I just returned from Staples Center here in Los Angeles where artists, fans and the music industry at large celebrated the 61st GRAMMY Awards. The annual event hosted by The Recording Academy and CBS truly is Music's Biggest Night. For over 6 decades now, The GRAMMY Awards celebrates the finest in music for a mainstream audience. Tonight's show was particularly special with its emphasis on diversity - in representation and musical performances. Once again, the show's producers came up with some fitting and gutsy pairings that will be memorable beyond tonight.
Tonight also has a special meaning to me. It's the tenth year that I'm attending the GRAMMYs. For the first few years, I covered the GRAMMYS backstage for The Recording Academy while blogging and live-tweeting the proceedings. I will never forget when I received the call from The Recording Academy with an invite to take part in covering the show for them. It was an incredible experience to have so much access and get a peek behind the scenes. I covered the GRAMMY telecast, the pre-telecast (where a lot of the awards are being handed out) and I spent time in the press room during the show to ask nominees, presenters and winners questions along with many mainstream outlets. It was an incredible learning experience and I will forever be grateful to the social media team at The Recording Academy for their trust and the opportunity. I freelanced for them for 5 years covering the GRAMMYs thru 2014.
There are so many great moments I can remember from the last decade. Lady Gaga's performance with Elton John opening the 2010 telecast definitely stands out. Another pairing to remember was the teaming of Madonna with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in 2014. I also loved Bruno Mars' performance of "Nothin' On You" and "Grenade" alongside Janelle Monáe and B.o.B. in 2011. A personal highlight for me was a video series I made for The GRAMMYs in 2015 with artists like Ed Sheeran and Robyn. What I treasure most about a decade of GRAMMYs is spending time in the press room and having the opportunity to be around the artists that just had won. To share the excitement and career-defining achievement with them is such a humbling and gratifying experience.