rock was outstanding; but the one tribute that blew all others out of the water was the ode to the king of blues himself, Mr. BB King. Bonnie Raitt’s rendition of “The Thrill Is Gone” sent chills down our spine.
Moments that stole the show were Kendrick Lamar’s powerful performance and highly politicized stance on #BlackLivesMatter. The imagery emblazoned in the background also served as a huge dig at Hollywood’s Oscar snub of this past summer’s blockbuster hit “Straight Outta Compton.” The simplicity of it all spoke volumes.
And speaking of volumes, last night was a triumphant night not only for all Latinos but also for the community of Washington Heights (Northern Manhattan for those who are unfamiliar). Lin-Manuel Miranda is a long time uptown resident whose first play “In The Heights” was inspired by this same neighborhood and went on to win four Tony awards the same year of its release. And now he can proudly add Grammy-award winner to that list of accolades. Lin-Manuel’s play “Hamilton” (both written and starred by Mr. Miranda) won last night in the category of Best Musical Theatre album – and what better way to celebrate President’s Day than by honoring one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.. The televised win had a thunderous reaction in all of Washington Heights and Inwood (an extension of Northern Manhattan) for it felt as if we had all won last night. All of us who’ve had the same aspirations felt a unanimous euphoria that we uptown residents will not soon forget. With primetime networks constantly shelving our projects and non-enthused investments in anything that is Latino oriented, last night was momentous in highlighting our talent and capacity. Before the Grammy win, there was a live feed from the Richard Rodgers Theatre debuting the first 5 to 10 minutes of the play, shortly followed by the lyrical rap stylings of Mr. Miranda as he accepts his well-deserved award. Take a gander at the acceptance speech below, and peep an overzealous cast unapologetically showcasing their Puerto Rican pride with their “Bonita Bandera…la bandera puertorioquena!“ PBS has also confirmed a documentary in the works showcasing the making of “Hamilton” – its inspiration, development, and now, its successes. Pa’lante mi gente, pa’lante! Loyal readers, what are your thoughts of last night’s performances and wins? Sound off in the comment section below. Also, stay tuned to Snkrbst.com for all the latest and greatest. #ThinkLikeUs
By Roz Baron
Editor-in-Chef of Snkrbst.com