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Going for Grammy Gold

Whether you’re a pop culture junkie or you don’t know Kim from Khloe or Khloe from Kim, the 2016 Grammy Awards were held last night, and between the spectacle of the broadcast and of course, the musical prowess of all who perfomed, it was an event designed with a little something for everybody.  There were certainly highlight performances across the board from Taylor Swift’s 'Out of the Woods' opener, which was the songstress’ first official performance of 2016, to the cast of the smash hit musical Hamilton’s performance, whose number united both the worlds of Broadway and the LA music scene in one charismatic and genius performance (to anyone who says they don’t see the merit or educational value in musical theatre, I challenge them to listen to the score of this new-age classic, penned by my personal idol, Lin-Manuel Miranda.) 

It was a night filled to the brim with empowering acceptance speeches, shade thrown by saucy losers, flat notes (yikes, but true), and sequins, sequins, and more sequins.  Whether you want to relive the magic or missed the boat entirely, below is your be smart recap of the 2016 Grammy Awards!       


Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift at the Grammys 2016

Daring Dresses + Personal Style

As with any event featuring the latest and greatest in the music industry, the Grammy’s red carpet saw an array of fashion forward looks — some chic and cutting edge and others down right tacky.  One thing is for sure,  personalities shine when it comes to the choice of garb for this night of nights.  Less stuck-up than the Academy Awards and yet more posh than the VMAs, last night’s Grammy’s red carpet saw a parade of personalities adorned in Versace (Taylor Swift’s 10 Things I Hate About You-esque ensemble…  I can’t lie, it was not my favorite, though I will say, the cut really showed off the 1989 singer’s killer figure), Calvin Klein (Selena Gomez’s stunning blue sequined gown which seems, to this writer at least, to be a take on Jessica Rabbit’s cartoon-look), and Givenchy (Adele’s classic black number… no matter what way you wear it, black is always in vogue, and the British beauty and 10 time Grammy award winner, looked lovely as ever in her glittering red carpet gown). 

One of my favorite looks of the night, which admittedly did not receive much love from fans and the Fashion Police alike, was that of country music sweetheart, Kacey Musgraves, who wore a conservative and youthful dress by Armani Prive.  Her dress was dyed beautiful shades of blue and purple, and she paired it with icy makeup.  This look, while perhaps considered safe as compared to her more out-there industry equals, was age appropriate, textured (meaning it moved really well on camera), and stood out amongst the monochrome masses.  From these dresses to the many crazy and fearless ensembles that graced the carpet, such as Joy Villa’s nearly naked look, Zendaya’s gender-bending classy take on a tuxedo, and Johnny Depp’s tried and true homeless-chic style, the Grammy’s 2016 red carpet had this wannabe fashionista craving more!


Gender was a non-issue simply because Gaga was the best performer for the task, and wow, how she delivered.


‘All About That Bass’

While the category itself is arguably fraught with controversy (none of the artists nominated are truly ‘new’ to the industry) last night saw a big win for pop princess Meghan Trainor, who took home her first Grammy as this year’s Best New Artist.  While many are quick to hate on Trainor’s bubbly anthems and cheesy lyrics (‘Dear Future Husband’ being one of the most catchy and arguably annoying of her hits), the ‘All About That Bass’ singer took to the stage to accept her honor in a humble and tearful fashion.  I appreciate any artist who makes positivity their brand and will always route for a lady whose songs make me feel powerful (I won’t apologize, I’m all about that bass).  With this newfound win under her belt, the stage has been set for many more uplifting anthems by Miss Trainor.

Gaga + Bowie – A Tribute Defying Gender

One of the most moving highlights of last night’s production by far, was that of Lady Gaga in her tribute to the late David Bowie.  Performing a medley of his greatest hits (including my personal favorites ‘Heros’ and ‘Ground Control To Major Tom’) Lady Gaga honored the rock god with a performance that will not be soon forgotten.  From her charisma, to her effortless vocals, to her outfit, the songstress’s performance was not a mere replication or impersonation, but art in and of itself.  The best part?  The show’s director could’ve asked anyone to perform the tribute.  The producers could’ve picked from the full roster of Hollywood’s singers and songwriters when it came to honoring the epic David Bowie.  Rather than picking a male however, which would’ve been (sadly) seemingly an obvious choice, show runners went with Lady Gaga, a woman (who admittedly is an international superstar) whose avant-garde persona and amazing pipes made her the perfect pick for such a tribute.  Gender was a non-issue simply because Gaga was the best performer for the task, and wow, how she delivered.  Her performance was downright transformative.  


Taylor's rise to fame was not flawless, but was marked by hard work, a re-branding and above all, uplifting writing.


Taylor Wins BIG for Women

I gotta be honest, up until this point, I have not been a forever fan of Taylor Swift (please don’t hate me?).  I loved her in all her ‘Tear Drops on My Guitar’ glory.  She wrote the score for my middle school years, but I can’t lie, her transition from country sweetie to pop star came with some growing pains for me.  However, upon her acceptance of her second Grammy for Album of the Year, and as the only woman in history to ever receive that honor twice, I immediately went team Taylor all the way.  Her speech roused within me feelings of determination and gratitude.  As a songwriter myself, her call to action for young women watching – her impassioned plea for girls to stand up for their talents in spite of people who will work to tear them down (she was dissing YOU Kanye) – empowered me.  Her rise to fame was not flawless, but was marked by hard work, a re-branding and above all, uplifting writing.  So a huge congrats to Miss Swift, you’ve made a squad member of me yet.

With the biggest night in music over for the year, we’ve got a while to wait before the next industry celebration.  In the meantime, I for one will be jamming to the winners (and let’s be real, losers) tunes for the foreseeable future.  Below is a quick read of some of the night’s most notable winners.  Check out their stuff.  It’s guaranteed to get you up on your feet, craving the dance floor! 

BEST RAP ALBUM: ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ – Kendrick Lamar

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM:  ‘Traveller’  – Chris Stapleton

SONG OF THE YEAR: ‘Thinking Out Loud’ – Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge,

BEST NEW ARTIST: Meghan Trainor


ALBUM OF THE YEAR:  ‘1989’ – Taylor Swift

RECORD OF THE YEAR: ‘Uptown Funk’ – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

BEST DANCE RECORDING: ‘Where Are Ü Now’ – Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber

BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM: ‘Behind the Madness’ – The Weeknd



Polly Hilton is a theatre maker, avid movie watcher, and long time bSmart writer. She is currently living the dream in NYC and is pursuing personal creative goals while working as a consultant for the Tiger Foundation. When she’s not writing a musical, going for a walk, sipping coffee, or hanging out with loved ones, she can be found at the controls of her XBox 360 playing an epic round of Disney Infinity (a worthy guilty pleasure).    


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