They tried to make her go to the Grammys and she said, well, something kinda unintelligible. Amy Winehouse’s via-satellite performance—what was it, like 6 a.m. London time?—was one of the highlights of this year’s Grammy telecast. Apparently Cuba Gooding Jr. was the only “celebrity” willing to get up that early (or stay up that late) just to introduce her. It could have been a train wreck (“It’s an honor to be here,” she concluded in street-urchin voice, though it’s unclear where she thought she was), but instead Wino was vampy and coy and sounded great, especially during “Rehab.” It’s just too bad she didn’t perform the song from the undisclosed rehabilitation facility where she spent her pre-Grammy days. Here’s five things we learned last night:
1. Kanye West will never win Album of the Year as long as he continues to be a twat. The performance with Daft Punk was hot, but if you were really concerned about having enough time to dedicate your Best Rap Album award to your late Moms, you probably should have skipped the whole “I deserve Album of the Year” bullshit. At least Herbie Hancock’s black, right? And “good taste”? Let’s not talk about that jacket, ’Ye.
2. The Time needs to produce Rihanna’s next album, which, if Jay-Z has anything to say about it, will probably be out by next week.
3. Jazz pianist prodigy Eldar, who was just 12 when he first performed at the Grammys in 2000, provided the soothing sounds during Recording Academy prez Neil Portnow’s speech about songwriters’ rights. Apparently the Academy’s commitment to helping young people achieve their music dreams extends to Middle-earth!
4. If Sean Young were there during Andrea Bocelli’s performance with Josh Groban, she probably would have yelled out, “Open your eyes already!” Sadly, Young said, “Yes, yes, yes!” to rehab and wasn’t available for heckling. In tribute to his duet partner, Josh kept his eyes closed during his first verse.
5. The Academy loves to drag out the cadavers on Grammy night. It was extra special this time, though, since it was the 50th anniversary of the award show. Most horrifying: Jerry Lee Lewis, who looked like he was being propped up like a marionette and might use his own feces to scrawl something dirty on his piano like Philip Bosco in The Savages, and Little Richard, who’s been wearing the same Halloween costume since the Grammys started giving out trophies half a century ago. Go Herbie!
This blog entry was originally published on Slant Magazine on the date above.