Demi Lovato Celebrates Music Legend Lionel Richie
As I watched the Grammy’s Monday night, the show was filled with incredible performances by Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift while also paying tribute to those artists that had passed away in 2016. The Eagles performed and remembered Glenn Frey, while Lady Gaga channeled her inner David Bowie. With great hype and excitement for Gaga’s performance, she honored David Bowie in the best way. With her makeup, hair, and outfits, she captured the wonderful music and talent that David Bowie contributed to the music industry for so many years. Chris Stapleton joined the stage with Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark Jr to honor BB King. The Monday night Grammy’s also honored the living music legend Lionel Richie.
Lionel Richie was a member of the Commodores in the 1970s and eventually released his solo album in the 1980s. This tribute incorporated many artists to honor Lionel Richie’s hard work and contribution to the music industry as well as his charitable work. As I was aware Lionel Richie had been honored as the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year a couple nights before the Grammy’s, I was surprised at the choice of artists to perform at the Grammy’s. As the MusiCares event included big name stares such as Rihanna, Stevie Wonder and Florence and the Machine, the Grammy performance did not live up to the pre-Grammy event. The combination of artists, which included John Legend, Demi Lovato, Luke Bryant, Meghan Trainor, Tyrese and ultimately Lionel Richie, made for an interesting and memorable Grammy performance.
John Legend opened the tribute. While playing the piano and singing “Easy” beautifully, he set the mood for what the rest of the tribute should have sounded like on the Grammy stage. Demi Lovato entered the stage and next and ultimately stole the show. In her black pants, and white blazer, Demi impressed the audience, viewers, and Lionel Richie himself. With the camera shots on him, it was great to see his expressions and admiration for those that were honoring his accomplishments. Demi Lovato sang Lionel Richie’s “Hello” and reminded everyone that she has an amazing and powerful voice. However, Demi Lovato’s performance was only about two minutes into the tribute, and lasted about a minute. The problem here was the tribute went quickly downhill.
As the camera shots on Lionel Richie continued, it was clear he had an earpiece in his ear. Clear to the viewers at home, he was going to join his own tribute, but this would not happen until the very end. Before Lionel Richie jumped on stage to join the interesting mix of artists, Luke Bryan hoped to impress the viewers. While I have to state that I am a huge Luke Bryan fan and have attended numerous concerts, his rendition of “Penny Lover” appeared somewhat unnatural. As he tried to hit different notes, he appeared awkward on stage. And to add the declining tribute, Meghan Trainor followed his performance. While I understand Meghan Trainor won Best New Artist (which in my opinion should have gone to Sam Hunt), her performance on stage was not from a Grammy winning artist. In her black sparkly dress, she sang a mediocre version of Lionel Richie’s “You Are.” While she moved around, and Luke Bryan awkwardly danced in the back, Meghan Trainor introduced Tyrese. Him singing next added confusion to the already interesting mix. As Tyrese entered the stage, it even appeared that Luke Bryan was unsure if he was supposed to stay on stage throughout the tribute. However after rewatching the tribute, I wonder if maybe the camera angle just cut off where Luke Bryan was headed. Tyrese sang the Commodores’ hit, “Brick House”. While his energy and enthusiasm filled the stage, it was clear how awkward the selection for honoring Lionel Richie had become. These five singers never belonged on stage together. While I appreciate the Grammy’s mixing older and newer artists together, it is apparent it did not work for this tribute.
Perhaps maybe John Legend, Demi Lovato and Lionel Richie should have sung these songs together themselves, and Lionel Richie should have entered the stage earlier. As Lionel Richie ended the performance by singing “All Night Long,” the crowed and singers behind him began to sway and dance to appreciate this music legend. Honoring Lionel Richie was a great aspect to the Grammy celebration, but honoring him with five unrelated artists made the tribute hard to watch. Even though I am not a fan of Meghan Trainor, and do not particularly know much about Tyrese, the Grammy performance lacked what the Grammy’s needed. With Taylor Swift opening the show, and major artists performing throughout the night, the only artist who showcased her talent was Demi Lovato. And not for nothing, she was the talk of the night.