5 Reasons the Grammy's Got it Right

February 7, 2024

To be clear, I don’t like watching awards shows. They often feel like a fabulous party I wasn’t invited to. I enjoy the boundary-pushing outfits though, and am especially entertained by the awkward conversations on the red carpet. Usually I click away after the opening monologue. There’s biblical rain in LA this week and I was buried under a blanket on my couch, so on Sunday night I let it roll. And I’m so glad for that! I’ve never been in the music business and I feel like I experienced the best of it on this show. Here’s what the Grammy’s did right in ascending order:

5. Host Trevor Noah was game. Sure he had some corny jokes, but he won me over by staying upbeat in the face of Ziggy Marley’s one word answers in response to questions about the upcoming biopic about his father.That was rough. And the handheld look of the camera following him helped you feel more like you were a part of it.

4. The fashion. I want whatever dress Dua Lipa was wearing and the S&M thong she had peeking out. These people looked like they dressed themselves without being filtered through a stylist. Yes, Miley! Wear a see through dress and hair like you were caught in a wind tunnel!

3. The diversity. Not a concept, but an actual array of people from around the world.  From the much deserved reverence for Tracy Chapman by the couldn’t-be-whiter Luke Combs, to Stevie Wonder paying tribute to Tony Bennett, to Ms. Cyrus channeling Tina Turner to whatever it was that Travis Scott was doing slamming folded chairs, the evening reflected a genuine appreciation for artists who make all kinds of music appealing to all kinds of people.

2. Recognizing those who passed. The Grammy producers do not take dying lightly. There were three – by the third I found myself counting – In Memoriam songs honoring artists, managers, music execs and more artists. Including a very stirring tribute to Sinead O’Connor.


1. THE RESPECT FOR ELDERS! This community does not throw their oldsters to the curb.  The tribute to Tony Bennett, a fierce one to Tina Turner. And then Joni Mitchell herself, at 80, finally making it to the Grammy stage. The meaning and resonance of looking at life “from both sides now,” as an octogenarian is so much deeper than when it was first released in 1968. There was equal parts gravitas, triumph and joy in that performance I won’t soon forget.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Jay Z’s critique of the Recording Academy - and his chivalry where his wife is concerned. For sure it’s an imperfect organization. However, the show itself packed a solid entertainment punch.

I always talk about laughter being the great connector of humanity – and it is. Music travels in this same lane, but as this year's Grammy's showed, at its best it moves us body and soul across generations and cultures reflecting the whole human experience. As the kids say, facts!