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Report from The GRAMMY Awards: Celebrating The Biggest Night In Music

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My head is still buzzing from last night's 53rd GRAMMY Awards, an 8-hour long musical tour de force with fantastic winners, great music and some very memorable performances. I was GRAMMY's roving social media reporter covering dance and pop, tweeting from the pre-tel ceremony and backstage at the Staples Center for the big televised show.

This was my third year covering the awards for NARAS, and believe me, this never gets old. It is a magical night that celebrates some of the best and greatest in music. To be so intimately involved is a music fan's dream come true.

During the pre-telecast ceremony on Sunday afternoon most of GRAMMY's 108 categories were featured, including Dance, Pop and Electronica. The award for Best Dance Recording went to Rihanna's "Only Girl (In The World)," a stomping dancefloor groove written and produced by Stargate & Sandy Vee. A well-deserved win in a category that was chockful of talent, including ArjanWrites.com fave Robyn.

After receiving a double platinum plaque for selling 2 million copies of "In for The Kill" on Friday, La Roux took home the GRAMMY for Best Electronic Album - an enormous achievement for the British duo who were able to take crisp, Euro-styled electro-pop to the top of the mainstream U.S. charts.

Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga took home the GRAMMY for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance respectively, which is not much of a surprise given their massive success this past year.

After the Pre-Tel Ceremony, I walked over to Staples Center to get ready for the big show.

Performance highlights for me included the moving tribute to Aretha Franklin (Go Florence!), Mick Jagger's mighty moves (boy, he still has his mojo) and Janelle Monae's performance debut at the GRAMMY Awards. I remember seeing Janelle three years ago performing for a handful of people at Emory University and I knew that a star was born. Seeing is believing, and last night Monae made many, many new fans. (I saw her briefly at rehearsals on Friday and gave her a big hug. She was so excited to perform.)

I thoroughly enjoyed Eminem's performance with a fiery Rihanna, wide-shouldered Dr Dre (yes!) and Skylar Grey (remember that name, she co-wrote "Love The Way You Lie"). Em always brings so much intensity to his performance that is exhilarating to watch. Seeing him together with mentor Dr Dre was a special musical moment. But for me the highlight was Skylar Grey's performance of "I Need A Doctor" during that set. Wow. Incredibly impressive. This gig may have been a watershed moment for the Wisconsin singer.

Loved the special rendition of Cee Lo's "Forget You" with Gwyneth Palthrow and the Muppets. Cee Lo doesn't take himself too seriously and was just having a ball with it. Very refreshing.

I was surprised by some of the winners. Quite frankly, I thought the race was between Eminem, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars, but in the end it was Lady Antebellum who took most GRAMMYs - five in total. Indie hipsters everywhere rejoiced when Arcade Fire grabbed the coveted Album of the Year GRAMMY. I saw them backstage and they were just as surprised as many fans and viewers. Nothing but happy for them.

Overall, I was happy to see the GRAMMY voters chose to award different genres in some of the top categories, spreading out the winners across the board. And while we celebrated the 53rd GRAMMYs last night, the race for the 54th GRAMMYs is already on. Many of the songs up in the charts now, may be nominated for next year's GRAMMYs. Can't wait to join the GRAMMY team again to cover all of the muscial goodness all over again (Thank you HP for keeping me connected flawlessly during the event.)

February 14, 2011 in GRAMMY Awards 2011 | Permalink