What's it like being at the preshow? Surprisingly low-key.
The kick off for music's biggest night on Sunday was mellow. Only a fraction of attendees trickled into the Microsoft Theater to see who won the 70-plus awards handed out ahead of the main telecast at Staples Center.
The merch booth and bathrooms had no line, there was no drama getting in and the bar was already closed. And because it was open seating, folks roamed freely between the audience and the lobby.
The song is called "The Empty Chair," but Sting didn't even use one of those.
For a rendition of his and composer J. Ralph's tender folk ballad from "Jim: The James Foley Story" — about the journalist murdered in 2014 by members of Islamic State — Sting opted for a stripped-down approach at the Oscars, standing simply as he sang and played guitar.
The performance ended with a quote from Foley illuminated on a large screen behind Sting: "If I don't have the moral courage to challenge authority ... we don't have journalism."
He said he was here just to help out — and he was right.
On the red carpet before the Oscars, "Moana" composer Lin-Manuel Miranda told The Times that his role in a rendition of the movie's "How Far I'll Go" was merely a supporting one.
"My performance is entirely created to support Auli'i Cravalho, who is 16 years old and one of the most incredible young performers I've ever seen," the actor and songwriter said. "So really it's an alley-oop."
Justin Timberlake opened Sunday's Academy Awards with a typically spirited performance of "Can't Stop the Feeling," his Oscar-nominated song from the animated movie "Trolls."
But just in case anyone thought the former teen-pop star didn't belong among the grown-ups at the Dolby Theatre, Timberlake fleshed out the song with a bit of "Lovely Day" by the veteran soul great Bill Withers. (Worth nothing: The tunes' bass lines are crazy similar.)
"I know you know this, Denzel," Timberlake said as he pointed to Denzel Washington in the audience — I guess because the "Fences" actor and Withers are both black men?
Acclaimed guitarist Carlos Santana is retreating on his remarks about Beyoncé after aggressively poking the overly agitated Beyhive.
The rock icon was regaling singer Adele Adkins with more adulation following her record-breaking wins at the 59th Grammy Awards on Sunday, including her victory over Beyoncé's "Lemonade" for album of the year.
"I think that Adele won because she can sing sing .... With all respect to our sister Beyoncé, Beyoncé is very beautiful to look at and it's more like modeling kind of music -- music to model a dress -- she's not a 'singer' singer, with all respect to her," Santana, 69, told the Australian Associated Press ahead of his band's New Zealand and Australia tour dates.
Chance the Rapper, newly crowned best new artist at the Grammys, along with two other wins, was a gracious host at GQ magazine's Grammy party at the Chateau Marmont hotel in West Hollywood on Sunday night.
The “No Problem” rapper had complimentary baseball caps, ice cream and pizza at the ready at the epic bash (hosted in partnership with YouTube), good-naturedly posed for photos with fans and even hugged fans on their way out at the end of the night. Just par for the course for an artist who has consistently defied convention, building a career on positivity and artistic integrity in an industry that seldom rewards it.
By 10:30 p.m., the space looked to be at full capacity, just 30 minutes after the party officially kicked off. Chance was among the stars who turned up early, jubilantly dancing onstage, making his rounds and greeting guests who ranged from Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle to up-and-coming rapper Lil Yachty.
The 59th Grammy Awards had no shortage of major moments: Beyoncé’s breathtaking performance and surprising loss in all major categories, Adele’s flub, a Prince tribute from the Time and Bruno Mars that electrified the audience and then, of course, a victory lap from Chance the Rapper, winner for new artist.
But there was lots of action the cameras didn’t catch.
Beyoncé and Adele went head-to-head four times at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. Both were nominated for album of the year, song of the year, record of the year, and best pop solo performance. In every category, Adele was awarded the Grammy. Every time, Beyoncé, the peerless pop music icon of our time, was told she was second-best.
This should be a shock. While Adele’s singular voice, talent and devotion to her craft are undeniable, Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” was as complete an artistic statement as we have seen in our fractured pop moment — a one-of-a-kind visual album composed of genre-crossing track after track, conceived and produced on a scale unrivaled by any artist, living or dead. It was also a pitch-perfect rallying cry for black women to get in formation, their allies behind them, and forge a way forward despite the human imperfections of the men in their lives.
It happened the year before that, too, when Beyoncé lost the Grammy for album of the year to Beck.
Like many people of color unsurprised by the election of Donald Trump, Beyoncé knows the ceiling is centuries thick.
As you’ve surely heard by now, the young British singer went dramatically off-script at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, halting her shaky performance of the late George Michael’s “Fastlove” (presumably because she couldn’t hear her accompaniment) and asking to start the tribute again.
But although the moment was shocking — at least by the tightly managed standards of televised awards shows — it wasn’t exactly a surprise: After all, Adele experienced a similar mishap at the 2016 Grammys, at which she delivered a deeply pitchy rendition of her song “All I Ask” that seemed to disrupt the idea of Adele’s vocal prowess.
After channeling a golden goddess on stage at the 2017 Grammy Awards, Beyoncé reappeared in red.
The songstress was wearing a number from designer Peter Dundas, who left Roberto Cavalli last year. In fact, Dundas was all over Beyoncé at the Grammy Awards this year, because the creator crafted not only this fiery look but her stage costumes as well.
Revealing the sketches for his "muse queen Bey" on Instagram, Dundas also announced the launch of the Peter Dundas Eponymous collection.
During her Grammy performance of "Chained to the Rhythm" with Skip Marley, Katy Perry had about as much political subtlety as a car with more bumper stickers than bumper.
There was the white pantsuit, supporting Hillary Clinton. There was the lapel pin, supporting Planned Parenthood. There was the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, seemingly supporting the entire set as it was projected on the backdrop at the end of the song.
And there was the shiny white armband emblazoned with pink sequins that spelled out "Persist" -- an apparent invocation of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's televised clash last week in the Senate, when she was shut down while reading criticisms of attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions' civil rights record, before he was confirmed.